I just finished a book titled “Energy’s Digital Future” authored by Professor Amy Myers Jaffe. The book raises a few very important points that are worthy of deeper discussion (and more urgent action):
- The future of clean energy is digital (i.e. driven by technology).
- We need more swift and powerful US energy policies to ensure we can actually achieve a successful clean energy transition.
- The US can use this opportunity to not only lead in energy transition, but also in securing and upholding democracy.
The book is fascinating and convincing to me because it takes a historical perspective, and generates lessons learned from the history. Let me raise two particular important examples:
- GPS is a technology pioneered by the US government. It was due to the threat from the USSR having launched Sputnik, the first satellite.
- The US could have an electrified society in the 1910s. During that period, electrified vehicles were actually dominating gasoline cars. Again, the US government played an important role in steering us away from that technology and onto the gasoline-centric road.
I have long suspected that the US government had played a pivotal role in changing the course of US societal evolution in the past. This book firmly reinforced my view.
For those who are interested in knowing more about the book, here is a short webinar on the book launch: