• Hans van Mameren

What are the costs?

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

Most known technologies were developed over time and gained a market share and by that also gained “Economy of Scale”.

Many times, when a new technology is pitched, it evokes a common rebut:

“Very nice but what are the costs?” Door closed for the time being.

And for many, something being new is a disadvantage in itself.

Nevertheless, new technologies gain grounds thanks to people who see the potential and acknowledge that “The Costs” are no reason to hold back.

The first desktop computer of IBM was a laughable thing compared to the contemporary smart phone. The first PV panels were inefficient and far too costly. Thanks to those who had vision, these are now the cheapest form of energy generation.

New technologies will improve and become cheaper by investing, supporting and buying them. The only way technology can become cheaper is by creating “Economy of Scale”. The first revenue provides for the liquidity of further improvement. Envision the possibilities of each new technology. Not the “Costs”.

Some technology is desperately needed. Then it needs an extra push. Some call it “Subsidies”. Wrong! it should be called “Investments”. There is an urgent need for new developments. Much of the old technology is already passed its expiry date. Energy generation from fossils being one. It served us well in the past 200 years but now the downsides are becoming visible. Not only climate was damaged. Nature has been damaged by pollution, societies by inequalities, geo-politics by economic differences. Now technicians and scientist need support from politics and governments. Development will come, that is unstoppable. But there is no time to lose.

Transition needs to come faster. The old technology has the advantage that it is cheap. But not when all Externalities are accounted for as well. A very good reason to apply a global wide “Carbon Tax”. Not just by a few countries who are willing or can afford it, but by all. Earth has only one atmosphere and no one should be allowed to spit on it for free. Shipping and aviation have a large share in this. Being in some kind of no man’s land is not an excuse. The proceeds of all these taxes should be used for investments in all the transitions that need to be made. Not only by each country collecting it, but globally for all communities that need to adjust to this new economy.

When sufficient of the bigger parties, either government, corporates or organisations, commit to this change and supports those who do not have sufficient means, a lot can be achieved and quite fast. When the bigger parties do not have the vision for change none will ever reach the green grass on the other side of the river. The green grass will not cross the river, that’s up to the herd.

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