Book Review: Clean Disruption of Energy and Transport by Tony Seba

Clean Disruption of Energy and Transport by Tony Seba

Here’s an interesting book that argues that the Clean Energy disruption has already started and will be swift.

We Still Have Years of Oil (Coal, Gas, Uranium) Left

Author Tony Seba says that it’s irrelevant that there is years of fossil fuels left. The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stone. Something better came along (bronze). Likewise the world wide web wasn’t born out of a shortage of paper for books.

He believes Silicon Valley will make Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electricity Utilities and conventional cars obsolete by 2030.

Happening Faster, Getting Cheaper

Sebo postulates that the three prongs, electric vehicles, solar power and autonomous vehicles are pushing each others development and accelerating the disruption.

It took twelve years to reach 50 million laptops, seven years to reach 50 millions smartphones and just two years to reach 50 million tablets

Sebo also believes electric vehicles are subject to Moore’s law, approving at an annual rate of over 40%, that results in compound exponential growth.

Energy and transportation as we know it today will be history by 2030

Large centralised energy is on its way out, being replaced by modular, distributed alternative…

Australians went from hardly any residentail solar to one million installations in about four years

The cost of solar panels dropped by a factor of 154 between 1970 and 2012 ($100/W to $0.65/W). Oil has become 35 times more expensive during the same period, meaning solar has improved price in relation to oil by 5,355 times. 2017 prices are around $0.33/W¹.



Utility scale storage solutions like Solar Salt Batteries have made powering homes 24/7 from sunlight a reality. This change has some cool examples like this one…

…the South Pacific island nation of Tokelau became the first country in the world to go 100 percent solar. Spread over three atolls, Tokelau’s solar PV is stored in battery banks for use at night. Tokelau made the transition from 100 percent powered by diesel to 100 percent powered by solar in less than one year.


while many of us may have our own solar panels now or in the future, wind generation is still more of a utility scale proposition.


Even more impressive when you realise that this book was published in 2014, so already many of the figures quoted have been surpassed.

Home Work

Is it overly optimistic? Here’s an hour long video presentation from Tony Seba on Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation setting out his vision…

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1 Comment on "Book Review: Clean Disruption of Energy and Transport by Tony Seba"

  1. Mark Harrison | May 3, 2018 at 9:39 am |

    Looks interesting – I’ve just ordered it.

    On the “working wherever” thing, it was Francis Maude, the Conservative Minister, (of all people!) who said it best:

    “Work is a thing you do, not a place you go.”

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