Dag: 3 januari 2019

Better Predictions in Renewable Energy

The International Energy Agency has just released its renewable energy prognosis for 2017. The highly influential organization once again predicts that yearly solar panel production will stagnate at current levels. The IEA has predicted this before at least 12 times (as I’ve detailed last year). Every time they are proven spectacularly wrong but the new predictions are always just as bad as the last. Why??

It’s a question dear to my heart. Not only because I make models about this for a living but also because I think we have to cut through the fake news, the bias and the BS before we can see that the solutions to global warming are staring us right in the face.

In this post I present my hard won insights (during more than 25 years of working on radical innovation) on how we might be able to make better predictions regarding energy and mobility. First I’ll present the problem, then I’ll present the explanation and finally the solution. The picture above gives the summary.

Bepaal mee hoe we onze elektrische auto’s in de toekomst gaan opladen

Er is in Nederland een stevige discussie gaande over de vraag waar er allemaal oplaadpunten moeten komen voor elektrische auto’s. Daarover gaat het in deze blogpost. We hebben daarbij ook een vraag aan u, de lezer. Aan wetenschappers zoals wij wordt namelijk gevraagd om bedrijven, gemeenten en overheden te adviseren bij het realiseren van de best mogelijke laadinfrastructuur. Maar om goed advies te kunnen geven moeten we weten hoe u in de toekomst het liefste elektrisch wilt gaan laden. Daarom vragen we u om een korte enquête in te vullen. (Let op: we zoeken mensen die op zijn minst wel eens elektrisch hebben gereden.)

Photovoltaic growth: reality versus projections of the International Energy Agency – with 2018 update

I posted a graph on Twitter illustrating the disconnect between historic projections regarding solar panels and actual developments. It was widely retweeted but people wanted to know how it was constructed. In this blog I explain step by step how I did it and I add some observations along the way.

People also ask me: how do you explain this disconnect with reality? You can click on this link to find out.

I used thirteen World Energy Outlook (WEO) reports of the International Energy Agency (IEA). All data used in the production of the graph was taken from these tomes. I chose this publication because it is the most influential projection used by policy makers in the energy domain, but we could have taken other organizations (e.g. the EIA) where the disconnect is similar.

How self driving cars will lead to small, shared, electric vehicles that will save our cities and climate

It’s a popular meme these days: “Self driving cars will not solve anything. On the contrary: we will only drive more and increase congestion!” This meme enables people to find fault with the somewhat scary or emasculating thought of self driving cars while treehuggers can go safely back to condemning cars.

But I would argue that this meme does not think the impact of self-driving cars through to its logical conclusion. Self driving will introduce shared, small and nimbly connected electric vehicles that reduce congestion while making cities healthy, spacious and wealthy.

Autonomous driving: why startup Tesla beats Goliath Mercedes

Recently some articles have compared Tesla’s self driving features with that of the new Mercedes E class. What emerges is a picture of an incumbent Goliath that takes a half-hearted approach to self-driving, shies away from over-the-air updates and is hesitant to empower consumers. Meanwhile start-up Tesla admits imperfection but gives the Autopilot a prominent place on the dashboard and turns consumers into trainers. It illustrates what we see happening in the broader transition to renewable energy: it is the new start-ups and not the big incumbents that are paving the way.