Is Energy the Internet of the Future?

There are a number of reasons that energy has become such an important issue in recent times. For example, more and more countries are achieving higher and higher standards of living, which comes with a corresponding increase in their energy consumption. Since the existing supplies of fossil fuels are inadequate for projected demand should current trends extend into the future, this means that new sources of energy will have to be found soon. Furthermore, it is important to note the role of fossil fuels in regards to the greenhouse effect, which is causing the planet to heat up as more and more of the sun’s light is trapped by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere instead of escaping into space after reflecting off of the surface of the Earth. Something that promises to cause massive disruptions all around the world in the best case scenario and render the planet uninhabitable for humans in the worst case scenario, which is not as far-fetched as it sounds when the consequences of a runaway greenhouse effect can be seen in the hell-scape that is the surface of Venus.

With that said, it is important to note that there is a wide range of businesses, nonprofits, research institutes, and other organizations that are rising to the occasion by pursuing clean energy generated through the use of renewable sources. What was once unbelievable has become a simple matter of fact because of the continuing introduction of new techniques and technologies that have made solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy more and more competitive, so much so that developing countries are actually pouring more of their resources into renewable energy than its non-renewable counterpart because of superior returns for their investments. As a result, it is becoming clearer and clearer that renewable energy is not just a critical component for ensuring the continuing well-being of human civilization but also one of the most lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs to come along in recent times.

Is the Rise of Energy a Mirror For the Rise of the Internet?

For people who remember the 1990s, this should seem rather familiar. After all, the Internet started out with telecommunication companies creating the conditions that online entrepreneurs needed to flourish, which resulted in wave after wave of new entrants who transformed not just how we live but also the fundamental nature of the infrastructure that enabled their rise in the first place. Given that the increasing importance of clean energy is leading to wave after wave of new entrants into the energy sector, it is not unreasonable to believe that we could be seeing something similar in the present. Should this prove to be true, it could have profound implications for the world in much the same manner as its predecessor.

Support for this claim can be seen in how clean energy companies are providing their products and services as supplements to existing infrastructure. This is similar to how the first Internet service providers did so through the existing telecommunication networks of the time, which were the cheaper, more affordable option but became less and less so as new techniques and technologies continued to be introduced to the telecommunications market. Eventually, the old, ad hoc way of accessing the Internet gave way to its newer, better successors as the economics changed, thus leading to the modern state of things. Already, there are signs that this is happening with clean energy, as shown by how developing countries are skipping on the old way of doing things and proceeding directly to renewable sources of energy because of not just ethical but also economic considerations.

Regardless, the signs of increasing innovation can be found throughout the energy sector. For example, there are numerous companies that are putting their full effort into solving the inherent challenges that come from implementing clean energy. Some are working on simple and straightforward solutions such as batteries that can be used to store electricity so that people can keep their electrical and electronic devices powered even when the sun has set and the wind has stopped. In contrast, others are working on somewhat more sophisticated systems such as virtual power plants, which combine multiple ways of generating electricity into a single system so as to ensure that the people who are reliant on them will never be without electricity when they need it. Likewise, other examples of increasing innovation can be seen in everything from the infrastructure that is springing up throughout the United States in order to accommodate people who have made significant lifestyle changes such as switching over from gasoline cars to electric cars to the increasingly diverse range of solar panels that can be installed in an increasingly diverse range of places to provide a constant stream of clean energy.

What Will This Mean?

The rise of clean energy has a number of important implications. First, it is a reminder that people cooperating with other people possess the power to change the world for the better, meaning that it is not impossible for humans to overcome the problems that would overwhelm anyone of us as an individual or even any one country. Second, the rise of clean energy means plenty of economic opportunities for entrepreneurs, which is much as what happened with the rise of the Internet. This can be seen in how the increasing competitiveness of solar panels has resulted in not just the rise of solar panel manufacturers but also related businesses such as solar panel installation companies and the manufacturers of solar power-related products.

With that said, predicting things far into the future is much more difficult than predicting things in the near future. After all, there are few people at the start of the rise of the Internet who could have predicted how things have turned out in modern times. Likewise, it seems probable that there are few people living now who can make accurate predictions about what will happen with the rise of clean energy as time continues to pass. However, it seems certain that clean energy will lead to a similar transformation of the world, meaning that the future is sure to be an exciting one.

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