GLOBAL FUTURE ANALYSIS
ENERGY | INFRASTRUCTURE
Power transport (and also digital communication by videocalling) will gain enormous market shares as carbon energy phase itself by increasing prices. Transporting power will more energy efficient due to new technologies. Sea based wind parks, desert based concentrated solar farms, on site tarsand burning, on site coal burning, on site heavy crude burning will gain popularity as power transport lost is will be reduced severely by the use of less energy by transport losing technologies like HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) with only 3% lost per 1000 km distance. To install a new global HVDC infrastructure will be to expensive (just only by the copper price). Designing a HVDC infrastructure out of current HVAC infrastructures will be the only affordable solution (as it's just a management and transforming equipment issue and no copper issue). Although using this HVAC current infrastructure will give a lot of extra transport kilometers are these infrastructures are designed for facilitating power distributions from total other geographical locations and also more designed for creating redundancy than for shortest line to remote locations. An copperless alternative is the HTS/LTS (High Temperature Superconductor / Low Temperature Superconductor: where high is relative, so still very low in temperature) technology. Using super conducting characteristics of two very small iron wires cooled down (surrounded) by a compressed (and therefore cold) helium or nitrogen in a series of pressure resistant tubes, so that damaging just one cooling element will not interrupt the transport function at all). Remote windmill parks (like the offshore/sea based ones) and desert based concentrated solar power needs local power infrastructures on the remote location and power transport structures from source to destination. Expecting those both from governments is unrealistic. Governments are too slow and too inefficient to do this. Governments certainly can make legislation that opens every power for transport for everyone against a maximum mentioned price. This opens the market for power transport companies. Governments can stimulate a power transport infrastructure by (partial) guarantying any power infrastructure investment on unique routes and use a permit based legislation that can press power route operators to increase transport capacities if needed. Certainly in the US the power transport capacity from the wind corridor and the solar corridor to the demand corridors is currently almost absent. Power transport infrastructures (HVDC and HTS/LTS) are the major focus area for the WorldBank in the next decade. HVDC and HTS/LTS will be combined with fiber: increasing digital infrastructures in redundancy and/or reach. Africa and the Middle East has both poor power and fiber infrastructures, while they have the best CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) environment by their deserts. The new digital hubs of the world will be located at the hubs of the power infrastructures. Giving power and fiber redundancy for the datacenters (average 75% of a datacenter investment budget) for free just by the location. Hydrogen is also a good transport method of energy, although hydrogen is very explosive, so it has a lot of safety and terror issues, that electrical power lines has less. And the efficiency of hydrogen production of course must be improved by a basket of technologies. Pipelines are the nerves and blood vessels of tomorrow economic world. Russia knows how to play this card (nations industrial structures enhancing business deals). Europe not (too arrogance and too much just talking). The USA not (too bullish attitude and weapon deliveries while not weapons but industrial structures enhancements are 'in' now, no weapons, but ploughs). As carbon energy miles (the distance between production and consumption) increases due the peaking of both Prudhoe Bay in the US, Cantarell in Mexico and the Continental Shelf, transport from the new production locations will become more and more important. The current number of mammoth tankers doesn't suite the increased carbon fuel mileage. The bottleneck in this whole new (longer) supply chain are the tankers. Tanker operators will earn their investments back in just less than a year. There is not enough ship building capacity on the world for these huge tankers. Container ships will been adjusted to oil tankers, double skin designs will be abandoned by the need for transport capacity, causing some severe local environmental disasters.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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