• Ross Sharman

Remember ‘Big Data’? Here comes ‘Big Energy’

Data got really big, resulting in a group of companies striking gold

The cost of data continues to drop in price, yet the commercial value of data still grows. Just check out the stock values of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple! A new report predicts the same is going to happen to energy from 2020 to 2030. ‘Big data’ was a jargon phrase spruiked ten years ago (no-one knew what it meant). Only today in our data orientated world, we get to see what 'Big Data’ looks like. We take for granted Netflix streaming, Amazon personalised shopping experience, and international Whatsapp video calls.

It was not always this way. When I was a younger (and not so grey) version, living in Europe, I played a small part in the roll-out of the 3G networks. The burning question at the time was, what are we building this network for? There were no smartphones and data centres were few in numbers and expensive to run. Fast forward ten years, I was in San Francisco bemused at the first wave of iPhone users mesmerised by their new toys. I told my wife that couples were more interested in their phones than their dining partners in restaurants. Now my kids are slaves to the same soul-sucking devices.

Amazon and Tesla are now commissioning fleets of tiny satellites. These will bring affordable and high-speed data to everyone in the world. The distribution issue has been resolved by launch satellites into low orbit. Data can now become universal in its availability.

Energy can follow a similar gold rush

Energy costs are currently restrictive due to extraction from mined resources of coal, gas, and petrol. Until now, renewable energy was more expensive than fossil fuels, as the technologies were improving.

Renewables are now cheaper than fossil fuels. The generation capacity of renewables is increasing and energy costs are starting to reduce. New commercial opportunities will open as a result. The new RethinkX report explains the transition over the next 10 years.

The RethinkX team, led by Seba is one of the few analysts to have correctly forecast the plunging cost of solar over the previous decade. He now predicts that the disruption caused by solar, wind, and battery storage, will like the digital disruption of information technology.

What will be the winning energy app?

What are the new energy applications for tomorrow that will benefit lives? The standout is the electrification of transport. There are less obvious uses like water desalination, waste processing, and agriculture. Data will also get cheaper as a result of cheaper energy.

The future for energy (and our lifestyles) really does look bright. But, who will be the ‘Big Energy’ pick stocks for 2030 (other than Tesla, Amazon, Google, and Apple)?

We at Accurassi are excited to be supporting households to adopt the big energy transition.

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