Our fearless forecasts for the year 2050: (1) home and building rooftops laden with high-efficiency solar cells and light absorbers, (2) garages and building basements or rooftops equipped with high-capacity DC electric storage batteries, (3) hundreds of careers replaced by new professions, (4) the disappearance of oil refineries and gasoline stations, and (5) the demise of electric companies and their electric generation plants. All of these take place with the development of high-efficiency solar cells, new storage battery technologies, and the emergence of electric vehicles.
We will see the rapid expansion of home and business solar energy use, resulting in the dissolution of electric generators and their electric distribution networks or grids, e. g., the electric companies. In the place of electric companies and electric generating plants we will see the evolution of small community DC electricity exchanges.
We will see the development of careers involving the production and deployment of high-efficiency storage batteries and solar cells.
We will see the disappearance of careers in vehicle maintenance, such as those involving oil changes, lubrication, engine and cooling systems repair, etc. Jobs in battery installation and conditioning will proliferate, as well as those for vehicle brake system repair and maintenance.
We will see new career opportunities in computer technologies involving electric vehicles and solar electric systems – careers in programming, maintenance, and security.
The biggest change will be in the type of electricity and voltage we use. Instead of today’s AC electricity (110V/60-cycles in the US and 210V/50-cycles elsewhere), we’ll be using 24V DC (direct current). This means there will be no danger from electrocution and all power can be easily stored, transmitted, and re-stored. [FACT: In today’s homes and businesses, all appliances – except light bulbs – use DC electricity.]
Makes for a dull life, you say? Yes, for those who’ve lived with and can’t let go of the old system. But for people who learn and love the new technologies it will be a wonder why the world ever used AC electricity at all. Thomas Edison and Nicolai Tesla will stir in their graves to celebrate their eventual victory over George Westinghouse, the man primarily responsible for making AC electricity the norm in the US and the rest of the world.
What comes after 24V DC, the storage battery, and the electric vehicle, you ask? How about human levitation and morphing, mental telepathy, and self-cloning for starters?