THE BIG PROBLEM
Throughout the history of mankind science has helped us transform our world into a better place to live and thrive. All our activities today are the result of scientific achievements and innovations of the past. But along with the better quality of living for many people in developed countries, our modern world is facing externalities associated with human activities and technologies of the previous century.
For the last 100 years we have been excessively relying on burning fossil fuels to satisfy our needs for energy, heat, clean water and food. Human activities are driving up the earth’s temperature and fundamentally changing our world. All that dependence on fossil fuels has created the greatest environmental challenge that we have ever faced – the climate change. The main cause of this challenge is associated with gases in the atmosphere, such as Carbon Dioxide, that create a so-called “greenhouse effect”. Burning of fossil fuels have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution[i]. Such a rapid increase of pollutants in the atmosphere has been warming our planet at an alarming rate as atmospheric carbon dioxide has reached a level of 400 particles per million, something that hasn’t happened for hundreds of thousands of years[ii].
Consequences of climate change are vividly affecting our lives and the life of our planet. Melting ice in Antarctica causes sea levels to rise flooding coastal regions across the glove; heat waves, forest fires and droughts are becoming more frequent; smog in the air of populated cities contributes to long-term health problems such as cancer[iii].
Less dramatic but nonetheless a significant problem is associated with worldwide reserves of fossil fuels. As supply of fossil fuels such as gas, oil, and coal is finite and unsustainable while global consumption and demand are constantly on the rise, the world will run out of all their reserves within this century, in particular, oil by 2050, gas by 2060, and coal by 2090.[iv] Also, it gets harder and more expensive to extract every next barrel of oil as drilling farther down the ground requires more time, money and effort, at some point, it becomes too difficult and expensive to extract more. Extracting, refining and supplying fossil fuels requires amounts of capital that many investors are unwilling to provide. As of 2018, nearly 1,000 institutional investors with $6.24 trillion in assets have pledged to cease investing in fossil fuel assets and are committed to divest from fossil fuels whatsoever.[v] Moreover, over 100 globally significant financial institutions have divested from thermal coal, including 40% of the top 40 global banks and 20 globally significant insurers.[vi]
Current consequences and externalities of climate change and projected scarcity and cost of using fossil fuels as the main source of energy are all driving public opinion into one universal trend – the majority of people in developed countries want to see fewer fossil fuels and more clean, renewable energy. Many polls, across a range of different research agencies, measure public concern about climate change and its rising short and long-term damages to us as a species that climate campaigners and scientists have been pointing out for decades[vii].
However, with all the evidence towards impossibility to continue our reliance on fossil fuels as the main source of energy and effects of climate change on our planet, the alternatives are still not being widely accepted or invested in and the problem persists. Wind and solar being the main alternatives have overcome numerous barriers to become competitive with oil and gas in the last few years but are still facing major obstacles in the energy industry. Being relatively new, these renewable energy technologies have to go through obstacles that are obviously inherent to any innovations and novelties, however, many problems are associated with government’s bureaucratic regulatory framework and control of the marketplace that put spokes into wheels of implementation of these technologies. The fossil fuel industry is a multi-billion-dollar association of several corporate giants such as ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell that hold economic and political power and influence in many countries. This power and influence allow them to maintain an oversized presence at global discussions related to climate change and renewable energy working to undermine scientific consensus and slow policy progress. Discussions and serious concerns about climate change were around since as early as 1970s, so for several decades the fossil fuel industry players have been successfully influencing opinions and sewing doubt about climate change and renewable energy benefits among people. Their influence, especially on governmental level, has been diverting capital through direct subsidies, tax breaks, and other incentives and loopholes on mining and drilling farther and deeper while disregarding current and future consequences and externalities. This situation has created disconnect between science and policy which means that the renewable energy industry has not been entering an equal playing field to compete with the fossil fuel industry.[viii]
The growing global consensus over seriousness of climate change has led to the conclusion of the international climate agreement in Paris in December 2015 that served as a momentum for governments to implement policies for renewable energy development and educate people about potential consequences if this problem keeps being ignored[ix].
