Energy challenges are a reality of life! In some parts of the world the challenge is providing light in remote villages where grids are non-existent. In other communities it’s how to choose a car that’s energy efficient and economical. For industry it’s often how to pay for the latest technology that reduces the use of energy in order to maintain a competitive edge. Increasingly it’s how to insure the reliability of energy at the local level when the extended grid is down because of storms, brownouts or other disruptions.
So what are the energy challenges you face?
Whatever those challenges are, in the very near future, they will likely be addressed using solutions that were not even considered possible a short time ago.
“We will see more changes in energy & transportation over the next 5-10 years than we have seen in a century” Tony Seba, 2016
Remember Steve Jobs’ introduction of the iPod? He asked the question “how would you like to have 1000 songs in your pocket?” He introduced a solution that was not even on the radar of most people – a way to personalize their music consumption. He noted very casually that it was a quantum leap because it would allow someone to carry around their complete music library “at all times” in their pocket!
A similar quantum leap is taking place in the world of energy TODAY. We are at a tipping point where the solutions to our energy challenges are being created at exponential rates.
The cost of harvesting energy from the sun is plummeting. The cost for renewable energy drops while the cost of carbon based energy rises. The range of electric vehicles keeps expanding as innovations in battery storage are invented. It’s now possible for an electric vehicle to store enough electricity to power the average home for a day. When you can recharge your electric vehicle from a solar panel on your house, you will no longer notice the price fluctuations at the gas pump.
New business models now make it possible to switch to rooftop solar without cost! The company installing the equipment owns it and maintains it while the customer simply agrees to purchasing the resultant energy at a guaranteed price!
“Tesla says the power packs will cut KIUC costs per kilowatt hour from 15.5 cents down to 13.9 cents. The 13.9 cents is a fixed price for the next 20 years.” CNBC
Utilities are fast approaching the time where the cost of transporting energy along the grid will become more expensive than their customer’s cost of generating energy on site. At that point, even if the utility could produce energy for free, it would cost more to send it to the customer than it would cost the customer to make it themselves! No amount of regulation or lobbying can change that price dynamic!
At a recent executive retreat, EAG’s CEO Scott Ringlein outlined the common energy challenges facing industry and described some of the cutting edge solutions for overcoming those challenges. He made a point of stressing that solutions will not be in the form of a single product which is the way many new technologies are sold.
“The energy landscape is about to change in ways most people can’t even begin to imagine!” Scott Ringlein
Instead, Ringlein noted that solutions will most likely be a confluence of technology, services, financing and business models that all work together to empower companies and individuals to personalize their use of energy. This is the same result the ipod created – allowing people to personalize the use of their music.
Ringlein described how it is now possible, because of the convergence of technology, financing and energy specific business models, for a company to cost-effectively overcome their energy challenges. The resulting benefits of overcoming those challenges include: minimal to zero maintenance expense, reduced energy costs, guaranteed production up time without compromising the company cash flow.
“The downtown Portland fire station will be able to harness energy from the sun and store it, allowing emergency responders to keep doing their jobs in the event of a major power outage.” Sustainable Life
For those who are aware of the trends taking place in energy, it is truly the dawn of a whole new way of personalizing the use of energy. The solutions to the energy challenges we collectively face are not something that will happen in the distant future. The changes are taking place all around us and the rate of change is only increasing!! Resisting change during this quantum leap in energy innovation will leave many businesses and industries with growing energy challenges because of a dependence on outdated technologies that eliminate their competitive edge.