The industrial age of energy and transportation will be over by 2030. Maybe before. Exponentially improving technologies such as solar, electric vehicles, and autonomous (self-driving) cars will disrupt and sweep away the energy and transportation industries as we know it. The same Silicon Valley ecosystem that created bit-based technologies that have disrupted atom-based industries is now creating bit- and electron-based technologies that will disrupt atom-based energy industries.
Clean Disruption projections (based on technology cost curves, business model innovation as well as product innovation) show that by 2030:
- All new energy will be provided by solar or wind.
- All new mass-market vehicles will be electric.
- All of these vehicles will be autonomous (self-driving) or semi-autonomous.
- The new car market will shrink by 80%.
- Even if EVs don't kill the gasoline car by 2030, the self-driving car will shrink gasoline consumption by up to 80%.
- Gasoline will be obsolete. Nuclear is already obsolete.
- Up to 80% of highways will be redundant.
- Up to 80% of parking spaces will be redundant.
- The concept of individual car ownership will be obsolete.
- The Car Insurance industry will be disrupted.
The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of rocks. It ended because a disruptive technology ushered in the Bronze Age. The era of centralized, command-and-control, extraction-resource-based energy sources (oil, gas, coal and nuclear) will not end because we run out of petroleum, natural gas, coal, or uranium. It will end because these energy sources, the business models they employ, and the products that sustain them will be disrupted by superior technologies, product architectures, and business models.
This is a technology-based disruption reminiscent of how the cell phone, Internet, and personal computer swept away industries such as landline telephony, publishing, and mainframe computers. Just like those technology disruptions flipped the architecture of information and brought abundant, cheap and participatory information, the clean disruption will flip the architecture of energy and bring abundant, cheap and participatory energy. Just like those previous technology disruptions, the clean disruption is inevitable and it will be swift.