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Ed’s Note | Predicting which trends will hold or fold

There is no exact science to sorting out which trends will become inherent in our daily lives from those that will fall by the wayside. However, this has not stopped people through the ages from predicting what the future holds.

Originally published in the ESI Africa weekly newsletter on 2018/12/05 – subscribe today

Arthur C Clarke’s view on predictions was that they are either too conservative or they lean towards being completely unbelievable. In 1945, on the subject of satellite communication, Clarke predicated that “…manned rockets will be able to make…flights with sufficient excess power to break the orbit and return to Earth”.

How wonderful that this futuristic innovation is something we don’t give a second thought to today. It’s predictions like this that pioneering companies and individuals are on the lookout for to invest in and make them as intrinsic as we hope electric vehicles will be one day.

Right now, the energy and power market is primed to be the frontrunner of major trends that will shape global trade, investment and even establish new economies. I’d wager that innovation in carbon emission reduction solutions will drive a barrage of change in how we finance, generation, evacuate, distribute and consume power – perhaps even a global open market system?

This quote from Clarke’s The City and the Stars novel (1956) resonates with me: “It is not my duty as a historian to predict the future, only to observe and interpret the past. But its lesson is clear enough; we have lived too long out of contact with reality, and now the time has come to rebuild our lives.”

The past decade has seen considerable developments in the global electricity supply industry and exponential growth of generation capacity and electrification rates in developing countries. These developments are headed up by trends in renewable energy, battery storage, and the use of IoT in managing power.

Share your predictions with me and how your identified trend is likely to change your country or have a worldwide impact.

Read the previous note from the edtior here.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.