What will the future sustainable world look like? That is the big question, now that the global transition towards sustainable energy is gaining momentum. For the growth of sustainable energy involves a lot more changes than just the color of the power supplied to our homes. How will we build, how will our mobility be impacted, and will energy, one day, be free? Just like the Internet turned out to have an unforeseen influence on all kinds of industries, from music to taxi businesses, the transition towards sustainable energy will also rise beyond the energy sector. And with a much wider impact than is now assumed. But we know surprisingly little about what that world will look like, and how the people in it will live, work and move around. Expectations are that, by the 2050s, two-thirds of the electricity generated globally will be sustainable.
The Netherlands is ambitious too. But what kind of world are we heading for, really, with all these sustainable measures? In partial areas, the future is clear: a massive stop to the use of gas, lots of windmills and solar panels, and perhaps a self-driving car outside. But, for now, there is no wider vision of what the sustainable new world will look like. What will the world be like once energy has become practically free? What will the impact of the transition towards sustainable energy be on the balance of power in the world?
A journey along places where the sustainable future is already (nearly) visible. In China, for example, old collapsed coal mines are given a new destination as solar parks. In Denmark, the power plants of the future also serve as skiing slopes. And in Malmö, Sweden, new leases are signed with green fingers.
Original title: Voorbij de groene horizon
With: Bjarke Ingels (architect, BIG Copenhagen), Peggy Liu (green pioneer JUCCCE Shanghai) and Varun Sivaram (author ‘Taming the Sun’ and expert clean energy technology Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC).
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2018.
© VPRO Backlight October 2018
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Director: Martijn Kieft
Research:William de Bruijn
Camera: Jacko van´t Hof, Hans Bouma, Remco Bikkers
Sound: Cloud Wang, Mark Witte, Dennis Kersten
Fixer China: Liyan Ma
Edit: Michiel Hazebroek, Jeroen van den Berk
Online Editor: Sanne Stevens
Production: Jeroen Beumer
Commissioning Editors: Marije Meerman, Doke Romeijn
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.