Technology and the Energy Industry

Technology and the Energy Industry

Whether you work in the energy industry or simply are a consumer of it, it isn’t hard to believe that major technological innovations are about to change it. As global conditions affect how we look for energy sources and the ways we store it, many traditional energy companies have moved away from inventing a better swivel seal for power plants and into renewable energy.

They see it as part of the future, but it isn’t the only technology that is driving change in the energy world. Three major factors are affecting everyone in the energy sector and any company that isn’t paying attention to these shifts is bound to go the way of the buggy whip manufacturers. With emerging nations slowing down economically and the price of traditional energy fluctuating wildly, these three factors will play a big part in who survives the next big shift in the economy.

The Shift to Renewable

While just a decade ago many would have been right to think creating a world-wide shift to renewable energy was just a pipe dream, today it is obvious this is where the market is headed. More and more we see investors including renewable energy companies in their energy portfolios of investments. What is more, it is becoming common policy to look at creating a mix of diverse energy sources to create more stability in many of the emerging nations.

New regulations and shifts in policy thinking have resulted in changes in how we view electrical energy as a resource and how the business model for producing it works. We have learned that many new approaches to renewable energy sources have resulted in a more reliable model that bodes well for the future use of renewables.

As more and more of our energy comes from such renewable sources as tidal power as exemplified by the Bay of Fundy Tidal Project, the windmill farms off the coast of Holland and the latest innovations in solar power from Elan Musk the need for carbon based energy will decrease. The question is, will the traditional carbon based power industries be ready for this when it happens?

The Digital Revolution

While the introduction of digital components to the energy sector has greatly improved it in so many ways, it has also brought with it some dangers. The possibility of someone hacking our electrical grid system is obvious after the recent blackouts along the East Coast. The very thing that has made the power grid so powerful, its size, has also left it vulnerable to attack.

While we love the ability to use this vast grid to hook up our internet of things to every aspect of our lives, it also means that the further we venture into a huge grid-connected digital life, the more open we are to digital attacks in the event of war or terrorist attacks. But once begun, we aren’t likely to walk away from our digital lives and its dependence on electricity.

Balancing Access and Security

The old rules of oil producers controlling the market is changing as patterns of consumption change. Emerging economies such as those in China and India are creating shifts in the market as they rely more on alternative energy. The wide shifts in the price of oil results in market shifts for oil producers and creates insecurity in the energy market.

All of this will begin to shift the market slowly from traditional carbon based energy to a wide array of non-traditional renewable energy that is produced and sold locally. How each country balances the need to create a secure home energy base versus ensuring access to energy for all remains to be seen.

Categories: Technology

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