Amy Suarez | |

Foundation on Economic Trends
Rifkin – The Off-Grid Economy
The first industrial revolution in the 19th Century was the invention of the steam engine. In the 20th Century oil and gas played a large role, and the US invented the telephone and television.

Electrical supplies became centralised.

“Now we are at the crossroads of a Third Industrial Revolution” – said Jeremy Rifkin, 68, economist and eco-guru, whose book The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World
is a best seller, in interview with Handelsblatt on November 19.

Jeremy Rifkin characterised the Third Revolution as one of sustainable development for a good quality of life. He said the US was a pioneer in the first half of the third industrial revolution – the Internet.

“Then the US stopped – they have even gone backwards, using fossil fuels such as shale gas”.
Rifkin said Germany and Denmark are far ahead of the rest of the world in the Third Revolution with the goal being each household producing its own energy, each house a micro power plant with solar and wind energy, which is stored and distributed on line.

Energy prices

Dr Rifkin said, “Energy prices in the U.S. have fallen because of huge shale gas finds – at the moment there is a gold rush, a buzz around the extraction of shale gas. All exploit the occurrence at the same time. Therefore, the prices are low. But the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that shale gas is available only short term. Even before 2020, the production will have peaked – from then on it’s all downhill”.

Nuclear energy is too expensive – also in its use of water

Dr Rifkin said that nuclear energy is too expensive. The US has invested $80 billion to find a way to store nuclear waste safely and there is still no solution. “And we do not have the water for this energy. France generates 80% of its energy with nuclear power – 45% of the water in France is used for cooling the nuclear reactors – and at times the water is too warm to be used to cool the reactors”.

He added, “Why should you stay with atomic energy, if you can switch to renewable energy with zero marginal cost in 15 years?”

Dr Rifkin said the earth can’t sustain our current consumption, the CO2 levels being emitted and growing.

In a world where burgeoning populations, mostly in developing or undeveloped nations ignorant of or too poor to avoid massive pollution – contributed to by the developing world sourcing cheap product from them – our weather is turning increasingly violent as the planet can’t cope.

In his book Dr Rifkin says, “Today, Internet communication technology is converging with renewable energies, giving rise to a Third Industrial Revolution. The creation of a renewable energy regime, loaded by buildings, partially stored in the form of hydrogen, distributed via an energy internet—a smart intergrid—and connected to plug in zero emission transport, opens the door to a Third Industrial Revolution.

“The entire system is interactive, integrated and seamless. This interconnectedness is creating whole new opportunities for cross-industry relationships. The Third Industrial Revolution brings with it a new era of “distributed capitalism” in which millions of existing and new businesses and homeowners become energy players. In the process, it will create millions of green jobs, jump start a new technology revolution, and dramatically increase productivity, as well as mitigate climate change”.

THE DISRUPTIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES – A WORK IN PROGRESS

Please note: This report is greatly indebted to Wikipedia’s comprehensive summary of Dr Rifkin’s book. The book is available for around $US25, postage and packaging extra.

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There are at present a few share market listed technology trail blazers still in development – some have gone into at least temporary oblivion.

Meanwhile, various blue chip leaders of today will need to re-invent themselves to remain relevant in the third revolution.

Eg: power companies will need to become storers of electricity – eg via vanadium batteries, to re-issue power on demand via complex networks, from businesses and residences that supply power into the grids at spasmodic intervals and in various quantities.

Dr Rifkin suggests in his book: The reconfiguration of the world’s power grid, along the lines of the internet, allowing businesses and homeowners to produce their own energy and share it with each other, is just now being tested by power companies in Europe. The new smart grids or intergrids will revolutionize the way electricity is produced and delivered.

Millions of existing and new buildings—homes, offices, factories—will be converted or built to serve as green power plants that can capture local renewable energy.

Our explanation: Eg: p/v glass and p/v coated roofs, solar canopies, industrial sized wind power machines – or/and source their energy needs from geothermal, biomass, hydro, and ocean waves—to create electricity to power the buildings – while re-using waste heat if they have industrial processes – while sharing the surplus power with others across a smart energy Internet.

Gerald adds: Costs are the stumbling block. Will it be profitable for companies and industries to create all or some of their own energy.

Dr Rifkin says in his book, some of the leading IT companies in the world are already busy at work on the build-out of the intelligent TIR (third industrial revolution) infrastructure. GE’s “Industrial Internet.” Cisco’s “Internet of Things”, IBM’s “Smarter Planet” and Siemen’s “Sustainable Cities” are among the many initiatives currently underway to bring online an intelligent infrastructure that can connect neighborhoods, cities, regions, continents, and the global economy, in what industry observers call a global “neural network.”

