2018/09/14: If you want to fight climate change, you want Open Hardware
While these ‘‘dominant designs’’ have made clean energy more competitive with fossil fuels in the near term, they pose a significant risk in the long term: ‘‘technological lock-in.’’ Technological lock-in has been documented across a range of industries in the past—especially in legacy sectors with entrenched incumbent firms and regulatory inertia. Once it sets in, new technologies struggle to achieve commercial traction even if they are superior to existing ones. The warning signs of lock-in are clear across all three fields. Private industry is devoting virtually no investment to the development of next-generation technologies, while making massive bets on the rapid deployment and incremental improvement of existing technologies.
If new solar, wind, and storage technologies are ‘‘locked out,’’ global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could fall well short of those needed to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.