I have two prior posts on what I believe is a new climate ripe for major advances in energy technology. Refer to :
My prediction is that the burden of high energy prices and reliance on unsavory regimes that we currently face will have some serious scares in the next few years, but will abate and no longer be a major crisis by 2015, due to rapid advances in many new areas of technology.
I claim that there will be no single technology that saves us, but rather many fields of innovation that slay the monster with a thousand small cuts.
Some more examples of promising advances :
Solar energy costs are dropping quickly. The reason this is happening now instead of at any time over the last 30 years is because solar cells are made of the same materials that computational chips are made of, and thus inevitably converge into The Impact of Computing.
None of these will singlehandedly change the world. However, each bit of innovation makes the economics of the whole ecosystem a tiny bit better, which cumulatively adds up to a lot.
I have no hesitations in predicting that the average-priced 2015 model family sedan, with a 240 hp engine, will deliver 60 MPG. On top of this, the fuel itself may have a large ethanol component, and will contain much less gasoline per gallon than today.
Keywords : Ethanol, oil price, energy innovation, solar power, wind power, energy technology, tar sands, oil shale, hybrid car, hydrogen car