The information economy is a blue-whale economy with its energy uses mostly out of sight. Based on a mid-range estimate, the world’s Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses about 1,500 TWh of electricity annually, equal to all the electric generation of Japan and Germany combined — as much electricity as was used for global illumination in 1985. The ICT ecosystem now approaches 10% of world electricity generation. Or in other energy terms – the zettabyte era already uses about 50% more energy than global aviation.
Manhattan Institute Reports
It has become common wisdom that we are in a “new normal” of low growth in an economy destined to deindustrialize and become increasingly dominated by low-paying service-sector jobs. This outlook is mistaken.
Global forces and technology trends are creating opportunities as well as challenges for American workers. There are an estimated one-half million more jobs available than workers with relevant skills in trades from construction and manufacturing to aviation.
Electric grids have always been vulnerable to natural hazards and malicious physical attacks. Now the U.S. faces a new risk—cyberattacks—that could threaten public safety and greatly disrupt daily life.
Manhattan Institute Paper — The majority of world petroleum trade remains dominated by nation-state companies, often directed by authoritarian regimes that wield energy riches as weapons of influence or intimidation. There has never been a more opportune time for America to capture the geopolitical “soft power” benefits from greater oil production and exports.
Manhattan Institute Policy Paper
Shale 2.0 will thus be data-driven. It will be centered in the United States. And it will be one in which entrepreneurs, especially those skilled in analytics, will create vast wealth and further disrupt oil geopolitics.