“Zero” Cost Energy
Electrification of Everything: Cost of electricity generation approaches zero
Thanks to rapid progress of power generation technologies first and foremost photo voltaics but also nuclear fusion and energy harvesting – cost of electricity will literally approach.
The dramatic cost reductions of solar power in recent years are expected to continue, making it the cheapest source to produce power in many regions in the years to come. Economics of scale and new technologies (e.g. flexible thin-film foils) and materials with higher efficiencies (e.g. perovskite) will further decrease cost and enable new applications, e.g. power-producing facades as well as more off-grid solutions.
The generation of energy by nuclear fusion (four atoms of hydrogen-1 are fused into a helium-4 with the release of a tremendous amount of energy) is still regarded as being at least two decades away. However, recent advancements could trigger rather sudden breakthroughs, which could, basically overnight, change industries and solve the energy problems.
Micro-harvesting devices, which for instance capture translational kinetic energy, could help to reduce energy demand and cost significantly. New extraction and exploration technologies (e.g. fracking) might trigger a boom of certain fossil fuels, as it was the case with shale gas. Cheap power might enable new ways of producing afford able water and food.
Costs for electricity generated from photovoltaic systems are expected to drop to an average of around USD 0.04 / kWh worldwide by 2040. By 2050, they could be as low as USD 0.02 / kWh.