The Third Industrial Revolution
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The Third Industrial Revolution is based upon 5 Pillars:
The five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution were conceived by Jeremy Rifkin and described in his New York Times Best Selling Book, The Third Industrial Revolution, published in 2011.
First and Second Industrial Revolutions 
The introduction of steam-powered technology into printing transformed the medium into the primary communication tool to manage the First Industrial Revolution. The steam printing machine with rollers, and later the rotary press and linotype, greatly increased the speed of printing and significantly reduced the cost. Print material, in the form of newspapers, magazines, and books, proliferated in America and Europe, encouraging mass literacy for the first time in history. The advent of public schooling on both continents between the 1830s and 1890s created a print-literate workforce to organize the complex operations of a coal-powered, steam-driven rail and factory economy.
In the 1900s (decade), electrical communication converged with the oil-powered internal combustion engine, giving rise to the Second Industrial Revolution. The electrification of factories ushered in the era of mass-produced manufactured goods, the most important being the automobile. Henry Ford began to mass-produce his gasoline-powered Model T car, altering the spatial and temporal dynamic of society. Virtually over night, millions of people began to trade in their horses and buggies for automobiles. To meet the increased demand for fuel, the nascent oil industry revved up exploration and drilling, making the United States the leading oil producer in the world. Within two decades, cement highways were laid out across vast stretches of the American landscape and American families began relocating in new suburban communities that only a few years earlier were isolated rural hamlets. Thousands of miles of telephone lines were installed, and later radio and television were introduced, recasting social life and creating a communication grid to manage and market the far-flung activities of the oil economy and auto age.
The theory argues that conjoining Internet communication technology and renewable energies is giving rise to a Third Industrial Revolution. The creation of a renewable energy regime, loaded by buildings, partially stored in the form of hydrogen, distributed via an energy internet—a smart intergrid—and connected to plug in zero emission transport, opens the door to a Third Industrial Revolution. The entire system is interactive, integrated and seamless. This interconnectedness is creating whole new opportunities for cross-industry relationships. The Third Industrial Revolution brings with it a new era of “distributed capitalism” in which millions of existing and new businesses and homeowners become energy players. In the process, it will create millions of green jobs, jump start a new technology revolution, and dramatically increase productivity, as well as mitigate climate change.
Five pillars 
The five pillars of the politically defined, so-called, Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure are:
- Shifting to Renewable Energy: Renewable forms of energy— solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, ocean waves, and biomass— make up the first of the five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution. While these energies still account for a small percentage of the global energy mix, they are growing rapidly as governments mandate targets and benchmarks for their widespread introduction into the market in spite of an almost total absence of cost-effectiveness or broad applicability, and their falling costs (due almost entirely to government tax-funding to hide costs) make them increasingly competitive in a political environment focused on believing in GREEN.
- Buildings as Power Plants: New technological breakthroughs make it possible, for the first time, to design and construct buildings that create all of their own energy from locally available renewable energy sources, allowing us to reconceptualize the future of buildings as “power plants”. The commercial and economic implications are vast and far reaching for the real estate industry and, for that matter, Europe and the world. In 25 years from now, millions of buildings – homes, offices, shopping malls, industrial and technology parks – will be constructed to serve as both “power plants” and habitats. These buildings will collect and generate energy locally from the sun, wind, garbage, agricultural and forestry waste, ocean waves and tides, hydro and geothermal– enough energy to provide for their own power needs as well as surplus energy that can be shared.
- Deploying Hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies. To maximize renewable energy and to minimize cost it will be necessary to develop storage methods that facilitate the conversion of intermittent supplies of these energy sources into reliable assets. Batteries, differentiated water pumping, and other media, can provide limited storage capacity. There is, however, one storage medium that is widely available and can be relatively efficient. Hydrogen is the universal medium that “stores” all forms of renewable energy to assure that a stable and reliable supply is available for power generation and, equally important, for transport.
- Using Internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an energy sharing intergrid that acts just like the Internet. The reconfiguration of the world's power grid, along the lines of the internet, allowing businesses and homeowners to produce their own energy and share it with each other, is just now being tested by power companies in Europe. The new smart grids or intergrids will revolutionize the way electricity is produced and delivered. Millions of existing and new buildings—homes, offices, factories—will be converted or built to serve as “positive power plants” that can capture local renewable energy—solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydro, and ocean waves—to create electricity to power the buildings, while sharing the surplus power with others across smart intergrids, just like we now produce our own information and share it with each other across the Internet.
- Transitioning the transport fleet to electric, plug in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell electricity on a smart continental interactive power grid. The electricity we produce in our buildings from renewable energy will also be used to power electric plug-in cars or to create hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles. The electric plug in vehicles, in turn, will also serve as portable power plants that can sell electricity back to the main grid.
