Professor in Computer Engineering at Oklahoma State University, Dr Subhash Kak, believes a third of jobs will be lost soon after the introduction of self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and automation. Autonomous cars in particular could displace transportation workers and drivers. Prof. Kak said:

“It has been estimated that one third of the people in any advanced economy are engaged in transportation. Their jobs will be gone as soon as self-driving cars are widely adopted.”

CNBC tells us about 6 of China’s impressive renewable energy projects.

Xinhunet reports Wuhan, capital city of central China’s Hubei Province, will build itself into a “hydrogen city” through developing a hydrogen energy industry. Plans exist for the city to advance hydrogen production, storage and transport, and improve hydrogen infrastructure, along with a hydrogen energy industrial park gathering together more than 100 fuel cell automakers and related enterprises. This includes build up to 20 hydrogen re-fueling stations from 2018 to 2020 to support approximately 3,000 hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. This will be increased from 30 to 100 stations by 2025.

Market research firm EY says Europe will reach parity in the use of traditional and renewable energy by 2022. The EY study predicts that by that date the costs for the generation and autonomous storage of energy in Europe will be similar to the costs of acquiring energy from a traditional electricity supplier. The study highlights two factors which could accelerate the achievement of key transformation points: the change in consumers’ preferences in favour of renewable energy and the accelerated adoption of technologies which allow easy integration in distribution networks and reduce the generation costs of solar and wind energy, as well as the costs of storing energy in batteries. The study also indicates that electric vehicles will reach cost and performance parity with traditional combustion engine vehicles across all global markets by 2025. Benoit Laclau, EY Global Power & Utilities group, said:

“While the trends and timelines vary between markets and geographies, the research clearly shows that the countdown to a new energy future is accelerating faster than most expected.”

Japanese automaker Nissan is moving into the home battery storage market. Nissan Energy Solar is offering a complete home energy management system, making use of old Nissan Leaf batteries and rooftop solar to provide electricity to UK homes. The battery is connected to rooftop solar panels to collect and store energy that can then be used to power the home and charge Nissan electric vehicles. Nissan says it can save UK homeowners up to 66% on their electricity bills. Pricing for the installation of a six-panel solar system will start at £3,881 (US$5,400).

Pragma Industries has started selling hydrogen bikes in parts of France. The company believes it is the first to begin commercial production of a hydrogen-powered bike. According to Pragma, the new bike is capable of traveling some 62 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and can be refueled in a matter of minutes. The plan is produce 150 bikes this year, costing around $9000.

Eco Marine Power has announced plans to test their patented solar sails next year. Called EnergySails the technology would enable ships to utilize solar and wind energy simultaneously. According to the Japanese company, the technology integrates advanced integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules, and marine computers. Ships will be able to collect and store energy even while docked as well as sail in stormy weather conditions. Once the testing is completed next year, one ship will be chosen for a 12 to 18 month trial.

The US Energy Information Administration forecasts natural gas will remain the primary source of US electricity generation for at least the next two years. The share of total electricity supplied by natural gas-fired power plants is expected to average 33% in 2018 and 34% in 2019. Power plant operators are scheduled to bring 20 gigawatts of new natural-gas fired generating capacity online in 2018, which, if realized, would be the largest increase in natural gas capacity since 2004. Total utility-scale generation from nonhydro renewables (eg. wind, solar, biomass) is expected to exceed 10% for the first time next year.



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