BUKIT LANJAN: Petronas! See the bigger picture of disruptive global hi-tech or ignore at your own peril

Autonomous Cars: The most disruptive innovation ever
BUKIT LANJAN: Petronas! See the bigger picture of disruptive global hi-tech or ignore at your own peril

Petronas is certainly in dire straits as it struggles to maintain or retain its position as Malaysia’s premier cash cow. And it is likely to lose out in its struggle if it does not innovate, diversify and embrace hi-tech.

With depressed world crude oil prices that are already choking or suffocating Petronas’ revenue and profits, the expected global drop in demand for Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)-powered vehicles will hit-the-nail on the head for the oil and gas (O&G) industry .

“Petronas still have the financial might to diversify its business. And it will do well to look into investments into hi-tech operatives directly or indirectly related to O&G,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said international news agency Reuters reported last October that electric cars could dominate roads in wealthy cities by 2030 and “this was a warning alert to O&G and oil-related industries”.

“Is Malaysia heeding the warning or even preparing for such an industry revolution? I don’t see Malaysia doing anything about it, do you?” he asked.

Reuters reported from London that electric vehicles (EVs) could account for two-thirds of all cars on the road by 2030 in wealthy cities such as London and Singapore due to stricter emissions regulation, falling technology costs and more consumer interest, research showed.

EVs are becoming far more common. To help lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions, governments are trying to encourage their uptake through subsidies and tax breaks and introducing low-emissions zones.

Technology costs are also falling rapidly. The cost of a lithium-ion battery pack fell 65 percent in 2015 to around $350 per kilowatt hour, from $1,000/KWh in 2010, and is expected to fall below $100/KWh over the next decade, a report by consultancy McKinsey & Co and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) showed.

"In densely populated, high-income cities like London and Singapore ... electric vehicles could represent as much as 60 percent of all vehicles on the road by 2030, the result of low-emission zones, consumer interest and favourable economics," the report said.

However, the growth of EVs could be a threat to the automotive sector.

"The automotive sector faces a future that could be fundamentally different from its past and may need to consider moving from using a pure product-ownership model toward providing a range of transportation services," the report said.

Gasoline retailers should also be considering further monetization of their current assets and how to get more value from electric charging, the retail market and fleet services.

At a BNEF Future of Energy Summit in London on Tuesday, BP's chief economist Spencer Dale said: "Electric vehicles could take off anytime," as shifts in social preferences cannot be modelled. - Reuters

Disruptive Technology: Energy Storage
Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said online news portal Free Malaysia Today’s report titled ‘What car sales tell us about the economy’ “is only the tip of the iceberg”.

“To look at car sales and the nation’s economy only is looking at a problem from an extreme narrow point of view. We must see the bigger picture to resolve the micro and macro economic problems and performance of Malaysia.

“Even global car manufacturers like Mercedes Benz (read this for context: http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2017/05/bukit-lanjan-scary-but-even-scarier-if.html) is not only concerned with car sales. It is extremely more concerned with what disruptive technology can do to industries,” Syed Razak said.

He said Petronas simply cannot afford to continue operating with a “business as usual” mentality or attitude.

“For Petronas, it is no more about just digging for oil and O&G technology. It has to be realistic and acknowledge that the global demand will continue to shrink.

“It has to innovate and diversify its business in line with embracing global super hi-technological advancement. Ignore at your own peril,” Syed Razak added.

Here are three news reports for you to chew and digest on the car industry and disruptive hi-tech:

"What car sales tell us about the economy

Robin Augustin

| May 13, 2017

An economist says the gap between the rich and poor is widening.

PETALING JAYA: The variation in the recent sales of entry and mid-level cars and luxury cars is indicative of a widening wealth disparity, according to an economist.

“The gap between the haves and have-nots is widening,” said Universiti Tun Abdul Razak lecturer Barjoyai Bardai in a comment on a recent FMT report on the car market.

Last year, despite the economic downturn and some of the worst layoffs the Malaysian job sector had seen in years, Mercedes-Benz and BMW reported record sales while the automotive market as a whole experienced a drop in sales of about 13%.

The good times for Mercedes-Benz and BMW have continued into the first quarter of 2017, with increased sales compared to the same period last year.

“With the cost of living going up and people bracing for a recession expected next year, many are putting off their decision to buy cars,” said Barjoyai. “But this doesn’t apply to the rich. That’s why you can see a discrepancy between the demand for lower and mid-level cars and luxury cars.”

Barjoyai said the rising cost of living had pushed up the threshold of what he called “relative poverty” – the inability to reach a minimum standard of living. He said the threshold, in terms of monthly income per household, would currently be about RM2,350.

He noted a recent statement by the Bumiputra Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) that the 2016 average monthly income of Bumiputeras in the private sector was RM2,213.

Teraju also said that only 75,000 Bumiputeras in the private sector earned RM10,000 or more a month.

According to the Department of Statistics, 21.7 million of Malaysia’s 31.7 million people are Bumiputeras.