If these five pillars were capable of delivering on the "promises", they would make up an indivisible technological platform—an emergent system whose properties and functions are qualitatively different from the sum of its parts. In other words, the synergies between the pillars create a new economic paradigm that can transform the world.
3-D Printing in the Third Industrial Revolution 
While the Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) economy allows millions of people to produce their own virtual information and energy, a new digital manufacturing revolution now opens up the possibility of following suit in the production of durable goods. In the new era, everyone can potentially be their own manufacturer as well as their own internet site and power company. The process is called 3-D printing.
3-D Printers run off a three dimensional product using computer aided design, software directs the 3-D printer to build successive layers of the product using powder, molten plastic, or metals to create the material scaffolding. The 3-D printer can produce multiple copies just like a photocopy machine. All sorts of goods, from jewelry to mobile phones, auto and aircraft parts, medical implants, and batteries are being “printed out” in what is being termed “additive manufacturing,” distinguishing it from the “subtractive manufacturing,” which involves cutting down and pairing off materials and then attaching them together. 3-D entrepreneurs are particularly bullish about additive manufacturing, because the process requires as little as 10 percent of the raw material expended in traditional manufacturing and uses less energy than conventional factory production, thus greatly reducing the cost.
The energy saved at every step of the digital manufacturing process, from reduction in materials used, to less energy expended in making the product, when applied across the global economy, adds up to a qualitative increase in energy efficiency beyond anything imaginable in the First and Second Industrial Revolutions.
The democratization of manufacturing is being accompanied by the tumbling costs of marketing. Because of the centralized nature of the communication technologies of the first and second industrial revolutions—newspapers, magazines, radio, and television—marketing costs were high and favored giant firms who could afford to devote substantial funds to market their products and services. The internet has transformed marketing from a significant expense to a negligible cost, allowing start ups and small and medium size enterprises to market their goods and services on internet sites that stretch over virtual space, enabling them to compete and even out compete many of the giant business enterprises of the 21st century.
As the new 3-D technology becomes more widespread, on site, just in time customized manufacturing of products will also reduce logistics costs with the possibility of huge energy savings. The cost of transporting products will plummet in the coming decades because an increasing array of goods will be produced locally in thousands of micro-manufacturing plants and transported regionally by trucks powered by green electricity and hydrogen generated on site.
The lateral scaling of the Third Industrial Revolution allows small and medium size enterprises to flourish. Still, global companies will not disappear. Rather, they will increasingly metamorphose from primary producers and distributors to aggregators. In the new economic era, their role will be to coordinate and manage the multiple networks that move commerce and trade across the value chain.
Implementing the Third Industrial Revolution 
European Union 
On May 29, 2012, the European Commission held a conference in Brussels with the theme, "Mission Growth: Europe At The Lead Of The New Industrial Revolution." Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Antonio Tajani, Vice President and Minister of Industry and Entrepreneurship, co-hosted the summit. Vice President Tajani called for a comprehensive Third Industrial Revolution economic agenda to regrow the European economy and create an integrated European single market. In his speech, Vice President Tajani said, "Today is a good day for all of us, because today is the beginning of the Third Industrial Revolution. Now the European conversation will go beyond austerity, straight to creating growth and jobs in Europe. My slogan is: 'Without a new industrial policy, no growth, no jobs.'" He continued by saying that "the first industrial revolution was the revolution of coal and steam, the second was the oil one. This Third Industrial Revolution is the internet of energy and is not only about energy. It involves many key sectors, from raw materials, to manufacturing, services, construction, transport, Information Technologies and even chemistry." Finally he went on to say, "Because its energy sources are distributed and not centralized, and therefore scale laterally and not centrally, [The Third Industrial Revolution] is the ideal playground for SMEs.... our 2020 strategy puts us on the right path but we must now accelerate and put more resources on growth, and this must be based on sustainability, testing the edge of our technological frontiers."
In January 2008 the European Commission proposed binding legislation to implement the 20-20-20 targets. This ‘climate and energy package’ was agreed by the European Parliament (EP) and Council in December 2008 and became law in June 2009. Europe is leading the way to the Third Industrial Revolution through mandating a cut of 20% of emissions of greenhouse gases, compared with 1990 levels, moving toward a 20% increase in the share of renewables in the energy mix, and cutting energy consumption by 20%, all by 2020. The 27 EU member states are making every effort to ensure that the remaining stock of fossil fuels is used more efficiently and are experimenting with clean energy technologies to limit carbon dioxide emissions in the burning of conventional fuels.
In Brussels, February 1, 2010, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, chaired by Jo Leinen MEP, and representatives of the five major political groups in the EP joined today with Europe’s main associations representing small and medium-sized companies (UEAPME), consumers’ interests (BEUC), cooperatives(Cooperatives Europe) and the Foundation on Economic Trends in a call for a “Third Industrial Revolution” ahead of the European Council’s summit devoted to energy. The European Parliament will forward a declaration to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, requesting a comprehensive legislative plan with adequate means to implement the “Third Industrial Revolution” energy strategy across Member States. The plan also focuses on the shift to a new economic paradigm for the next stage of European integration.
