Big savings are available to companies that look beyond their utility bills and understand the broader economic costs of their water consumption. A McKinsey Quarterly Energy, Resources, Materials article.
Five catalysts can reignite the US economy—opportunities in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development can add hundreds of billions of dollars to annual GDP and create millions of new jobs by 2020.
Each game-changing technology could affect hundreds of millions of people, create hundreds of billions of dollars a year in economic value, and reconfigure large sectors of the global economy, write James Manyika and Michael Chui in Foreign Affairs.
Advances in battery technology have the potential to shape global demand for fossil fuels, increase the use of renewables in the electric grid, and bring reliable electric power to millions of the world’s poorest.
The “next big thing” lists are a well-worn staple of technology analysts and consultants, typically delivered just before the calendar turns to a new year.
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the consulting firm, delivers a twist on the art form, and the difference is more than the timing. The 154-page report not only selects a dozen “disruptive” technologies from a candidate list of 100, but also measures their economic impact.
By 2025, the 12 technologies — led by the mobile Internet, the automation of knowledge work, and the Internet of Things — have the potential to deliver economic value of up to $33 trillion a year worldwide, according to the McKinsey researchers.
That would be a sweeping and disruptive effect indeed, since economists project that by 2025 global economic output will be about $100 trillion.
The McKinsey report does include the estimated value of the social benefits of using a more efficient technology, like time saved. Such benefits — known as “consumer surplus” — are not included in conventional measures of economic output. (An example would be the value of time saved by quickly finding answers to questions by using a search engine. Google economists estimate that saving at up to $65 billion annually.)
The estimated range of the impact of the dozen technologies is also quite wide, from $14 trillion to $33 trillion by 2025. That approach, McKinsey researchers say, takes account of the many uncertainties when projecting possible outcomes more than a decade in the future. Two of the 12 technologies identified in the McKinsey report, for example, are “renewable energy” and “advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery.” Energy prices will have a big effect on the measured impact of those technologies — and energy prices can fluctuate widely. Over the last decade, oil prices ranged from a a low near $23 to a high of about $146.
“We’re not in the prediction business, and we’re not in the forecasting business,” said Michael Chui, a principal of the McKinsey Global Institute. “We wanted to show potential, and do that with a quantitative perspective.”
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