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We need to be optimistic about the possibility to change society!

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

But at the same time, we must have realistic expectations. If many believe that the transformation to e-mobility and a sustainable society can be finished by adding small amounts of resources, countries will not be able to mobilize the resources necessary.

NASA would never launch a space craft without the power to leave the atmosphere and particle physicists would never build an accelerator that could not accelerate particles to a high enough speed, but innovation optimists regularly underestimate the resources needed to build sustainable production and distribution systems. Instead of discussing how countries can make enough resources available people build unrealistic expectations about progress.

Most technology developments in the past have been driven by governments through the early stages. There are too few users at the start to support the very large investments needed. This is not pessimistic. Anyone who understands the dynamics of innovation will draw the same conclusion. Governments are the only players that can invest without the need for short-term payback. There are only 0.5 per cent electric cars in the world and the transformation of production to sustainable systems has barely started.

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