© Earthly Gains Ltd 2017
Made with Xara

Power to the people

by Martin Gibson

(Also published on LinkedIn)

Election results across the western world suggest widespread discontent with the status quo. It seems many people feel overlooked and ignored. People want to have greater control over various aspects of their lives – they want to feel empowered. Many people appear to hark back to a past when they had more power. So what power are they missing? Well, these days, we have complex systems delivering everyday essentials. Take the UK power supply system for example. Electricity generating companies put power into a distribution system with national coverage and multiple regional companies. The customer rarely knows about these because they buy their electricity from one of many possible suppliers. The choice of which company to buy from has been the subject of much discussion and many customers are confused and pay more than they need. Despite many statements that the consumer has choice, few would feel they have much control. Contrast the complexity of today with the simplicity of pre-industrial times. People would have collected wood or purchased oil or coal. Supply chains were short and could easily be traced back to source. Energy supply worldwide looks to be getting more complex as new forms of renewable energy are developed and added to distribution grids. Despite this, the increase in renewable energy may give power back to the people. Individuals or small groups can have their own solar panels or wind turbines. They can also produce power for their own electric cars and, perhaps, gain from utilising electricity storage capacity when the car is idle. Where does this leave the existing energy suppliers? Well, for some of them, it provides opportunities to develop services to help customers in new ways. For others, it may mean that their products become obsolete. The speed of obsolescence can be fast: Amory Lovins provides an excellent illustration of how quickly cars took over from horses in the early 1900s in his talk on disruptive futures. Changing energy systems mean that some power is available to the people.  Get in touch if you would like to know more about local energy companies.
© Martin Gibson, trading as Earthly Gains, 2017
This page contains recent blog articles written by members of the Earthly Gains team or its associates.

Power to the people

by Martin Gibson

(Also published on LinkedIn)

Election results across the western world suggest widespread discontent with the status quo. It seems many people feel overlooked and ignored. People want to have greater control over various aspects of their lives – they want to feel empowered. Many people appear to hark back to a past when they had more power. So what power are they missing? Well, these days, we have complex systems delivering everyday essentials. Take the UK power supply system for example. Electricity generating companies put power into a distribution system with national coverage and multiple regional companies. The customer rarely knows about these because they buy their electricity from one of many possible suppliers. The choice of which company to buy from has been the subject of much discussion and many customers are confused and pay more than they need. Despite many statements that the consumer has choice, few would feel they have much control. Contrast the complexity of today with the simplicity of pre- industrial times. People would have collected wood or purchased oil or coal. Supply chains were short and could easily be traced back to source. Energy supply worldwide looks to be getting more complex as new forms of renewable energy are developed and added to distribution grids. Despite this, the increase in renewable energy may give power back to the people. Individuals or small groups can have their own solar panels or wind turbines. They can also produce power for their own electric cars and, perhaps, gain from utilising electricity storage capacity when the car is idle. Where does this leave the existing energy suppliers? Well, for some of them, it provides opportunities to develop services to help customers in new ways. For others, it may mean that their products become obsolete. The speed of obsolescence can be fast: Amory Lovins provides an excellent illustration of how quickly cars took over from horses in the early 1900s in his talk on disruptive futures. Changing energy systems mean that some power is available to the people.  Get in touch if you would like to know more about local energy companies.