States are requiring more renewable power to fight climate change
“The state [Hawaii] has an initiative to reach 40 percent renewable energy by 2030,” says Nohea Hirahara, an engineer for Hawaiian Electric Company. “I believe that’s the most aggressive of any state. And it’s coming up fast.”
Wind is a particular challenge. It doesn’t blow all the time, so it always needs a backup.
But keeping an oil-fired power plant at the ready is expensive.
The things that will determine standards of living a generation from now have almost nothing to do with this month’s jobs report or the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. Those determinants, instead, depend on companies’ innovations.
Researchers at the McKinsey Global Institute, the in-house think tank of the giant consulting firm, have a new study in which they have taken their best shot at predicting exactly that. They have scoured the range of potential disruptive technologies and done their best to estimate how transformative each might be for the U.S. economy. Their results are hardly definitive — we can’t know what the future holds — but represent a serious effort by some smart people to quantify what appear to be some major forces shaping our technological future.