Leave the lights on!

Volume 15 Letter 4

Not too long ago the world was in a panic about running out of fuel. Conservation was the name of the game and politicians in some countries even regulated the use of light bulbs to those that consume less power while we searched the earth for more oil. Today the world is awash in fossil fuels but as the world worries about the long term effects of CO2, electrical power is about to become virtually unlimited. Here’s why…

Innovative companies have set out to revolutionize the power grid. In case you missed it, Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame announced the launch of a home battery that when hooked to a solar cell will be able to run your entire household. The solar cell will charge the battery during the day to provide enough power to run your home for 24 hours including the heating or air-conditioning. For those worried about cloudy days or unwilling to go without a safety net there is also an option to let the battery charge from the grid. In that case, the battery can be set to charge in the middle of the night when power rates are lowest.

Some may be concerned that the battery will die after a few years. Answering those concerns is a company in Vancouver, BC that makes a battery out of Vanadium. Vanadium is the only element that can be used on both battery poles so, unlike lithium batteries, there is nothing to break down and the battery virtually lasts forever.

If you are dying get off the power grid this may be the ticket. Invest $3500 in a Tesla power pack and watch your utility bill disappear. Never be without power – even after a hurricane or ice storm! A revolution has started and all companies involved in the generation of and maintenance of the power grid should take note.

To understand how this might play out, recall a similar revolution that hit the telecoms when mobile phones came to market. For those old enough to remember pre-mobile phone days we were all tethered equally to a cord and to the large regulated telecom companies. In our house long distance calls were regulated with a stop watch as the fees were astronomical. Free enterprise hit and the regulated companies mostly merged or disappeared. Watch now for the revolution to hit the big public utilities in the next decades as people install in-home battery packs.

It’s rare to see any industry go through such a radical change. Who could have imagined that big public utilities would ever lose their regulated grip on our wallets but that is exactly what is about to happen. On the flip side get ready for a wave of new power hungry products (hot tubs, sauna’s etc) as cost of electricity, once the battery unit is installed, drops to zero.

From time to time big events come along that allow consumers to fundamentally change the way they conduct their lives. The internet and mobile and smart phone technology are two such examples. As a strategist and manager of your business it is your job to be looking out for these tectonic shifts and to devise strategies that minimize any negative impact while capitalizing on the enormous opportunity they’ll present. Right now, take a moment and reflect on how communication technologies have fundamentally changed our lives. Now image how unlimited power could change the lives of your consumers. Are you preparing your business for the future?

Recent Posts