Tag Archives: Green Energy

Rethinking Electric Vehicles and the Power Grid

Ford F150 Lightning Electric Truck

Ford just announced an electric truck for the masses, the Ford F-150 Lightning, with up to 300 miles of range starting at just under $40,000.

That is about as much detail as I’m going to go into about this new electric truck from Ford, and you won’t find me comparing it to Tesla’s Cybertruck or GM’s electric Hummer. I’ll leave that that to the gearheads.

The purpose for today’s article on Human-Centered Change™ and Innovation is not to compare electric truck specifications, but instead to highlight a somewhat buried feature of the new Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck:

Ford is providing an 80-amp home charging station that completely charges the truck in eight hours, or allows buyers to easily use the truck to power their entire home for around three days in the event of an electricity outage.

Sometimes what seems like a minor benefit outside the typical product feature set actually has the potential to shift mindsets and customer expectations. AND, it leads to a series of questions:

Have you spent $10,000-20,000 on a Tesla Powerwall battery backup system for your house?

Or thousands of dollars on a more traditional partial home generator?

Have you ever thought about using your car or truck to power your house?

What if this were to become a common expectation of consumers of electric vehicles?

If this became a key differentiator between internal combustion and electric vehicles, might this help to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles in the United States and elsewhere?

And what might the implications be for utilities and the power grid?

Stay tuned! It will be interesting to monitor how this situation develops and whether other electric vehicle manufacturers modify their marketing strategies, leading to one final question:

Innovation or not?

Image credit: yahoo

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Exploring the Future of Sustainable Energy Sources

Exploring the Future of Sustainable Energy Sources

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

In today’s ever-evolving world, sustainable energy sources play a crucial role in meeting the increasing energy demands while reducing the harmful impact on the environment. As the threats posed by climate change become more imminent, it is imperative to explore and invest in renewable energy alternatives that can provide cleaner and more sustainable solutions. This article aims to delve into the future of sustainable energy by highlighting two prominent case study examples.

Case Study 1: Solar Power Revolutionizing Energy Consumption

Solar power is one of the most widely recognized and promising sustainable energy sources. With its ability to harness the energy from the sun, solar power has the potential to revolutionize how we consume energy. This renewable energy source offers several advantages, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing cost-effective solutions, and promoting energy independence.

One notable case study is the country of Germany, which has made significant strides in adopting solar power. In 2019, it set a world record by generating over 46% of its electricity from renewable sources, predominantly solar. Germany has achieved this milestone through substantial investments in solar infrastructure, favorable government policies, and the involvement of local communities. By pioneering solar energy, Germany serves as a paradigm for other countries to follow, fostering sustainable development and energy independence.

Another exciting case study is the Solar Impulse project, which showcases the potential for solar energy in aviation. The Solar Impulse plane, powered solely by solar energy, completed a historic flight around the world in 2016. This achievement demonstrated the viability of solar power for long-distance air travel, pushing the boundaries of what was previously thought possible. Such an innovation not only reduces aviation’s carbon footprint but also opens doors to a future where sustainable air travel could become the norm.

Case Study 2: Tidal Energy Tapping into the Power of Oceans

Another promising sustainable energy source is tidal energy, derived from the powerful movements of ocean tides. Tidal power holds tremendous potential due to the predictability and reliability of tides as a renewable energy source. It offers a plethora of benefits such as minimal greenhouse gas emissions, high energy density, and a low visual impact compared to other alternatives like wind turbines.

The United Kingdom’s MeyGen project serves as an excellent case study for tidal energy. Located off the northern coast of Scotland, MeyGen aims to harness the immense power of the Pentland Firth’s tidal currents. With its innovative technology, MeyGen installed turbines on the seabed to capture tidal energy efficiently. This project has the potential to power up to 175,000 homes, making a significant contribution to the country’s clean energy targets. The successful development and implementation of the MeyGen project highlight the enormous potential of tidal energy and how it can revolutionize coastal areas as sustainable energy hubs.

