I think this is the first time that I’ve ever written something about technology on this blog. However i think that this innovation has the potential for far-reaching consequences for our society and economic-ecological relations. I think its clear that we’re heading into a depression at the moment, and if we look at past history for precedence there are some very interesting lessons that we can learn. One of them is that of long-waves, which were perhaps best reported by Nikolai Kondratiev, but popularised by Joseph Schumpeter. Interestingly, based on my brief review of this theory, the current economic situation fits perfectly within the long-wave theory, and was even more or less predicted by it. Wierd emergent phenomena. Anyway, the key point here is what Schumpeter called ‘creative destruction’ about how the socio-economy rebuilds itself, how the depressions serve as transtion points to new technologically based socioeconomic modes. One of the primary factors here is the transitions involves energy technologies, and one can actually track changes from woodfuel-based economies, to coal-based economies to oil-based economies. Often the technology required to base these new economies existed before, but simple changes revolutionised their fuel importance.
This new development with Lithium-ion battery technology, well, it strikes me as having the potential to similarly revolutionise our socio-economies. Its really hard to predict whether it will take off, and what the ripple-effects would be, but I think it has alot of potential for the development of electric-vehicles, as well as advancing developments in renewable energy sources such as solar-power. Its also quite difficult to foresee how this might lead to social changes; will it reinforce existing power relations and industry/transport, or will it lead to greater equity and ecological rationality?
Either way, I thought that is potentials are so immense that it deserved mention.