In December I wrote that people through the ages have been anticipating trends and predicting what the future holds even though, for the most part, it’s impossible to be accurate. However, this isn’t going to stop me from taking a stab.
Here is my short list of predictions for 2019:
The prosumer: Specifically in countries experiencing blackouts and loadshedding, more consumers will take the bold leap to become prosumers who invest in rooftop solar PV regardless of constraining regulation and lack of net metering.
Africa 2.0: In 2019, Africa’s digitally-savvy, young and innovative population group will deliver greater entrepreneurship to the energy market. This growth will also be supported by the distributed energy market (in part driven by prosumer demand) and lenders who are changing their risk-aversion to energy-related start-ups.
Election fever: With several national elections due to take place in 2019 – specifically in South Africa – governments will be doing everything possible to keep voters on their side. This motivation to keep supporters will deliver a notable improvement in utility services and civic involvement in state-owned enterprises.
Beyond 2019 I’ve one prediction: the manufacture and delivery of nexus innovations. An example of this is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s focus on reinventing the toilet.
The idea is to deliver an affordable solution to developing countries that can increase access to sanitation without a connection to water supply or sewer system. The new toilet will also transform human waste into valuable low-cost energy and potable water (think astronauts here) — basically, a three-in-one affordable system that is ideal for vulnerable or remote communities.
As the world becomes more digitally connected, communication takes on a black & white appearance; text on screens – you can look forward to the ESI Africa team moving mountains to put more colour into the industry’s communication with you – our readers and supporters. Expect more video, audio, pictures, webinars and telephone conversations with us in 2019.