“The network is designed to be open, distributive, and collaborative, allowing anyone, anywhere, and at any time, the opportunity to access it and use the Big Data to create new apps for managing their daily lives.

“The increased energy efficiency and accompanying productivity gains that come with the shift into a Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure, prepares the way for a sustainable circular economy. Using less of the earth’s resources more efficiently and productively and making the transition from carbon based fuels to renewable energies, is a defining feature of the Collaborative Age.”

IMPLEMENTING THE THIRD REVOLUTION – NATIONAL STRATEGIES – THE FIRST STEPS

In January 2008 the European Commission proposed binding legislation to implement the 20-20-20 targets. This ‘climate and energy package’ was agreed by the European Parliament (EP) and Council in December 2008 and became law in June 2009. Europe is leading the way to the Third Industrial Revolution through mandating a cut of 20% of emissions of greenhouse gases, compared with 1990 levels, moving toward a 20% increase in the share of renewables in the energy mix, and cutting energy consumption by 20%, all by 2020. The 27 EU member states are making every effort to ensure that the remaining stock of fossil fuels is used more efficiently and are experimenting with clean energy technologies to limit carbon dioxide emissions in the burning of conventional fuels.

In 2009, Jeremy Rifkin and the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Round Table contracted with the city of Rome and Mayor Alemanno in order to develop a Third Industrial Revolution Road Map for the region.

In 2009, Jeremy Rifkin and the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Round Table contracted with the City of San Antonio to create a Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan for the city to transition into the Third Industrial Revolution economic vision and game plan.

In 2009, San Antonio had already taken significant first steps toward a new era of sustainability. The City of San Antonio’s “Mission Verde” and the CPS Energy’s “Vision 2020” both emphasize specific actions that the community has taken to transition into the Third Industrial Revolution. Green jobs and adequate financing mechanisms are among the challenges being addressed by the City’s Mission Verde plan. And CPS Energy has already embraced the need for a more energy-efficient economy that is increasingly powered by renewable energy and other clean energy technologies. These actions, coupled with the insights and ideas that emerged from the April 2009 workshop on sustainability (convened by the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy) provide the groundwork for specifying how the vision of a Third Industrial Revolution might be applied to the specific conditions and constraints faced by the city of San Antonio.

In Brussels, February 1, 2010, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, chaired by Jo Leinen MEP, and representatives of the five major political groups in the EP joined with Europe’s main associations representing small and medium-sized companies (UEAPME), consumers’ interests (BEUC), cooperatives(Cooperatives Europe) and the Foundation on Economic Trends in a call for a “Third Industrial Revolution” ahead of the European Council’s summit devoted to energy. The European Parliament will forward a declaration to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, requesting a comprehensive legislative plan with adequate means to implement the “Third Industrial Revolution” energy strategy across Member States. The plan also focuses on the shift to a new economic paradigm for the next stage of European integration.

On June 6, 2010, the “Utrecht2040: Entrepreneurship with New Energy” conference was held, bringing together decision makers from business, including the national energy companies, construction companies and engineering firms, the Utrecht knowledge institutions and government. The Urecht Energy Master Plan was implemented to incorporate the pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution into action steps.

Utrecht is one of the fastest growing areas in the Netherlands, as well as all of Europe, and is spearheading the European Union’s transition toward biosphere politics, and the shift away from geopolitics. The goal is to implement the pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution to replenish and rejuvenate the earth for generations to come.

In the UK, in the Budget of 2011 Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne publicly endorsed the need for a Third Industrial Revolution. He constructed a framework for the UK in the “The White Paper for Energy Market Reform” The White Paper components includes a Carbon Price Floor (announced in Budget 2011) in an effort to reduce investor uncertainty, putting a fair price on carbon and providing a stronger incentive to invest in low-carbon generation now.

It also includes the introduction of new long-term contracts (Feed-in Tariff with Contracts for Difference) to provide stable financial incentives to invest in all forms of low-carbon electricity generation.

Also in the White Paper is an Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) set at 450g CO2/kWh to reinforce the requirement that no new coal-fired power stations are built without carbon capture and storage systems, but also to ensure necessary short-term investment in gas can take place. Chris Huhne also includes a Capacity Mechanism, including demand response as well as generation, which is needed to ensure future security of electricity supply.

