Editorial – 17 are we coming of age?

So this century turns 17 today. If it was a person, this year could drive a car, donate blood, fly a plane and donate its corpse to science! The century […]

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By Sumit Bose

So this century turns 17 today.

If it was a person, this year could drive a car, donate blood, fly a plane and donate its corpse to science!

The century is coming of age and I think it will be the year we really find out what our pathway to low carbon and renewables means. The 2000s have seen green energy go from a concept, ambition and fringe movement, into policy, transport and power.

Where was TESLA in 2000? Solar panels? EVs? Smart meters?

Just 17 years ago we would never have considered coal power stations obsolete or wind turbines vital. Who was doing any recycling and you could count the number of houses with solar panels on one hand. No one was swapping power suppliers or turning on their boiler using their phone.

We have come a long way and I think 2017 is going to be the year it starts to make sense.

EVs are now no longer the preserve of mung bean munchers who like driving in souped up milk floats. Hybrids and electric cars are going to be huge. Toyota is just one manufacturer launching an SUV hybrid this year, others are planning the same.

Self driving cars are going to be tested more and more to make them street legal in America, they will be here too in a heartbeat.

Smart meter installers are going to be hitting your neighbourhood with more vigour. You’ll be offered more and more renewable energy only power supply should you wish. Water is being deregulated and you’ll even be able to choose if the water company you use is powering its pumps with green power.

Businesses are going to see huge changes as more and more LED refits get underway. PPAs will become more popular as more firms particularly large ones, try and protect themselves from commodity fluctuations by have their own self generation, generally solar or some other form of renewables.

The year will be dominated by two major things that will affect the green growth I’ve outlined.

The first is the tone of the Trump presidency, is he really going to be an oil mongerer trashing all of Obama’s eco endeavours and the second is Brexit. By early April we will know what form that takes and what it means for energy investment and how our market will operate on the fringes or out of Europe.

I for one am excited at the possibilities 17 will bring. If it matches half the chaos, change and thought provoking moments of 16, we are in for an interesting 365 days.

ELN will bring you every twist and turn in whatever happens, so from myself and the whole team, have a great year and here’s to it bringing you health, happiness and a bit of luck, we all need that!

Sumit