Elon Musk, in a recent Q&A session at the Bosch Connected World conference, expressed his concerns about the rapid advancement of AI and electric vehicles (EVs) outpacing the supply of electricity and transformers. While the chip shortage may be resolving, Musk predicts that the world will soon face shortages in electricity and essential electrical equipment.

Musk emphasized that the current pace of technological innovation, particularly in AI and EVs, is unprecedented. He acknowledged the looming challenges but also highlighted the excitement of living in such transformative times. Despite the potential risks, Musk sees the technological revolution as an opportunity for progress and growth.

The constraints on AI compute are becoming increasingly evident, with shortages transitioning from chips to voltage step-down transformers. As AI systems require substantial power, the demand for transformers to regulate voltage is skyrocketing. Musk humorously noted the irony of needing transformers to power other transformers, illustrating the intricate dependencies within technological systems.

Looking ahead, Musk foresees electricity shortages as the next bottleneck in the supply chain. The simultaneous expansion of electric cars and AI further exacerbates the demand for electrical equipment and power generation. Musk predicts that by next year, the demand for electricity to fuel these technologies will exceed available supply, leading to potential disruptions in power distribution.

This scenario underscores the urgent need for scalable and sustainable energy solutions. Musk’s warning serves as a call to action for the industry to prioritize clean energy generation and invest in infrastructure to meet the growing demand. As we navigate these “interesting times,” proactive measures are essential to ensure a smooth transition to a future powered by technology and innovation.

By Impact Lab