On January 24, 2011, the CGIL conference was held in Rome, Italy. The event was organized by TIRES, which is the Third Industrial Revolution European Society. For the first time ever, all the forces of business, those representing the capital and those that represent the work, were united in the battle for a new energy model that will create jobs and new business opportunities for companies in the area, innovative training for workers, and applied research opportunities for original research organizations. Topics included the discussion about new labor opportunities that will develop and become essential in the new post-carbon society.

In 2011, Rifkin’s Third Industrial Revolution vision and economic development plan was embraced by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of (UNIDO)and chairman of UN Energy said “(The Third Industrial Revolution) is a provocative strategy for transforming the global energy system. This book may help frame the social and economic solutions for the 1.5 billion poorest people who lack access to clean, reliable, and efficient energy services”.

Speaking alongside Mr. Rifkin at a joint press briefing at the UNIDO biennual conference in 2011, Director-General Yumkella said “We believe we are at the beginning of a Third Industrial Revolution and I want all member countries of UNIDO to hear the message and ask the key question, how does this apply to our economies, how can we be part of this revolution, and of course how do we share knowledge, share capital, and investments around the world to make this revolution really happen.”

On May 29, 2012, the European Commission held a conference in Brussels with the theme, “Mission Growth: Europe At The Lead Of The New Industrial Revolution.”

Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Antonio Tajani, Vice President and Minister of Industry and Entrepreneurship, co-hosted the summit. Vice President Tajani called for a comprehensive Third Industrial Revolution economic agenda to regrow the European economy and create an integrated European single market. In his speech, Vice President Tajani said, “Today is a good day for all of us, because today is the beginning of the Third Industrial Revolution. Now the European conversation will go beyond austerity, straight to creating growth and jobs in Europe. ..the Third Industrial Revolution is the ideal playground for SMEs…. our 2020 strategy puts us on the right path but we must now accelerate and put more resources on growth, and this must be based on sustainability, testing the edge of our technological frontiers.”

On September 6, 2012, President Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered a speech at the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan indicating the need for a Third Industrial Revolution and an energy internet. In 2013, Kazakhstan contracted Jeremy Rifkin and his team to help steward the emerging Central Asian country into a Third Industrial revolution infrastructure as well as helping with the planning of Expo 2017 currently titled, “Energy Expo 2017.”

In 2013, the French region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais contracted with Jeremy Rifkin and the TIR Consulting Group LLC to develop a Third Industrial Revolution Master Plan to transition the region into a new sustainable economic paradigm.

Currently .. There is currently a robust conversation taking place in China on facilitating the transition into the Third Industrial Revolution. Premier Li Keqiang, who was elected by the 12th National People’s Congress in 2013, is a fan of Jeremy Rifkin

Premier Li told his state scholars to pay close attention to The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World.

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As a corollary, coal is under threat.

On Thursday this week (our time) Reuters reported on the threat to the use of coal, rather than renewable energy, for production.

Reuters said a movement by shareholders is gathering momentum, similar to the movement that saw tobacco outlawed as an investment by many funds.

Reuters reports Storebrand, that manages $74 billion of assets from Norway has sold out of 24 coal and oil sands companies since July this year including Peabody Energy citing it intended to cut its fossil fuel holdings.

The Norwegian fund, the largest of its kind in the world, owns shares in some of the biggest coal producers including a $2 billion holding in BHP Billiton Ltd, the biggest mining company and stakes in Glencore Xstrata Plc, the largest coal exporter, and Anglo American Plc.

Meanwhile future curbs on carbon emissions beyond 2020 may cut valuations on coal assets by as much as 44 %, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.

*“There’s a pretty plausible case that this is the beginning of the end,” Craig Mackenzie, investment director and head of sustainability at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, which manages 145 billion pounds ($233 billion) in assets, said by phone. Scottish Widows divested from pure-play coal producers last year on the prospect that demand for the fuel will continue to wane amid a booming U.S. natural gas market).

The 3rd industrial revolution offerings in Australia

The Third Industrial Revolution includes green energy sources including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, ocean waves, and biomass.

Various listed Australian companies are already part of the Third Industrial Revolution (apart from those in the first stage of the third industrial revolution – the internet and mobile communications companies – now well followed and with a large representation on the ASX (from TLS, TEL, SGT, MTU, TPG down to MKB, SMA and many others).

Those in the next stage of the Third Revolution include:

*Algae.Tec (AEB) which listed on January 13, 2011, has made great progress in developing its technology and signing up significant partners since listing.

