Why is it necessary? The energy world will change dramatically, and utilities must dramatically change or completely reimagine their solutions for entirely new business models. The Metaverse Continuum will help support a world where renewables and storage are ubiquitous. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle bans, high fuel prices and falling battery costs make EVs the most common form of light duty vehicle. Like renewables, charging infrastructure is also ubiquitous.
A new generation of low-cost heat pumps will electrify the heating of homes, offices, and industrial processes. All new buildings will be net zero in construction and operation. Smart building technology will turn every building into a microgrid that connects seamlessly with local energy markets. A building’s energy consumption will be optimized, maximizing consumption when prices are low and selling excess power to the grid when prices are high.
The trading of power in local energy markets becomes so commonplace, energy becomes a new currency. Energy can be traded for goods and services. Electric vehicle (EV) owners can pay for parking by dispatching power. Solar photovoltaic (PV) owners can donate power to charities that distribute power to those in need.
Alternative energy sources – such as green hydrogen – will start to scale, while new innovations will emerge. For example, induction charging may charge EVs as they drive on roads. EVs’ paint may be replaced by coatings that turn an EV’s exterior into a solar panel. The need for wire-based transmission could be negated by transporting hydrogen fuel cells and batteries, or using space-based solar1 to beam energy back to Earth. For example, the Space-based Solar Power Project is developing technology that generates solar power in space which is beamed down to Earth. Its first prototypes will be launched in 2023.