MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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Filtered by tag: Energy

ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN

Published on: 9 March 2017

A field of daffodils can power a town

Dateline: 8 March 2023

Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors? Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant's own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It's a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato - natural, organic electricity. Except that, in the case of e-plants, ...

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NOW THIS IS REAL PEOPLE POWER!

Published on: 2 February 2017

Under-skin solar powers mobile devices and saves lives

Dateline: 26 August 2023

Remember the days when batteries in mobile phones and other device ran flat every day? A major irritation to be sure, but for critical implanted devices like pacemakers, failing battery power was nothing short of life-threatening. That's what prompted the idea that under-skin solar power-packs could drive such medical devices. Researchers in Switzerland proved the theory after extensive testing, showing that even in low-sunlight areas, and regardless of the season. these power cells could generate ...

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SUMMER'S SUN WILL KEEP YOU WARM IN WINTER

Published on: 26 January 2017 1 Comment

New energy storage system saves summer's heat for winter's chill

Dateline: 25 January 2021

We humans like our comforts, and temperature is one of the most important. In summer, we want our homes and offices to be pleasantly cool, and warm and cozy in winter. We run air conditioners to beat the summer sweat, and light roaring fires to warm our homes in winter. What a waste! What if we could save summer's heat, and release it in winter? Swiss scientists began playing with technology to do just that, back in 2017, and now it's being commercialized. The SunBank system uses summer's sun and ...

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CHINA TRUMPS TRUMP, RUSSIA LOOMS LARGE

Published on: 6 October 2016

Brexit looks benign in the face of new shocks

Dateline: 14 October 2017

Disruption and turbulence are the new normal, as Black and 'Grey' Swans hatch repeatedly. When the British voted to leave the EU, it was a great shock to the global system, and markets reacted in both predictable, and unpredictable ways. While everyone was 'waiting and seeing' which way the wind would blow, Donald Trump became POTUS, sending another shockwave through the world. Within a year, France and Germany saw populism and reactionary forces replace their governing parties, and the EU is ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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MOBILITY AS A SERVICE

Published on: 16 June 2016 5 Comments

Private cars banned in New York and London

Dateline: 17 August 2019

Four years ago, it was proposed that gasoline and diesel vehicles be banned from certain cities and states; but the new trend towards mobility as a service has caused a major re-think. It's not enough to insist on electric vehicles; privately owned cars are just so wasteful. Now it's becoming illegal to own your own car. It takes up too much of the city's resources, parking and charging; and the wasted asset, standing idle while you are not travelling - where's the sense in that? Fleet vehicles can ...

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FUSION'S FATAL FAILURE

Published on: 12 May 2016 4 Comments

Power from nuclear fusion is forever beyond our grasp

Dateline: 12 May 2026

The greatest nuclear fusion experiment, ITER, has been mothballed barely a year after being switched on. "It's unlikely we'll ever achieve ignition," said the project's acting chief scientist, "and without substantial budget increases, it's not worth doing anything else." The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project was begun in 2006, but took almost 20 years to reach completion, to the point where it could be activated. After decades of delays and cost overruns, there was ...

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VINYL CARS MAKE A COMEBACK

Published on: 28 April 2016 3 Comments

Like vinyl records of old, retro automobiles are suddenly back in fashion

Dateline: 28 April 2029

It's been a while since manually driven, gasoline automobiles gave way to electric vehicles with autopilot. Just as horses and buggies gave way to motor cars, the transition wasn't easy, but it was inevitable. And, just as owning a horse became a costly luxury, an expensive hobby for those who truly enjoyed riding, so owning a car, one that you have to fill up with fuel, and drive yourself, has become an anachronistic occupation for those with time and money to spare. In Europe and the Americas, ...

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SOLAR POWER GOES VIRAL

Published on: 10 March 2016 9 Comments

Rooftop, backyard and portable solar is the new meme

Dateline: 15 March 2022

The biggest energy revolution in 150 years has arrived gradually, then suddenly. Now it's here. Personal solar power has displaced central utilities completely for individuals, homes and small businesses. What's more, large businesses and corporate campuses are also contributing to the energy internet, sharing their excess power in slack times, and buying back from the smart grid when they need to. Utility-scale generation has shrunk to essential services only, heavily subsidized by the ...

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CATALYZER CAPTURES CARBON

Published on: 25 February 2016 2 Comments

New process integrates solar power into the hydrocarbon economy

Dateline: 26 February 2026

A new process for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into usable liquid fuel has been commercialized and scaled up. Originally invented ten years ago, the process uses a unique catalyst to bond hydrogen in water with CO2 in the air to form methanol, a useful liquid chemical that can be burned in combustion engines or used to manufacture more complex chemical compounds. The key to making this a viable industry is the low cost of solar power, which is sufficient energy input ...

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PHI STREAMING REINVENTS MOBILE BROADBAND

Published on: 28 January 2016 1 Comment

Vortex based on the golden ratio boosts wireless signals exponentially

Dateline: 27 January 2020

Nature always chooses the path of least resistance. Nature always seeks to optimize available energy, and the golden ratio, phi, is at the heart of the spiral and fractal designs we see everywhere in the natural world. That's because phi maximizes the return on stored energy and minimizes losses and friction. Whether it's growing a lily or building a nautilus shell, or even directing water down the plughole; the golden ratio makes it easiest to accomplish. What works for energy also works for ...