Renewable energy solutions hold great promise for addressing climate change challenges and meeting energy needs, especially for developing countries where a lot of remote areas still do not have access to stable supply of electricity. These solutions vary widely in its technical and natural characteristics. Some are proven and established like solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy, some are still emerging and earning their credibility like biomass, hydrogen, electromagnetic energy and other forms that are naturally replenishing and can be used to generate electricity and heat. Most of the scientific research studying energy aspects of sustainable development has addressed the need to facilitate implementation of renewable energy solutions and move away from high-carbon emissions, and while renewable energy sources are abundantly available in almost all parts of the world, their implementation is not rapidly facilitated due to the established market for consumption of fossil fuels, high costs of installation of solar panels, wind turbines, and other devices, and just recently, strict governmental laws and regulations. The overall situation is gradually changing, however, economic, social, and legal barriers that prevent renewable energy solutions reaching their potential may be the main reason why this shift is happening slower than would be indicated by the serious environmental crisis that may be approaching.
Despite existing legal regimes and economic impediments, implementation of various renewable energy solutions has never been as widely spoken and adopted as it is now. Governments of most countries work closely together to encourage public and private institutions find and develop better and cleaner ways of generating energy. Many countries, especially in Western Europe, are developing and adapting environmental policies directed to future regulations, solutions which may seem either financially and technically infeasible or not realistic at all today. For example, Norway was the first country in the world to propose a complete ban on all gasoline cars by 2025, Germany has committed to do the same by 2050 even though its economy heavily depends on the automotive industry[x]. Another example is the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of over 80 countries and organizations working on finding solutions to phase out existing traditional coal power by 2030[xi]. These examples demonstrate a clear path the world governments are choosing to take to avoid deterioration of climate change consequences and force companies and people invent and develop newer solutions to redirect evolution of our civilization towards low-carbon and more environmentally friendly future.
The competitive advantage of Infinity SAV lies in our ability to think outside the box. The capacity of our intellectual property and experience, our R&D capabilities, and execution strategies are expected to serve a solid platform to take the opportunity of addressing the environmental challenges of our time. If utilized and implemented globally, we at Infinity SAV, believe that the revolutionary nature of our technologies is not only going to battle the big problem of climate changem but will also be able to gradually shape the energy market and perception of truly sustainable renewable ways of generating energy. Each of our technologies has come a long way from being just an idea to a series of prototypes, and some, to a production model. As an R&D company, we take an engineering approach to development of each of our inventions, meaning that devices we build are not meant to be just a proof-of-concept mechanisms, our goal is to present solutions that have successfully passed all technical requirements and are ready for global commercialization. This is why research and development activities will remain the primary focus of our company.
Since the dawn of time, everything new had been disruptive to everything old, civilization had to go a long way from invention of the first wheel to sending a man to the Moon. Along the way, scientists and inventors from all of the world had been creating newer and more efficient ways to transform our world into a better place we live in today. Just like the telegraph has revolutionized long-distance communication and replaced semaphore, television has transformed the way we receive information and replaced radio, combustion engine and motor vehicles brought enormous possibilities for long-distance haulage and replaced working animal, renewable energy technologies like ours will eventually drive out the old ways we generate energy and replace fossil fuels. History has shown that scientific advancements and technological progress cannot be stopped, no matter what economic benefits current solutions bring and what weapons conservative and political powers use in order to interfere with the insuperable process of change. After all, science is what defies who we are as species and how we manage to evolve beyond primitive pursuit for power and comfort. But science alone did not allow humans to benefit from technological innovations. Our aspiration for discovering and comprehending the unknown is what has always been a peculiarity of our species, we were never afraid of difficulties and even threat of death when it comes to unraveling the mysteries of our world. How many people must have vanished trying to discover new continents and islands several centuries ago? How many must have died from radioactive poisoning before we learned how to tame nuclear power? And now we are preparing to send humans to Mars. No matter how ridiculous and illogical our actions seem, it is our species that has been dominating this planet for the last several hundred thousand of years.
Today, our technologies seem too good to be true for many people, partially because many were taught to think that we already know enough to conclude impossibility of a certain event, and partially due to complexity and constant failures many had to endure while trying to prove a hypothesis of their existence. Just like everyone believed that humans are too heavy to fly until Wright brothers just did it, we are ready to show to the world that there are so many scientific discoveries behind our technologies humans are yet to make. And once our products start penetrating the market, all doubts will be finally cleared and a new era of energy generation will begin.