“It is important for the government to take measures to address this wealth disparity because, as it widens, it can lead to anxiety and tensions between the rich and poor, and this in turn can lead to social unrest,” Barjoyai said.

He also said extreme income disparities could have a negative impact on health issues.

Referring to the 40% of Malaysian households with a monthly income of RM3,900 or below, which the government refers to as the B40 group, he said it was likely that a large number earned less than RM3,900.

He said the incomes of those in this group would have to be raised to narrow the rich-poor gap, not by asking them to take up second jobs such as driving for ride-sharing services, but by equipping them with “knowledge and tools to increase their capabilities and to enable them to participate in e-commerce, because e-commerce is the future.”

At the same time, he said, efforts must be made to reduce the cost of living, especially in terms of food, clothing and accommodation. - FMT


Politics | May 13, 2017 by | 0 Comments

China, India plans for electric cars threaten to cut gasoline demand

Demand for gasoline in Asia may peak much earlier than expected
millions in China, India buy electric vehicles over next decade
wrenching change for oil industry, oil and auto company executives warn

gasoline will be much less of a cash cow

policy moves in India and China
fast-growing green car market

China alternative fuel vehicles 20% of 35m annual vehicle sales by 2025

India electrifying all vehicles by 2032

driven by legislation so electric cars are coming

Daimler electric vehicles 15%-20% of sales by 2025
additional 10% sales coming from hybrids

gasoline responsible for 45% of refinery output
slowdown or fall in demand will have far reaching implications

choices made by China, India most relevant for future peak in oil demand

carmakers Japan, South Korea sell significant volumes hybrids
fuel efficiency gains will continue to cut gasoline consumption

Asia main driver of future oil demand
China sells > 2m new cars a month
world’s biggest oil consumer
India world’s third-biggest oil importer, ahead of Japan.
> 1/3 of world’s refineries in Asia, up from just 18% in 1990 refiners mostly rely on gasoline consumption for revenue.

My comments : Well actually the amount of energy consumed will be about the same. The Laws of Physics say that whether your car is gasoline powered, electric powered or pulled by horses the same amount of energy will be needed to pull your say 2 ton car from Seremban to Kajang. That equation will never change.

So for electric powered vehicles, instead of putting one tank of gas in your car, someone must now put an extra tank of gas at some power station somewhere to generate the extra electricity that will be needed to charge up the batteries in your new electric cars. You are shifting the burning of fossil fuel from your car’s engine to the power station. More power stations will need to be built.

Considering electricity transmission losses and energy change losses (oil to mechanical to electricity to chemical (vehicle battery) to electricity to mechanical) I dont know how much total energy consumption will be saved.

But for certain the immediate environment will become cleaner because some far away power station is now the source of power for your electric car. No more smoke and oil fumes in the morning.

However electric vehicles are more efficient than gasoline fired vehicles. And they will certainly have less moving parts so the entire landscape of the auto manufacturing industry will change.

Even if there is a 10% drop in gasoline consumption there will be major reductions in oil prices. This is from the demand side.

From the supply side there will be a huge squeeze on margins for oil companies as the cost of production per barrel of shale oil continues to decrease. As it becomes cheaper to produce a barrel of shale oil, oil prices will continue to drop. If the margins are too thin then deep sea drillers will be the first to go kaput. Brazil’s infant oil industry which is deep sea based will be at risk.

Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani famously said, ‘The stone age did not come to an end for a lack of stones.’

Similarly the oil age will not come to an end for a lack of oil.

http://syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.my - Malaysia Chronicle

Courtesy of PublicAffairs

The 12 disruptive tech trends you need to know

Anne VanderMey

Jul 23, 2015

People pay plenty of money for consulting giants to help them figure out which technology trends are fads and which will stick. You could go that route, or get the same thing from the McKinsey Global Institute's in-house think-tank for the cost of a new book. No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends, was written by McKinsey directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, and offers insight into which developments will have the greatest impact on the business world in coming decades. Below, we’re recapping their list of the “Disruptive Dozen”—the technologies the group believes have the greatest potential to remake today’s business landscape.

A Panasonic Corp's lithium-ion battery, which is part of Tesla Motor Inc's Model S and Model X battery packs. November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya ShinoPhotograph by Yuya Shino — Reuters
Energy storage

The book's authors predict that the price of lithium-ion battery packs could fall by a third in the next 10 years, which will have a big impact on not only electric cars, but renewable energy storage. There will be major repercussions for the transportation, power generation, and the oil and gas industries as batteries grow cheaper and more efficient.

DNA TestPhotograph by Getty Images


As super computers make the enormously complicated process of genetic analysis much simpler, the authors foresee a world in which “genomic-based diagnoses and treatments will extend patients’ lives by between six months and two years in 2025." Sequencing systems could eventually become so commonplace that doctors will have them on their desktops.

