3 Answers

  1. How will the world change if a source of free or very cheap energy is discovered?

    I think it's only going to get worse, and I'll explain why..The more a person frees himself from the labor and effort of obtaining resources for life, the more time he most often uses for evil. I observe this in my small (and not so small) children – if they are not busy with lessons, reading books, drawing, playing with dolls, then they begin to indulge, quarrel with each other, create all sorts of chaos. So I have to force them to spend their time working, studying, reading, doing homework, etc.

  2. The world will change for the better.

    Strongly.

    This will greatly simplify people's access to goods and services, so more people will have access to the benefits of civilization.

  3. If a source of free energy is opened, you will still need it:

    1) store/store, because this source will not be built into every electrical appliance or, for example, every car? And for this, we need batteries, which are still far from cheap…

    2) or transmit over the network, and the network component, depending on the voltage level, is usually from a third to 3/4 of the cost of final energy, that is, the cost reduction will not be so radical everywhere…

    By the way, the sources of free energy can be considered wind, sun and elevation differences in rivers. But to curb this source, you need to invest in a windmill, solar panels or dam-material objects, the cost of which, divided by the received kilowatt-hours, is still high and in most cases (except for hydroelectric power plants) exceeds the cost of traditional generation.�

    Even if we radically reduce the cost of investment in the production, transmission and storage of electricity (we will integrate a free energy source everywhere), the total GDP will increase, the standard of living will increase, but the “golden age” will not come – it will still remain a constraint on the growth of welfare:

    • labor productivity,

    • cost and availability of capital,

    • degree of development of other non-energy technologies,

    • land value and fertility, ecology,

    • the quality of management, including the state, of the tax system (by the way, the entire net income from a radical reduction in the cost of energy can be withdrawn by the state-by increasing VAT and income taxes)…

    Therefore, reducing the cost of energy is good, but having free energy like this, you can't take it and fly with it and thousands of colonists to terraform Mars – you need technologies, materials, capital (investment), knowledge…

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