Top 10 electricity future megatrends
New technology is rapidly changing our lives, and Tesla’s new Powerwall battery could very well become Neil Armstrong's one giant leap for mankind in electricity storage. Here are 10 megatrends that may shape the electricity industry in the next few years.
Remember in the early 1980s, when we used to carry around 40kb 8-inch floppy disks? Now we can store a few hundred gigabytes on USB flash drives. New technology is rapidly changing our lives, and Tesla’s new Powerwall battery could very well become Neil Armstrong's one giant leap for mankind in electricity storage. Here are 10 megatrends that I believe will shape the electricity industry in the next few years:
1. Electricity generation will become a new small business. We will all own solar panels, generate electricity, put them in batteries and sell (or give away) excess generation to family and friends. We will always keep 50-100 kWh reserve for emergency use.
2. Everyone will sell electricity. Supermarkets, gasoline stations will sell kWh in small and large packages; maybe some can be branded as Produced in the Sunshine Coast, Fossil Fuel-Free or From the Roaring 40s.
3. Off-grid electricity is the new “organic” lifestyle. Many of us have disconnected from the grid. Restaurants are promoting off-grid solar electricity produced meals and certified “off-grid” electricity is more expensive than grid electricity – remember the higher price of organic eggs?
4. Cheap lithium ion battery and cheap solar will kill fossil fuel-only electricity companies, and some of their old transmission and distribution cables will be sold as scrap metals.
5. Finally, free electricity arrives as battery prices have dropped below $50 per kWh. We see bundled product promotions like “free electricity for a year” and “Skype for electricity” that will enable remote electricity trading.
6. Gasoline-free or electric car-only cities and states. Cars with tailpipes will be banned from many cities, like smoking in public places.
7. The family car becomes the family “wallet.” As we move to a cashless society with smart devices, the family car carries "withdrawals" from ATMs to supplement home or office charging, as kWh is the new universal currency.
8. Inefficient appliances are now socially unacceptable as consumers become more aware of energy efficiency and kWh accounting. All appliances are super efficient, consuming less 50% of their 2010 benchmark, with built-in batteries and cordless charging.
9. Cordless electricity charging is the new WiFi. All form of cables and external chargers are gone, we have integrated solar power in all roofs and windows, and batteries in wall cavities.
10. Large power stations are as common as mainframe computers in 2015. Nuclear, hydro, geothermal, solar farms or wind plants are only used to meet the demands of large energy-intensive industries like smelters, but unlikely to see any new investments. Old power plants are turned into malls.
Note: while the intent of this post is to provoke a good discussion, the reality in 2025 or beyond may not be so different... one wonders!