Daily Inspiration: Future of Energy & Utilities – “Big trends bring big opportunities! But only bold action brings big results!”


“Big trends bring big opportunities! But only bold action brings big results!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Along the way, I’ve managed to predict a LOT of significant trends – the eventual dominance of the technology of the Internet as the protocol for global connectivity; the emergence of IP telephony; the Internet of Things; the collapse of the dot.com economy; the emergence of LinkedIn style professional networking; the emergence of Tesla and its business model. In many cases, I have not been wise enough to convert my insight into investable action, and so while I’ve enjoyed a wonderful career, my ability to pinpoint specific investments has been lacking.

People hold themselves back from the pursuit of big opportunities because of inaction driven by lingering uncertainty. I was reminded of this yesterday when I released the latest in my series of AI Megatrends.

AI Megatrends – AI In Energy : Connected, Intelligent Energy and Energy SaaS

You can find AI Megatrends – AI In Energy: Connected, Intelligent Energy, and Energy SaaS. It’s over at https://ai-energy.jimcarroll.com. Read this section – one of the biggest opportunities of our lifetime is unfolding within this series of bullets.

Essentially, we are building a new energy grid, launching new industries, changing entire mobility platforms (automotive and trucking), and setting a path to a cleaner energy future. Much of this is currently happening in isolation, but over the decade to come, a lot of connectivity of these disparate platforms and trends is going to occur. It’s already underway as smart innovators build out a fascinating new future.

In a nutshell:

  • carbon is over as solar, wind and renewable energy comes to dominate our future
  • commercial, industrial, and residential properties are going to see the arrival of more battery storage
  • technology to store this energy, smoothing out the dips and spurts that come with this generation
  • most new cars and trucks will be electric within a decade as the era of gasoline and diesel energy comes to an end
  • the batteries in those cars and trucks will come to be a part of the energy storage solution in these locations
  • on top of that, most homes are getting smart appliances with the potential for connectivity and better management of their energy usage
  • at the same time, factories and industrial facilities are getting a lot of interconnected devices through iiOT (Industrial Internet of Things) technology that also allows for intelligent energy management
  • the home thermostat, which has gained intelligence through devices like the Nest and ecobee thermostats, is about to take on a larger role in managing this internal home energy grid
  • at the same time, sophisticated platforms for energy management in industrial, commercial, and factory locations will do the same thing
  • all of this provides a little energy grid within the home and in these industries/commercial facilities, providing a form of energy independence
  • and a key component is that any excess energy within this grid will be fed back out into the large utility grid to provide it with additional power, transitioning it from a one-way to a two-way systems
  • this grid connectivity also provides the opportunity for local community microgrids – you’ve got a grid, I’ve got a grid – let’s connect our grids!

That, to me right there, spells one of the biggest opportunities of our next decade. We are witnessing such a massive change in the world of energy and utilities that it goes to the heart of my often repeated phrase which I first wrote in this Daily Inspiration series back in February 2017: “Companies that don’t yet exist will build products that are not yet conceived, based on ideas that have yet been generated, using materials not yet invented, with manufacturing methods that have not yet been conceived. Are you ready for the new world of disruption?”

The thing is: are you ready for disruption? There are a lot of big, bold opportunities out there, but without action, they are only opportunities. There are many disruptive trends, but they will only disrupt if they are pursued. There are countless new industries being born – yet you’ll only participate if you take the bold step to pursue them and get involved. There are all kinds of new products and services being launched in the proverbial garage, but only if you are able to open up the door to peer inside.

In the energy, utility, and technology sectors, there are many executives, companies, and individuals who understand the massive transition that is underway within the industry – but there are many who do not. The result is that some are pursuing action, implementing ideas, and building a new future. Many others will miss out because of their inaction. it’s fascinating to watch; it’s amazing to see it unfold in real-time. The fascinating thing to me is that I’ve watched this happen so many other times before with big disruptive trends and bold ideas – the future is obvious, the trends are clear, and the need for action is profound – and yet people drop the ball.

Bold ideas without action are only ideas; disruptive concepts without actual disruption are only concepts; big opportunities are only opportunities if not pursued.

And big trends will only bring big results if they involve bold action.

Get moving!



THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.