The increasing gap between rich and poor will lead to the redesign of business models in the energy sector and to Pop Energy. What is Pop Energy?
It is possible to forecast a common driver that will drive both the rich and poor consumer groups to ask for new energy supply solutions: the desire for independence from unpredictable energy bills, driven by cost recovery or greed.
When bills rise or fluctuate widely, anger towards them increases. We must not forget that today’s bills are also used as a tool for monitoring and collecting various taxes. In Greece the tax on real estate was realised directly in the energy bill! And this helped to create riots in the streets. How can we escape the spiral of increasing energy bills? If the rich want to get smarter, with more fashionable homes and technologically sophisticated objects of art and energy, what can the other 99% do?
One thing is certain: we can produce more renewable energy than we need even with the reduction and reversal of incentives, but we use it badly and often the production and use are not in sync so that we need expensive storage systems. In this way, we have a series of “excesses” that we can share with others. And if we extend the concept of energy to the “human” energy and to things (which can be classified according to the term “embedded” energy) then the scope expands and enhances the potential for energy sharing.
Whenever there is sharing, then new business models can arise.
As a practical example, we can think about mobility-sharing (which is a concept that goes beyond car-sharing or car-pooling). Sharing mobility includes people sharing their own cars(Uber?). Thanks to the digital technology of smart phones people can constantly monitor the status of objects and other people.
A person may wish to share only a battery electric car, perhaps with an electricity utility. In this way energy is supplied to the utility during peak hours (high usage hours and therefore expensive) and energy is extracted from the utility during the other hours (with less demand and therefore cheaper energy). This could result in a budget in which expenses of running the car are completely offset by sales to the utility.
But everything is more fun when we come to human energy. What do we do with all the energy produced by the passage of people through the turnstiles of the subway in Tokyo? And what about the energy produced by the disco dancers. What about all the sweaty gyms in which sports people produce energy by running or spinning? A person could get discounts on monthly gym fees if he reaches a certain level of electricity production? And if we did that in a condo? What services could a person earn by spinning a few kWhs?
This opens a whole new set of relationships in which energy takes a value of “shareware”. Taking this concept to the extreme and we get to POP ENERGY: Distributed Energy that is the result of and the cause of fun.
But while I can already exchange files over the net with all parts of the world, the energetic advantage is only realized within geographical proximity: between neighbors. In this case conveniences may arise to connect a few families to form their own smart grid. In this connection there would be a single connection and contract with the utility network and arrangements to share the advantages within the group.
But energy sharing doesn’t stop here! Seek Pop Energy