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The overall goal of the Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) in Nord-Pas de Calais is to make the regional economy one of the most resource-efficient, productive and sustainable in the world.
Nord-Pas de Calais has the opportunity of becoming one of the first regions in the world to produce and share its own locally generated renewable energy at near zero marginal cost on an Energy Internet, making energy nearly free for its thousands of businesses and four million citizens. The impact on productivity and the economy of near-zero marginal cost energy will be every bit as significant as the production and dissemination of information on the communications Internet at near-zero marginal cost. This is power to the people. The Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan, jointly conceived by Nord-Pas de Calais and the TIR Consulting Group LLC, supported by Accenture, provides a road map for steering the region into a new economic era that will spawn the new businesses and employment opportunities of a sustainable 21st century.
The primary objective of the enclosed economic plan for Nord-Pas de Calais is to weave together the five Pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution into a single, integrated infrastructure platform that local firms can plug into and play to dramatically increase their efficiency and productivity, and, by doing so, create the new business opportunities and jobs of the 21st century.
If the pillars are not phased in together, the region will lose precious investment, stall economic advancement, and end up with siloed pilot projects that provide little economic value for the citizenry. This is a lesson learned, thus far, in efforts undertaken by other regions in Europe and around the world.
The report examines the necessary steps that will need to be taken within the region in the short-term, mid-term and long-term to address energy efficiency, the transition into renewable energies, the conversion of the building stock to green micro-power plants, the establishment of energy storage systems, the build-out of an Energy Internet, and the plug-in of electric and fuel cell transport.
It explores the behavioral changes that will need to be introduced and the changing labor skills and training practices that will be needed to match the new workforce with the new opportunities opening up with the TIR rollout in Nord-Pas de Calais.
The first step of this transformation is to seek energy efficiency in any infrastructure investment and to revisit behaviors and decisions under the lens of efficiency.
This energy efficiency fundament is the catalyzer for a circular economy and for the five pillar infrastructure to be built simultaneously.
Pillar One. The shift toward renewable energy: The region will accelerate investment in renewable energy production. The total cost of renewable energies will decrease as an exponential curve, and their marginal production cost will get close to zero. Pillar Two. Transforming the building stock of every continent into micro-power plants to collect renewable energies on-site. Investment in this pillar will start with a large-scale retrofitting and refurbishment program combined with a land conversion program in brownfield and mines sites.
Pillar Three. Deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies. Energy storage will be provisioned and planned, taking into account energy exchanges to neighboring countries or regions and the combined effect of Pillars 1 and 2.
Pillar Four. Using Internet technology to transform the power grid into an energy internet that acts just like the Internet. Pillar four aims to roll out a smart grid in the whole regional territory.
Pillar Five. Transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity on a smart, interactive power grid.
Synergies among the five pillars all contribute to greater levels of energy efficiency and provide the foundation for the Third Industrial Revolution.
Many regions around the world have pursued dynamic green initiatives in recent years. Impressive pilot projects abound on every continent, giving us a glimpse of what’s possible in a post-carbon era. Turning vision to reality now requires a bold leap forward by establishing a fully operational smart infrastructure that can transition every region from a Second to a Third Industrial Revolution economy over the course of the next several decades.
According to the DEEPER model, the Third Industrial Revolution will create 165,000 jobs in the region. One of the keys to success in the transition toward the Third Industrial Revolution is a shared political consciousness of the biosphere. Political leadership and policy continuity are needed in the broader sense as behavior change from all stakeholders is required. Universities should play a key role here: Academics will lead the biosphere awareness effort by educating students and also monitoring the progress of the Third Industrial Revolution on a key set of sustainability, social and economic indicators.
Strong program management will be needed from the Region to deliver the TIR. The Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan, jointly conceived by Nord Pas-de-Calais and the TIR Consulting Group LLC, supported by Accenture, provides a road map for steering the region into a new economic era that will spawn the new businesses and employment opportunities of a sustainable 21st century.
November 28, 2013
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