While biofuel from algae is not a new technology, and there are several algae to biofuel ventures around the world (including Aurora Algae, that is producing biofuel from the mudflats offshore Karratha – acquired from Aquacarotene a few years ago), growing algae in containers – in any location where there is sufficient sunlight makes growing algae for biofuel using the CO2 from coal fired (or gas fired) generators – is at present unique to Algae.Tec.

It means algae can be grown on location at the coal fired power stations in many countries – reducing their greenhouse footprint and creating biofuel at the same time – which makes the technology exceedingly attractive – offering assessable advantages beyond balance sheet profit and loss numbers.

*BluGlass (BLU) – breakthrough low heat LED technology improving on the manufacturing process for LED lighting, low emission and long life replacement for incandescent bulbs (that are set to be banned altogether in China from 2016).

*Ceramic Fuels (CFU) and its BluGen and other products: Now well established in Europe and the UK, where the cost of the initial unit is heavily subsidised. At a cost of around $30,000, although a few have been installed by Councils they are costly – CFU is moving towards mass production in j/v .

*Carnegie Wave Energy (CWE) – now with first commercial orders – capable of supplying most of Australia’s coastal cities with their entire power needs – as well as desalinated water at zero or very low emission rates.

*Dyesol (DYE) – Building and roof integrated photovoltaic According to industry analyst, NanoMarkets, in their report Building-Integrated Photovoltaics Market – set to grow by over $US5 billion in 2015 from the current $US2.1 billion value – from walls and glass products mostly at the expense of existing solar panels.

*Energy Development – energy from biomass an hydro projects – an Australian pioneer, profitable and dividend paying, now owned 83.94% by Pacific Equity Partners.

*Enerji (ERJ)- Australia’s first listed company for the storage and re-use of heat emitted by manufacturing processes, including turbines.

*Geodynamics (GDY) – hydrothermal energy – has completed the 1 Mwe habanero Pilot Plant Trial on October 7, with the trial result exceeding modelled expected values achieved. Continuous production run in excess of 50 days, better than expected reliability and system stability. The next stage of development for an initial commercial plant is now the focus.

*QHL: Strong upward path for autos/parts for Joint Strike Fighter planes

Quickstep Holdings Ltd CEO Philippe Odouard in his presentation to the AGM reflected on progress during the year and Quickstep’s competitive advantage in automobile manufacture – carbon fibre can reduce weight by a half compared to steel, reducing CO2 emissions, no composite solutions except QHL’s has met all three objectives – low cost, high speed and quality finish. Quickstep’s patented Resin Spray Transfer technology delivers on all three.

Demonstration part has been shipped to and approved by a European luxury car maker with further development with Lamborghini/Audi to reach higher quantities.

QHL’s manufacturing parts are expected to drive sales from 2014 with quotes being discussed.

He also pointed to the Joint Strike Fighter Agreement, where Quickstep continues to meet audit schedules and has been delivering parts for nearly 12 months, on schedule to Northrop Grumman.

*Redflow (RFX) – ZBM Batteries capable of storing large amounts of electricity from sources with variable supply like solar power and wind power, or storing electricity in off peak hours for use in peak hours by large organisations. The first M-class containerised battery system in support of a large solar PV array has been successfully operated at the University of Queensland since the 2nd quarter 2012.

*Silex (SLX) – Silex Systems Ltd CEO and Managing Director Dr Michael Goldsworthy in his address to the AGM said in most recent advancements on the SILEX laser enrichment front, in August GLE submitted a proposal to the US DOE for a possible enrichment facility at Paducah, Kentucky to turn tails inventories into natural uranium – akin to one of the world’s largest uranium mines operating for up to 40 years.

He said Silex has no further development costs or capital investment in the technology, its high value royalty (7/12) is set to perpetuity, it is the only 3rd generation enrichment technology in the world, with nuclear power a long term growth story – set to double over the next two decades. However the short term market (next 2/3 years) is likely to remain depressed due to the impact of the Fukushima event.

He also updated the Solar Systems CPV dish technology and global market opportunities, including the construction of a 1MW solar plant at the Nofa Equestrian resort near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and outlined the current development pipeline. Also Translucent, and Chronologic Technology, with divestment a key focus for Chronologic in 2014.