Furthermore, the Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station in South Korea showcases the success of integrating tidal power with existing infrastructure. Located on the west coast of South Korea, this project features a 254-megawatt tidal power plant built within a seawall, created for flood prevention. By utilizing an existing structure, the project significantly reduced environmental impact while simultaneously generating clean energy. The Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station effectively demonstrates the potential for integrating tidal energy into coastal infrastructures, minimizing the need for large-scale construction and maximizing sustainability.


The future of sustainable energy sources holds immense promise for addressing our energy needs while mitigating climate change. The case studies of solar power and tidal energy exemplify the transformative potential of renewable sources, both on land and at sea. By investing in such sustainable alternatives, nations and communities can foster greener development and pave the way for a more sustainable future. It is through continued exploration, innovation, and collaboration that we can unlock the full potential of these energy sources and secure a cleaner, more sustainable world for generations to come.

Bottom line: Futurology and prescience are not fortune telling. Skilled futurologists and futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Futures Research and the Evolution of the Global Economy

Futures Research and the Evolution of the Global Economy

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and complex, understanding the future of the global economy is of paramount importance. Businesses, governments, and individuals alike are constantly seeking ways to navigate the ever-changing economic landscape. In this article, we will explore the field of futures research and examine two case studies that highlight its significance in predicting and shaping the evolution of the global economy.

Futures research, also known as foresight or futurology, is a systematic approach that anticipates and analyzes potential future developments and their consequences. By employing various methodologies such as scenario planning, trend analysis, and simulation modeling, futures researchers aim to minimize uncertainty and inform decision-making for a wide range of stakeholders.

Case Study 1 – Green Energy

One prominent case study that illustrates the impact of futures research on the global economy is the rise of green energy. In the early 2000s, as concerns about climate change and the depletion of fossil fuel resources grew, some researchers and organizations began exploring alternative sources of energy. Through futures research, they identified the potential for renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind power, to become cost-competitive with traditional energy sources.

By accurately predicting the decreasing costs and increasing efficiency of renewable energy technologies, futures researchers enabled governments and investors to allocate resources towards the development and deployment of these technologies. As a result, the global renewable energy industry experienced tremendous growth, contributing to the de-carbonization of economies worldwide and creating new opportunities for job creation and economic development.

Case Study 2 – Digital Economy

Another compelling case study that showcases the power of futures research is the evolution of the digital economy. In the 1990s, as the internet and digital technologies began to reshape various industries, futurists predicted the transformative impact they would have on the global economy. By identifying trends such as the rise of e-commerce, the sharing economy, and the proliferation of digital platforms, futurists helped business leaders and policymakers anticipate and adapt to the emerging digital landscape.

These insights enabled companies to invest in digital infrastructure, innovate new business models, and enhance their competitiveness in the global market. Governments, too, recognized the importance of fostering digital ecosystems and created regulatory frameworks that facilitated the growth of digital industries. Today, the digital economy is a dominant force, driving innovation and connectivity across the globe and significantly influencing economic growth.


In both case studies, futures research played a vital role in shaping the evolution of the global economy. By accurately anticipating future trends and developments, researchers and practitioners were able to inform strategic decisions, allocate resources effectively, and align their organizations with the changing economic landscape. Since uncertainty is inherent in any forecast, futures research provides a valuable tool to navigate uncertainty and plan for the future.

As we move forward, the importance of futures research will only continue to grow. Challenges such as climate change, automation, and geopolitical shifts require foresight and proactive planning. By investing in futures research, individuals, organizations, and governments can stay ahead of the curve, understand potential risks and opportunities, and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the global economy.

Bottom line: Futurists are not fortune tellers. They use a formal approach to achieve their outcomes, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to be their own futurist.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What Will the Smart Home of the Future Look Like?

What Will the Smart Home of the Future Look Like?

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

In recent years, the concept of a smart home has become increasingly popular. From voice-activated virtual assistants to interconnected devices, the technological advancement in home automation has revolutionized the way we live. With rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), it is intriguing to speculate about what the smart home of the future will look like. In this article, we will explore two case studies that offer a glimpse into the potential future of smart homes.

