The Future of Buildings, Transportation and Power

Book Synopsis

Buildings, transportation and power generation account for roughly 75% of energy conversions in our economy.  Understanding the energy trends governing these sectors will help us develop a more sustainable future.

Part one shows how the intersection of information, technology and energy conversions will shape our future, and how the Energy Efficiency Megatrend is the most important trend in that relationship.

Part two is the future of buildings. Building trends and sustainable building are discussed, concluding with how artificial intelligence and advanced materials are leading to autonomous, sentient-appearing buildings that will take on new roles in our society.

Part three is the future of transportation. This sector is being electrified, starting with cars and trucks and extending into aviation. As with buildings, a sentient-appearing transportation sector is emerging, with faster and more sustainable modes of transportation.

Part four is the future of power and the electric grid. This part goes into how the “who, what, where, when and why” of the utility industry is changing. Clean energy solutions are proposed, with an emphasis on taking action that reduces the most greenhouse gases in the shortest time at the least cost. Advanced power systems are outlined.

The final chapter draws some conclusions about how the Energy Efficiency Megatrend will play out in the far future, but also highlights the obstacles we face to such a sustainable future.

"What started as a brainstorming session between two thoughtful energy experts and grew over years of nurturing, polishing, challenging and reassessing, has finally emerged as an insightful book that will challenge and transform your thinking about how we use energy today and in the future. It is a clear-eyed look at megatrends swirling around us, trends that are so large they can be hard to understand."

Russell Gold

Senior Reporter, The Wall Street Journal and Author, Superpower and The Boom

"Respected energy veterans Roger Duncan and Michael Webber offer a provocative vision of how buildings, transports, and electricity may meld with efficiency, information, and innovation to create more—or, if we choose unwisely, less—than the sum of their interactive parts. Whether or not you agree, this readable treatment helps frame the forces shaping the modern energy revolution."

Amory B. Lovins

Cofounder and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

"A fascinating, highly educational tour of the ideas and technologies that will power the future."

Peter Fox-Penner

Energy expert, author of Smart Power and Power After Carbon