The future is electric

More gadgets, lower electricity consumption and technology built into clothing. Today’s one-year-olds are facing an electric future, according to futurologist Klaus Æ. Mogesen.

Imagine being able to transfer data from one person to another in a handshake. Or that your windscreen is a transparent computer screen which turns into a GPS when you need it, not to mention a battery which doesn’t need to be charged for 10 to 20 years. For everyone who loves technological innovation, the future holds an electrical adventure, but this is also good news for everyone who is concerned with energy conservation and the environment.

Lower energy consumption

Klaus Æ. Mogensen at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies has many ideas about what our electrical future holds.

“One thing that I’m certain about is that each electrical unit will consume less electricity. However, as we get more and more electrical gadgets it’s not certain that our total electricity consumption will decrease,” Mogensen says.

Today most households mainly use heavy current. Mogensen thinks that, in the future, people will have more low current in their homes. This is because an increasing number of the electrical gadgets that we use run on low current.

He also thinks it will become more common to use surplus power.

“It will become more common to charge electric cars at home, rather than at petrol stations. By having solar panels or small wind turbines on the roof, surplus power which is not used for the house can be used to charge the car battery,” Mogensen says.

“The same will happen in offices. They will have big windows with solar panels, where some of the light is converted into electricity.”

Greener technology

According to the researcher, technology will become more environmentally-friendly in the years ahead.
“The use of mobile technology will increase. This technology uses less electricity than conventional technology and is therefore more environmentally-friendly,” Mogensen says. As regards what power exporters should do in the future, he has no doubt: “In future, more small and private enterprises will produce electricity for their own consumption, particularly by harvesting renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. When they generate more power than they can consume, there will be a need for Statnett to transfer electricity from private customers to the main grid.”