Case Study 1: The Connected Oasis

Imagine walking into a home where everything is interconnected, and your every need is anticipated. This vision of the future smart home is epitomized in the concept of the “Connected Oasis.” One example of this is showcased through the collaboration between Samsung and BMW. The companies are working on integrating their respective technologies to create a seamless experience between the car and the home.

Using artificial intelligence and sensors, the smart home of the future can recognize when the car is approaching and prepare everything accordingly. As you near your home, the lights automatically turn on, the temperature adjusts to your preferred setting, and the door unlocks as you approach it. Once inside, your smart home assistant greets you with personalized suggestions based on your daily routine and preferences. The smart home can even sync with your car, automatically setting GPS directions based on your calendar events or providing traffic updates as you prepare to leave.

Case Study 2: Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Living

With growing concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability, the future smart home is likely to prioritize energy efficiency and sustainable living. The GreenSmartHome project, developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham, envisions a home that utilizes renewable energy sources, maximizes energy efficiency, and encourages eco-friendly practices.

This smart home incorporates various features such as smart thermostats, solar power generation, and energy management systems. By analyzing data from smart sensors and weather forecasts, the home can optimize energy usage by controlling heating, cooling, and lighting systems. The smart home can also provide real-time feedback on energy consumption, offering homeowners insights to reduce their carbon footprint.

Furthermore, the GreenSmartHome integrates waste management systems, promoting recycling and composting practices. It even has a smart garden, where irrigation systems are automatically adjusted based on weather conditions and moisture levels in the soil, ensuring efficient water usage.


The smart home of the future holds vast potential, with a focus on enhanced convenience, interconnectivity, sustainability, and energy efficiency. From the Connected Oasis, where homes and cars seamlessly communicate, to the GreenSmartHome promoting eco-friendly practices, these case studies offer a glimpse into what we can expect from the future of smart homes.

While these concepts may seem like science fiction today, advancements in AI, IoT, and sustainable technologies suggest that these visions are within reach. As technology continues to evolve, the smart home of the future will likely become an integral part of our lives, shaping the way we interact with our homes and the environment.

Bottom line: Futurists are not fortune tellers. They use a formal approach to achieve their outcomes, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to be their own futurist.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Are Gas Stations the Future of Starbucks?

Are Gas Stations the Future of Starbucks?

Recently the Seattle Times published an article from the Washington Post highlighting a gas station in Maryland that has made the bold move of turning off its gas pumps and installing electric charging stations in their place. Which got me thinking…

Given that in the early days of automobiles you had to go to the pharmacy and buy gasoline in open containers before an evolution began to curbside gas pumps before finally arriving at the drive thru format we have today, why would it be crazy to think that we are due for the next reinvention of refueling now that electric vehicles are beginning to catch on?

And what might a “gas” station v5.0 look like?
(the first four generations being pharmacy, curbside, drive thru full serve, and self serve)

Curbside Gas Station

Given that it takes 15-30 minutes to quickly recharge an electric car, a “gas” station v5.0 may very well end up looking like a Starbucks.

Are people going to want to hang out in their cars while they recharge?

Wouldn’t they rather chill out in a Starbucks sipping on a latte (or a hot chocolate) while they wait for enough juice to keep rolling down the road?

So shouldn’t Starbucks be considering entering the “gas” station business?

Or is the somewhat random growth of electric charging likely to continue?

The answer for me is of course both…

In urban environments I would imagine the trend of a lot of one-off charging stations to continue.

But if I were Starbucks I would look at the interstate highway system and consciously set up Starbucks locations next to gas stations and install electric vehicle charging stations as part of the design. That way you get business from the large number of internal combustion drivers and the small number of electric vehicle drivers now, while those numbers gradually invert over time.

Starbucks Electric Charting Station

Maybe Starbucks could even do a deal with Tesla Motors like they did with Fred Meyer (a small superstore chain with groceries that is part of the Kroger family). Or maybe Nissan or GM want to get in on the action instead.

What do you think?

Image credits: Starbucks, American Oil & Gas Historical Society, Chargepoint

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