The 4th Industrial Revolution will affect the very essence of our human experience. It will bring change at a speed, force and scale that we have never experienced before. Facilitated access to new technology will accelerate radical system-wide innovation and the interaction between fields like big data, machine learning, nanotechnology and mobile networks will create unimaginable realities.
One of the most pressing challenges of our time is saving our planet and using its resources efficiently. Sustainable energy production and mindful energy usage are the very key to this. A good basis for future developments has been built over the last decades, as political awareness and technological improvements have made renewable energy sources more attractive. However, there is still a strong dependency on centralized energy production and 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to any form of energy at all.
Wind energy and wind turbines are part of the solution, but not as you know them nowadays. In addition to large Megawatt systems, an increasing number of small wind turbines will allow decentral energy production right where it is needed. Depending on geographical aspects, wind and solar-PV will be used as hybrid systems, forming an ideal partnership to ensure reliable energy production in different weather conditions and seasons. The micro wind turbines will be highly efficient and modular, meaning that they can be (by being scalable) scaled up to meet individual energy demand from a few Watts to several Kilowatts. In some cases, they will be used stand alone to electrify remote households and applications, in other cases smart micro grids will form around them. An integrated intelligence, smart meters and smart grids will regulate energy production and distribution to automatically share, sell or store excess energy, avoiding waste and inefficiencies. Furthermore, environmental and usage data will be collected and used to improve the lives of millions of people.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is not any future scenario, it is happening right now. We have come to a point, where technological progress allows us to take charge of shaping the future of human society and Mother Earth. This given, we need to be aware of our responsibility and collectively drive further improvements in the energy sector to build a brighter and cleaner future.