*Solco (SOO) – a 25 year solar power veteran, that made profits during the solar subsidy incentives scheme and weakened sharply after that, has re-invented itself again, under its dauntless chairman and

major shareholder David Richardson and CEO Anthony Coles (CEO) while rolling out its new “solar power financing” strategy, developing products to serve niche markets.

*Vmoto (VMT) – a maker of electric scooters being manufactured in China with strong uptake in the China market, now with an exclusive distribution agreement in Indonesia.

*Wasabi (WAS) – also focused on waste heat capture and re-use on industrial scale with several Kalina cycle generators installed globally. Wasabi is targeting a capital cost of less than $2.5 m per megawatt (power island only) with a production cost of approximately 1c per kWh.

The strategic objective is to have 25 MWe of power production directly attributable to Wasabi either under construction or in operation by 2015 and maintain that growth rate each year thereafter.

(There are several others companies – all have been Week’s Specials)

Other concepts and products

Meanwhile, technologies are emerging and refining – and ancillary technologies are emerging.

Eg: Car pooling: In the UK, persons seeking to travel to any destination may first look for a fellow traveler in that direction, and take a seat in that car for an agreed price.

*NRG Energy, a US energy (featured in Barron’s, week of November 18 in a bullish report) has a new offering – The Solar Canopy – the solar canopy to complement a full-scale solar installation, incorporating rooftop, ground mount or parking pavilion solutions. It offers shade, shelter, comfort and is a clean, reliable energy source, ties to the electricity grid to offset overall energy costs, customizes to fit beautifully into your architectural design, withstands winds from 90 to 150 mph, model dependent

Also offers option to deliver off-grid power during outages to remote locations and areas of intermittent power supply

It is capable of generating from 2.44 kW to 7.32kW of power, depending on location.

The Solar Canopy is capable of generating solar energy on and off the grid, in all manner of conditions and situations, from use as a carport to emergency shelter and energy generation after a disaster.

Domestic wind power machines.

*Residential wind machines are offered by several, including Swift Wind Turbine and others in Australia – that can also be caged in wire frames totally preventing bird damage and delivers approximatley 1,200 kWh at 5 m/s (11.2 mph) annual average wind spreed or 1,900 kWh at 6 m/s (13.4 mph) annual average wind speed.

The SWIFT Wind Turbine has been designed to be environmentally sustainable. The product produces more energy in its lifetime than is incorporated in the material and processes used to manufacture it, therefore making the turbine ‘harm neutral.’

(Other manufacturers are also available in Australia – no comparison is intended between merits)

*Then there is the blockbuster success of the Tesla electric car – said by various vehicle analysts to be the best car to drive ever, irrespective of its environmental benefits.

Fuel cell powered cars available by 2015 – Toyota

BBC News reports Japanese carmaker Toyota has said it is looking to start commercial sales of fuel cell-powered cars by 2015.

Toyota set the target as it unveiled a concept fuel cell powered car, called the FCV, at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Its cells can be recharged within minutes and it can cover about 500km (300 miles) on a single charge, according to the firm.

Earlier this week, rival Hyundai said it plans to start mass production of such cars as early as next year.

Eco-friendly cars have been the buzzword in the auto industry for some time now. And within that space, fuel cell-powered vehicles are turning out to be the flavour of the season.

There are concerns about a lack of hydrogen filling stations.

And an equally big challenge will be producing them cheaply enough to keep them affordable for buyers.

3D Printing –

enormous potential in an as yet embryonic component of the 3rd Industrial Revolution

As Rifkin describes on the Third Industrial Revolution website, “While the Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) economy allows millions of people to produce their own virtual information and energy, a new digital manufacturing revolution now opens up the possibility of following suit in the production of durable goods. In the new era, everyone can potentially be their own manufacturer as well as their own internet site and power company.

3-D Printers run off a three dimensional product using computer aided design. Software directs the 3-D printer to build successive layers of the product using powder, molten plastic, or metals to create the material scaffolding. The 3-D printer can produce multiple copies just like a photocopy machine. All sorts of goods, from jewelry to mobile phones, auto and aircraft parts, medical implants, and batteries are being “printed out” in what is being termed “additive manufacturing,” distinguishing it from the “subtractive manufacturing,” which involves cutting down and pairing off materials and then attaching them together. 3-D entrepreneurs are particularly bullish about additive manufacturing, because the process requires as little as 10 percent of the raw material expended in traditional manufacturing and uses less energy than conventional factory production, thus greatly reducing the cost.

The energy saved at every step of the digital manufacturing process, from reduction in materials used, to less energy expended in making the product, when applied across the global economy, adds up to a qualitative increase in energy efficiency beyond anything imaginable in the First and Second Industrial Revolutions.

