Crafting a green economic vision for the world (Jeremy Rifkin) | Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew | June 9, 2012 | Toronto Star

The crisis is not just EU financial, says @JeremyRifkin, but global energy. Interview describes linkages from energy to finance, outlines five pillars of Third Industrial Revolution.

Q: How is energy connected to the 2008 global financial crisis?

A: [….] When oil hits $120 to $150 a barrel, the economy will shut down every time. This is an endgame where we will see growth collapse cycles every five years for the next 25 years until we get out of this economic paradigm. We’re in the second collapse now. [….]

Q: How do communication and energy work together?

A: [….] In the second industrial revolution, centralized electricity and the telephone and television became the communication media to manage a dispersed oil-era, suburban, mass consumer society. The sun is setting on that now.

We’ve had a very powerful communication revolution in the last 25 years. What’s interesting about the Internet is it’s collaborative and distributive. It not centralized, it’s one-to-many.

Q: What does the Third Industrial Revolution refer to?

A: It consists of five pillars. The first pillar is that the EU has mandated a goal of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020. That means a third of the electricity has to be green.

Pillar two is the distributed energies that are found in every square inch of the biosphere: the sun, the wind, geothermal heat under the ground, agricultural waste, ocean tides and waves on the coast. We asked ourselves, if renewable energies are found everywhere, why shouldn’t we collect them everywhere? That got us to the buildings. The goal is convert every single building in Europe, 190 million buildings, into personal power plants. Germany has now converted 1 million building in seven years. They’re at 20 per cent green electricity this year and heading to 35 per cent.

Pillar three is storage. The sun isn’t always shining. The wind blows at night but we need electricity during the day. You have to have storage. The EU is in favour of many different storage systems, flywheels, batteries, capacitors. But we’re putting our emphasis on hydrogen.

Pillar four is where Internet technology converges with distributed energies to create a nervous system. We can convert all electricity and power lines to a smart grid. When millions of buildings are collecting and storing bits of energy, if a building doesn’t need some of it, software can direct the building to sell it across an energy internet across the continent. It’s like creating information, storing it digitally, and sharing it online.

Pillar five is integrating transport into the infrastructure. The idea is to plug in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the buildings to power up our vehicles.

These five pillars alone are meaningless. It’s only when you put all five together that you get the whole platform.

Crafting a green economic vision for the world (Jeremy Rifkin) | Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew | June 9, 2012 | Toronto Star at–crafting-a-green-economic-vision-for-the-world.

Crafting a green economic vision for the world -

Video recording of Jeremy Rikfin is available at, starting at about 47 minutes (of the 75 minute length).

Conference “Mission Growth: Europe at the Lead of the New Industrial Revolution” | May 29, 2012 | Brussels Belgium at includes …