Energy is the next sector most likely to be disrupted having seen this in a multiple of other sectors: publishing, retailing, telecoms, hotels even taxi’s. This is the strength of new power which changes the cozy world of old power. New power changes the current model: control, held by a few to made by many, changes commands to shared, changes leader-driven to peer-driven, changes a closed structure to an open structure. New power goes around the status quo, embraces participation and importantly brings a religious belief in transparency. It co-ordinates collaboration and do-it-ourselves.
Looking back at the internet which started in 1969, back then the missing ingredient was storage. Computers didn’t have much neither did the networks and other devices connected to networks. Nowadays we have storage everywhere, computers, all manner of devices, right down to memory sticks. Storage transformed the internet making all the things we enjoy today about the internet possible.
Battery storage for homes will do the same for the energy market as mass storage did for the internet. Going back to the internet, the incumbent telecoms companies at the time were not supportive of the internet, no surprise, and the way the internet grew was by connecting ethernets within buildings which was not under the jurisdiction of the FCC. These then grew and all became connected to the internet we know today. Replace FCC with the word utility company, the fact that solar and battery storage sits behind-the-meter, so you see what we mean? A future of non-nuclear clean energy generated by ourselves for ourselves.
The growth of the internet also shows us something else, the massive growth in bandwidth we use. So if the internet is a guide we will all be using far more energy in the future, powering things we cannot even imagine or contemplate today.
Clearly we are all at the beginning of a very steep curve. The implication of new power is it makes you want and expect change so that it will change more aspects of our lives. Collectively we are all challenging the 20th century mantra that agreements made behind closed doors are the best ones for us.
Our call to action is to embrace this change, drive it, insist upon it, don’t be an island and ignore it. It is absolutely worth trying for.
North Star Solar Ltd.