Jeremy Rifkin, the Wharton Business School’s economic forecasting
expert and economic and energy advisor to the EU, speaking
in Dublin at the Institute of International and European Affairs
on Monday, 7th April, warned that EU governments and leaders
in business must make critical changes to how they produce
and distribute energy, to combat the looming oil crisis, rising
energy costs and climate change.
Speaking to members of the Institute at an event sponsored
by NTR plc, Mr Rifkin warned that - “To remain dependent of
fossil fuels will have ominous consequences for the future
of human civilisation and the ecosystems of the earth. Every
government needs to explore new energy paths and establish
new economic models with the goal of achieving as close to
zero carbon emissions as possible."
He added - “Pivotal economic changes in world history have
occurred when new energy regimes converge with new communications
regimes. The First Industrial Revolution occurred when coal-powered
steam technology came together with the print press. The Second
Industrial Revolution saw the convergence of first generation
electrical forms of communications - telegraph, telephone,
radio, etc. - with the introduction of oil and the internal
“The creation of a renewable energy regime will herald the
Third Industrial Revolution. We need to envision a future
in which millions of individuals can produce locally-generated
renewable energy – solar, wind, hydro, waves, biomass, etc.
- store that energy in the form of hydrogen and share their
power generation across a Europe-wide intelligent intergrid,
through sophisticated IT systems.
“Just as second generation information systems allow businesses
and individuals to connect with millions of desktop computers
via the Internet, millions of local producers of renewable
energy can potentially produce and share far more distributed
power than the older centralised forms of energy – oil, gas,
coal” - Rifkin concluded.
Brendan Halligan, Chairman of the Institute of International
and European Affairs, welcomed Jeremy Rifkin - “It is an honour
for the Institute of International and European Affairs to
host one of the world's foremost thinkers on future trends
in economics and energy".
Jim Barry, Chief Executive of NTR plc said - “In recent years,
NTR has been focusing on new and innovative renewable energy
solutions and we welcome Jeremy’s thought-provoking views
on the future direction of this industry.”
During his visit to Dublin, Mr Rifkin will be meeting senior
government Ministers. CNN is recording his visit to Dublin.
Institute of International and European Affairs is a policy
research think-tank and forum based in Dublin. It provides
members with early warning of EU policy developments and in-depth
analysis of their implications for Ireland.