July 5, 2021 by VCT Group
We are living in revolutionary times. The world is poised for radical change in how we generate and use electricity driven by innovative ideas and modern technology. Solar is the technology ready to power this revolution.
In his book, The Third Industrial Revolution; How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World, author Jeremy Rifkin describes how fundamental economic change occurs when new energy sources enable new forms of transportation and converge with communication technologies to transform the world.
The first industrial revolution began in England in the late 18th Century with discovery of steam power and the adoption of machine-based manufacturing. The discovery of coal was the source of energy that drove the expansion of industry. Cities grew explosively as production of goods became centralized around urban factories. Transportation was revolutionized by combining iron production and steam engines in the invention of the train, and national rail networks grew to connect people in an unprecedented way. The need for communication to co-ordinate signaling for this new transportation infrastructure led to the widespread adoption of a novel communications technology – the telegraph – which enabled steam-powered printing presses to deliver up-to-date newspapers. The ability to communicate more effectively became widespread. The industrial revolution was complete. A new source of energy, combined with new transportation technology and a new form of communication, radically transformed society.
The second industrial revolution was born in the 20th Century. The discovery of oil enabled the development of the internal combustion engine that replaced steam-power. Mirroring the invention of the train, the automobile revolutionized transportation and lead to the expansion of national highway infrastructure. Communication was transformed by the development of radio and television, connecting the world in real-time. The second revolution followed the pattern of the first – a new energy source led to the development of new transportation technology which combined with a new communication technology, which transformed the world.
In our new century, the pattern is repeating. We stand on a bold new frontier. Advances in the three pillars – energy, transportation, and communication – are all converging to create a third revolution. Renewable energy and battery storage technology are driving a shift towards electric vehicles. The internet is enriching our ability to communicate, personalizing mass media to connect us in profound ways. Beyond communication, the “internet of things” is transforming our relationship to technology by expanding our ability to control and monitor our devices and infrastructure. We really are living in revolutionary times. Of all the advances that are creating this new world, solar power truly embodies the spirit of the age. Just as the internet is placing creative control into our hands, solar is putting power into the hands of the people.
The first and second industrial revolutions shared a common approach to energy. Generation of power was centralized. Resources, such as coal and oil, were extracted and transported globally to monumental power stations. The large-scale nature of the infrastructure meant that only nations and large corporations were able to take part and reap the rewards. Individuals and small to medium-sized businesses were captive consumers at the whim of the market. Politically and economically, the uneven global distribution of resources created a hierarchy that divided the world into have and have not nations. Solar changes all of this by enabling anyone to generate their own power and enjoy the benefits of ownership. You can become your own energy company.
The sun is the source of our power. The beauty of solar energy is that the sun shines everywhere for free. Solar is the agile renewable technology that gives anyone the freedom to independently harvest this resource. Solar can be installed locally anywhere at any scale – from residential, to industrial, to community and utility. It is a decentralized technology that democratizes power. That is a revolution.
Take part in the solar revolution. At VCT Group, we are excited to be building the new renewable energy infrastructure that is transforming how the world is powered. We believe solar is an integral part of the global revolution for a better future. We are solar engineering experts who will work with you to incorporate renewable energy into your business. Together, we have the power to change the world.