The concentration of nano titanium dioxide, a common whitener, is greater than 10% in certain powdered doughnuts, according to a 2012 study. The nanomaterial is widely used in candies, sweets, and chewing gum.Photograph by Sam Kaplan for Fortune

Advanced materials

The ability to manipulate existing materials on a molecular level has already enabled advances in products like sunglasses, bike frames, and medical equipment. Scientists have greater control than ever over nanomaterials in a variety of substances, and their understanding is growing. Health concerns recently prompted Dunkin' Donuts to remove nanomaterials from their food. But certain advanced nanomaterials show promise for improving health, and even treating cancer. Coming soon: materials that are self-healing, self-cleaning, and that remember their original shape even if they’re bent.

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 autonomous driving automobile.Photograph by David Becker — Getty Images

Autonomous vehicles
Autonomous cars are coming, and fast. By 2025, the “driverless revolution” could already be “well underway,” the authors write. All the more so if laws and regulations in the U.S. can adapt to keep up. Case in point: Some BMW cars already park themselves.

Solar panels stand at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near Primm, Nevada, U.S., on Monday, March 10, 2014. The 392-megawatt California Ivanpah plant developed by Google, NRG and Bright Source, which began operating in February, brings utility-scale solar to more than 5.5 gigawatts, up 1,089% since 2010. Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesPhotograph by Jacob Kepler — Bloomberg via Getty Images
Renewable energy

Wind and solar have never really been competitive with fossil fuels, but McKinsey predicts that status quo will change thanks to technology that enables wider use and better energy storage. In the last decade, the cost of solar energy has already fallen by a factor of 10, and the International Energy Agency predicts that the sun could surpass fossil fuels to become the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050.

The capabilities of the Atlas robot are demonstrated during a demo at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph by Ann Hermes — AP
Advanced robotics

The robots are coming! “Sales of industrial robots grew by 170% in just two years between 2009 and 2011,” the authors write, adding that the industry’s annual revenues are expected to exceed $40 billion by 2020. As robots get cheaper, more dexterous, and safer to use, they'll continue to grow as an appealing substitute for human labor in fields like manufacturing, maintenance, cleaning, and surgery.

A bust of Star Wars film character Yoda is seen printed on a portable 3D printer during the Pravega 2014 science and technology festival at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore on January 31, 2014. The inaugural event, aimed at celebrating science and innvation with fun, will be held annually. AFP PHOTO/Manjunath KIRAN (Photo credit should read Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images)Photograph by Manjunath Kiran — AFP/Getty Images
3D printing

Much-hyped additive manufacturing has yet to replace traditional manufacturing technologies, but that could change as systems get cheaper and smarter. “In the future, 3D printing could redefine the sale and distribution of physical goods,” the authors say. Think buying an electric blueprint of a shoe, then going home and printing it out. The book notes that “the manufacturing process will ‘democratize’ as consumers and entrepreneurs start to print their own products."

A woman uses a smartphone to take a photo of the White House lightened in the rainbow colors in Washington on June 26. 2015. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)Photograph by Mladen Antonov — AFP/Getty Images
Mobile internet

The explosion of mobile apps has dramatically changed our personal experiences (goodbye hookup bars, hello Tinder), as well as our professional lives. More than two thirds of people on earth have access to a mobile phone, and another two or three billion people are likely to gain access over the coming decade. The result: internet-related expenditures outpace even agriculture and energy, and will only continue to grow.

Photograph by Andrew Spear — The Washington Post/Getty Images
Automation of knowledge work

It’s not just manufacturing jobs that will be largely replaced by robots and 3D printers. Dobbs, Manyika, and Woetzel report that by 2025, computers could do the work of 140 million knowledge workers. If Watson can win at “Jeopardy!” there’s nothing stopping computers from excelling at other knowledge work, ranging from legal discovery to sports coverage.

A Nest thermostat.Courtesy: Aya Brackett/Nest
Internet of things

Right now, 99% of physical objects are unconnected to the “internet of things.” It won’t last. Going forward, more products and tools will be controlled via the internet, the McKinsey directors say, and all kinds of data will be generated as a result. Expect sensors to collect information on the health of machinery, the structural integrity of bridges, and even the temperatures in ovens.

iCloud for iPad (Photo by Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images)Photograph by Getty Images
Cloud technology

The growth of cloud technology will change just how much small businesses and startups can accomplish. Small companies will get “IT capabilities and back-office services that were previously available only to larger firms—and cheaply, too,” the authors write. “Indeed, large companies in almost every field are vulnerable, as start-ups become better equipped, more competitive, and able to reach customers and users everywhere.”

A hydraulic fracturing site in Springville, Penn.Photograph by Spencer Platt — Getty Images
Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery

The International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will be the world’s largest producer of oil by 2020, thanks to advances in fracking and other technologies, which improved to the point where removing oil from hard-to-reach spots finally made economic sense. McKinsey directors expect increasing ease of fuel extraction to further shift global markets. - Fortune Tech"



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