“Snapshots” of Energy Innovation Underestimate Coming Changes

In today’s world of rapid technological innovation, looking at a snapshot is next to useless. Instead, one is better served by taking a look at the process and speed of innovation, and where it’s occurring. Renewables, batteries, and hybrid vehicles are changing dramatically and fast, compared to coal- and natural gas-fired generation systems. Fossil generation has been around for decades, and the room for technological breakthrough is not nearly as big as it is for the new and immature players on the block. As a result, we are probably underestimating the technological change about to envelop us. Even in a low-priced electricity world, fueled by cheap shale gas, the forces of innovation are on the move. The snapshots we take today are probably useless in the near future, and scenario planning and financial modeling are going to get harder.

The op-ed, written by Peter Kelly-Detwiler, can be read at Forbes.