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SOLID HYDROGEN BREAKS THE RULES OF PHYSICS

Published on: 21 January 2016

Hydrogen compressed beyond a liquid into a metallic state is the ultimate super conductor

Dateline: 25 January 2035

Imagine a stable, solid metal that is made of pure hydrogen - the ultimate solid fuel and lightweight material. That is now within our grasp, as scientists perfect a new method of 'growing' hydrogen crystals and nano-wires. Twenty years ago, scientists saw the first signs that achieving metallic hydrogen was possible. By compressing microscopic amounts of hydrogen between two diamonds with massive force, the gas was observed to partially solidify, proving the theory that, with sufficient force, ...

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SUMMER OF SUPER SURPLUS

Published on: 17 December 2015 1 Comment

Commodity prices hit 60-year lows as oil halves

Dateline: 4 July 2016

The world is awash with basic commodities, and for many people, prices have not been so low in living memory. It's back to the 1950's in real terms for resources like coal and iron ore; wheat and corn are dirt cheap too. Fueled by fears of climate change and radical new energy and transport technologies, oil has halved in a year and is now floating around US$ 20 per barrel. Supply continues to exceed demand worldwide, as producers fight for market share. Global electricity prices have continued ...

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SMARTWATCH RUNS ON SUNSHINE

Published on: 16 July 2015 1 Comment

A supercomputer that sits on your wrist and never needs recharging

Dateline: 18 February 2022

It's been seven years since IBM invented 7nm transistor chips, and five years since 3D Universal Memory was launched by Samsung. Since then we've seen personal computers disappear and be replaced by ever smaller, ever smarter mobile devices. Devices that understand you when you speak to them, are connected to the cloud, all the time, respond to your movements and gestures, and recharge themselves while you sleep. That's because the exponential growth of computing power and shrinking size has made ...

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UN DECLARES POVERTY ILLEGAL

Published on: 29 January 2015

Inequality next in the firing line

Dateline: 12 January 2021

The first resolution to come out of the United Nations for the new year is somewhat startling. Poverty has been declared 'illegal'. "A minimum living standard should be regarded as a basic human right," said the secretary general. "In this day and age, governments must ensure that for all their citizens, or step aside and let more competent people govern!" Another item on the agenda is to reduce global inequality, not only within nation states, an increasingly archaic concept, but also between top ...

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COLLAPSE OF RUBLE THWARTS RUSSIA’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS

Published on: 22 January 2015 1 Comment

Putin blames oil price for Russia's cash crunch

Dateline: 5 January 2017

The oil price plunge could not have come at a worse time for Russia. Just as Putin was flexing his muscles, taking back Crimea and calling the shots over gas deliveries, the value of Russia's major export commodities collapsed. As oil more than halved in value, demand for Russia's inexhaustible natural gas also dried up. Sanctions against Russia's involvement in Ukraine were helping EU states to turn to cheap Saudi oil instead. The ruble took an immediate pounding as Russian oligarchs sought to ...

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THE NEW COLD WAR INTENSIFIES

Published on: 11 December 2014

Business in the firing line as governments spar

Dateline: 2 April 2015

Forget about McDonald's trying to outperform KFC or Coca-Cola aiming to increase sales over Pepsi. Those were the days, my friend! Lately, businesses are primarily competing against governments' geopolitical agendas - and then against each other. Let's refer to the best case in point: Russia. Following the Crimean crisis, the 2014 sanctions against Russia and Donetsk have been ratcheted up, but Russia has decided that the party is not nearly merry enough yet. After banning several G20 nations ...

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PEAK OIL IS HORSE MANURE

Published on: 4 December 2014 1 Comment

The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones

Dateline: 20 January 2021

Back in the day, when horse drawn carriages and buggies were the preferred mode of transport for anyone, there was a big fear in Paris, London and New York that there wouldn't be enough stabling for all the horses required in the future, to say nothing of all the manure that was piling up in the streets. Then we invented motor cars, and the problem of peak horse manure disappeared. That's a salutary tale to bear in mind when we talk of peak oil. There will be a time when our consumption of oil ...

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GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64

Published on: 20 November 2014 5 Comments

The mini-boom is on

Dateline: 6 November 2016

Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. This despite the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. What was happening? Some put it down to weak demand and plentiful supply. Although the global economy had stabilized, there was no great appetite for oil at these prices. The United States was also producing more of its own oil and gas, becoming less dependent on the Gulf for ...

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IT'S CHAOTIC AND WE LOVE IT

Published on: 31 July 2014

Digital darwininsm provides innovation opportunities for the bold and nimble

Dateline: 7 July 2024

"Let's go and get us some Randomness today!" That's the corporate battle cry of the new breed of innovators, business mavericks who are not fazed by the complexity or turbulence of the post digital age. "It's crazy out there; isn't it fantastic?" Life, and business, beyond 2020 is chaotic. Digital technology has disrupted every industry in every part of the globe. From robotic mining in Australia, to 3D-printed houses in China, to artificial intelligence accounting in America, precision agriculture ...

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Filtered by tag: Energy