• Ross Sharman

Energy Abundance: Cleaner & Cheaper Choices For All

One of my favourite authors, Peter Diamandis, is soon to release a follow up to his book ‘Abundance: The Future Is Faster Than You Think’ first published in 2012. If you have ever read his blogs or watched his TED talks, you’ll know he believes a number of technologies are developing and converging faster than we realise. It is his (and a number of others) belief that our lives will be radically reshaped for the better. It’s a very positive view of the near future and is backed up with lots of evidence and in-depth knowledge.

One area discussed is energy abundance, which may seem a little farfetched today, but I think we are not too far away from having abundant cheap energy, that will power our houses, transportation and businesses. PWC forecast that in 20 years, 90% of our energy will be sourced from renewable sources, and the majority of homes will generate their own energy. I’m going to take a punt here and suggest that this may happen in ten years, not twenty.

As quoted from the same report:

If we accelerate this transition, Australia could see even stronger economic and emissions benefits; moving to a 90% renewable power system in 2040, adding $15b to GDP and enabling increased spending by Australians of $11b.

I think the last part of this statement is the most exciting prediction, by incorporating localised renewable energy, PWC predicts an additional $11bn will be created in the economy in the form of goods and services.

This thinking does not fit what is being preached by our Government in Australia (more coal please!), but the economics speaks for themselves. Build for more jobs and enable more consumer spending – simple 101 economics. 'Nuf said.

You only need to look at the telecommunications world today to see how the economics around video streaming, game streaming and social media would be impossible 15 years ago. We will soon have 5g (sorry NBN) and more satellites available to stream more data than you can shake a stick at. The internet will be available to billions of  individuals, and the shackles are now coming off with increasing speeds of data. We are fast moving towards data abundance and energy will follow.

Subscription energy models will make perfect sense in this new world, where a range of associated digital goods and services (EV charging, renting your charging station and full home automation) will be the carrot for the consumer, not gimmicky TV commercials. The cost of energy will be driven further and further down, reducing the need for thousands of confusing tariffs - there are more than 5,000 tariffs in NSW alone!

The excellent point in the report around new digital services is further demonstrated by the fact that Amazon, Google and Apple are going to work together, bringing together home automation so that it is easily available for the mainstream. IKEA is also betting on the home automation boom - bringing in a one-stop-shop for smart connected home appliances. The internet of things is finally coming to the home, meaning everything electrical in the house, car and body can now talk to each other and be controlled. Home health management is the next obvious service, which genuinely has game changing cost implications.

In Australia we have some new consumer focused legislation unfolding called the ‘Consumer Data Right’ meaning the consumer will be empowered with choice around banking, energy, telco and other consumer related services. This will help the consumer choose a cleaner and cheaper energy future.

Ross Sharman is the Co-Founder of Accurassi and an advocate for renewable energy and consumer power.

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