United Kingdom 
Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne publicly endorsed the need for a Third Industrial Revolution. He constructed a framework for the UK in the "The White Paper for Energy Market Reform." The White Paper components includes a Carbon Price Floor (announced in Budget 2011) in an effort to reduce investor uncertainty, putting a fair price on carbon and providing a stronger incentive to invest in low-carbon generation now. It also includes the introduction of new long-term contracts (Feed-in Tariff with Contracts for Difference) to provide stable financial incentives to invest in all forms of low-carbon electricity generation. Also in the White Paper is an Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) set at 450g CO2/kWh to reinforce the requirement that no new coal-fired power stations are built without carbon capture and storage systems, but also to ensure necessary short-term investment in gas can take place. Chris Huhne also includes a Capacity Mechanism, including demand response as well as generation, which is needed to ensure future security of electricity supply.
On June 6, 2010, the "Utrecht2040: Entrepreneurship with New Energy" conference was held, bringing together decision makers from business, including the national energy companies, construction companies and engineering firms, the Utrecht knowledge institutions and government. The Urecht Energy Master Plan was implemented to incorporate the pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution into action steps. Utrecht is one of the fastest growing areas in the Netherlands, as well as all of Europe, and is spearheading the European Union's transition toward biosphere politics, and the shift away from geopolitics. The goal is to implement the pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution to replenish and rejuvenate the earth for generations to come.
On January 24, 2011, the CGIL conference was held in Rome, Italy. The event was organized by TIRES, which is the Third Industrial Revolution European Society. For the first time ever, all the forces of business, those representing the capital and those that represent the work, are united in the same battle for a new energy model that will create jobs and new business opportunities for companies in the area, innovative training for workers, and applied research opportunities for original research organizations. Topics included the discussion about new labor opportunities that will develop and become essential in the new post-carbon society.
In 2009, San Antonio had already taken significant first steps toward a new era of sustainability. The City of San Antonio’s “Mission Verde” and the CPS Energy’s “Vision 2020” both emphasize specific actions that the community has taken to transition into the Third Industrial Revolution. Green jobs and adequate financing mechanisms are among the challenges being addressed by the City’s Mission Verde plan. And CPS Energy has already embraced the need for a more energy-efficient economy that is increasingly powered by renewable energy and other clean energy technologies. These actions, coupled with the insights and ideas that emerged from the April 2009 workshop on sustainability (convened by the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy) provide the groundwork for specifying how the vision of a Third Industrial Revolution might be applied to the specific conditions and constraints faced by the city of San Antonio.
On September 6, 2012, President Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered a speech at the Nazarbayev University indicating the need for a Third Industrial Revolution and an energy internet. In 2013, Kazakhstan contracted Jeremy Rifkin and his team to help steward the emerging Central Asian country into a Third Industrial revolution infrastructure as well as helping with the planning of Expo 2017 currently titled, "Energy Expo 2017."
Although there are no plans currently in place to adopt a Third Industrial Revolution, Premier Li Keqiang, who was elected by the 12th National People's Congress in 2013, is a fan of Jeremy Rifkin. Premier Li told his state scholars to pay close attention to The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World.
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- The Economist: The Third Industrial Revolution - The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made, and change the politics of jobs
- Stakeholders urge EU institutions to support the “Third Industrial Revolution”
- EU PARLIAMENT DECLARATION ON ENERGY AND THE ECONOMY
- European Energy Review
- Europe's New Energy Era
- Europe's Financing of the Third Industrial Revolution
- Making Europe’s Buildings Efficient
- How The European Union is Preparing the "Third Industrial Revolution" With an Innovative Energy Pollicy
- European Council: "Post Carbon Economy Requires Third Industrial Revolution"
- Britain Will Speed Up Switch To Renewable Energy
- Climate secretary unveils a package of far-reaching reforms in the biggest shake-up of the electricity market since privatisation
- White Paper will deliver “cleaner, greener” energy, say Huhne
- Utrecht Master Plan, Road Map to a Third Industrial Revolution
- CGIL Conference: The Shift to a Third Industrial Revolution
- Rome's Energy Master Plan: Transfer Rome into the World's First Post-Carbon Biosphere City
- San Antonio: Leading the Way Forward to the Third Industrial Revolution
- San Antonio, Texas, Energy Plans for 2020
- San Antonio Positioning to be at the Forefront of New Energy Economy in U.S
- San Antonio To Build One of World's Largest Solar Farms
- Positive Power Building- The Masdar Headquarters
- Positive Power Building- France
- Personalizing Energy as Part of Achieving Positive Energy Buildings