As the new 3-D technology becomes more widespread, on site, just in time customized manufacturing of products will also reduce logistics costs with the possibility of huge energy savings. The cost of transporting products will plummet in the coming decades because an increasing array of goods will be produced locally in thousands of micro-manufacturing plants and transported regionally by trucks powered by green electricity and hydrogen generated on site.

The lateral scaling of the Third Industrial Revolution allows small and medium size enterprises to flourish.

Global companies role in the new economic era, their role will be to coordinate and manage the multiple networks that move commerce and trade across the value chain.

3D Printing in Australia

Although as yet there are no 3D printer listed companies in Australia, there are several in Europe and the US – media reports on Thursday listed 3D Systems, voxeljet (German manufacturer), Stratasys and Exone as among 3D companies that fell slightly, having run up too far too fast.

Organovo, a company that produces human tissues using 3D bioprinting technology is up nearly 400% so far this year.

On November 8 ABC News reported a new program is showing teachers how to build 3D printers and incorporate them into school curriculum.

Quantum Victoria, a science and maths innovation centre funded by the Victorian Government, has just trained its first group of teachers.

The organisation’s Soula Bennett says it’s an exciting development for the education sector.

“This gives students and teachers access to tomorrow’s technology today,” she said.

Ms Bennett says the program will provide classes with endless possibilities.

“For example in a chemistry classroom quite often we’re talking about molecules in three dimensions and we try and get the students to picture it and we show animations,” Mr Alexander said.

“To build that deeper understanding, we can get them to design their own 3D molecular structures.

“They can physically print it out, touch it, hold it, see what it looks like.”

Expert on 3D printing at The University of Melbourne, David Flanders, says 3D printing will soon have a profound impact on many industries.

“This is really going to change manufacturing,” Mr Flanders said.

“We can print high heels… we can do the same with dresses.”

Mr Flanders says manufacturing industries will be able to create better products.

“Take AFL for example, we could make the (Hawthorn) Hawks a better team by taking scans of their feet and custom printing them boots,” he said.

While 3D printing may sound next generation, Mr Flanders says desktop 3D printers can now be purchased for less than $1,000 and easily operated in the family home.

3D printing hype is overdone – Nomura

Nomura research in a November report said market hype on the possibilities in 3D printing is overdone, with volume growth likely to be limited in the long run.

“We think recent market optimism about the “Third Industrial Revolution” potential of 3D printing is overdone, given uncertain growth potential in the consumer market, limited pragmatic applications and a lack of mass production ability.

“We do not expect 3D printing to garner a meaningful share of the global manufacturing industry in the near term with the total market size of 3D printing, as per Wohlers Associates, estimated to grow to $US6 billion by 2017 from $US2 billion in 2012, largely falling short of the conventional manufacturing space of around $US93 billion.

We define the addressable market for the 3D printing market as raw material consumables, printing systems and 3D printing services within the major supply chain, while the key target customer base comprises industrial customers and individual consumers.

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Finally, could the FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION be when most education and medical aid is delivered remotely, to a person/parent in their own residence or place of choosing?

It seems to be a logical progression – it will truly level the playing field for all the inhabitants of our planet, bringing knowledge to all who want it – at enormous cost savings to every nation and every tax payer – truly enabling a global economy – one planet, one people.

It does not seem to be that far away ..

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One Response to “Third Industrial Revolution”

  1. john waller

    Before you jump on the Third Industiral Revolution bandwagon,here’s a story you might be interested in.This couple in pennsylvainia are
    angry at their neighbor for putting solar panels on
    his roof.Seems that reflective sunlight(glare)from
    the panels is going into the couple’s home,causing
    them discomfort from blinding glare.Even part of their lawn got burnt.I’ve seen two other stories
    similiar to this.Now what do you think is going to
    happen when thousands of people start putting solar panels on their roofs and the blinding solar
    glare from the panels gets reflected into their
    neighbor’s homes?So why isn’t Rifkin speaking
    out on this?Why isn’t Rifkin taking legal action to
    force companies to come out with solar panels that don’t produce reflective glare?I thought the
    Foundation on Economic Trends’s mission was to
    examine trends in science and technology and their impact on the enviorment,economy,culture & society.Seems to me that Rifkin’s violating his
    own cause.People better think twice before they
    let Rifkin talk them into doing anything they’ll
    later regret.

    Reply

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