It is possible that in 2020 you may finally get your hands on that 'Back-To-The-Future' hoverboard; that your car will drive itself, & that 'The Enemy of The State' issue, brought to life by Will Smith, of being "findable", where-ever you are in the world, all become real.
Well fingers crossed for the first 2 and let's hope the last 1 never becomes a reality!
You can already share your location with your friends using 'what's app', you can go one further and 'find my iphone' within supposedly 10 or so feet (which means a quick hack into your phone and your every move can be tracked).
It's a pretty scary thought, someone piecing together your every move via location services, your bank transactions, the places you've been, and your telephone calls but as we all move to smart technology we invite the problems that come with it.
So what does the future look like in the world of energy....it's certainly one of the fastest moving sectors and undoubtedly it will be the biggest global sector in the future (over-taking financial institutions).
It is however, a little behind in terms of new technology & still a great employer of call centres and switching houses....on the back of the last recession increasing regulatory pressures on the banks, bonus capping activity, and then PPI refunds, is likely a look into the future for energy.
I say this as the problem with anything new and/or unknown is that it's very difficult to regulate. Furthermore, it's difficult to encourage innovation whilst introducing structure and protecting the consumer. It will however have it's day, perhaps before the turn of the decade.
But what to expect in terms of innovation? What can we expect to land in the next 12 months?
Uber, Apple Pay, or a thumb-print to unlock your phone- so last year! Yet remarkable technology that we trust in and use everyday- despite the fact that flip most of this technology on it's head and you could be at risk of sharing your identity with the wrong person.
The truth is that anything that we can trust in, that's robust, that saves us time, and doesn't take more than 3 minutes to learn how to use, we will use....sometime with a little help from our friends!
In energy we should expect auto-switching (to replace auto-rollovers), call centres to be replaced by algorithms & ultimately technology, and energy suppliers to be replaced by community energy schemes. It's a bit of a cop-out as most of this is already happening but hey if any of my latest ideas are 'ubers' I best keep them to myself.
All we know is the future for energy is technology. Smart grids, smart appliances, community heating and cooling centres, engaged occupiers earning from being savvie, battery storage for load switching, and on site generation.
From amber you can expect more developments from our technology integrations (www.amberinsight.net), (www.studentenergyproject.com), and a few others we have under a sheet in the garage for launches over the next 12 months....
You can expect to see a few more friendly engineers, energy traders, and portfolio managers around the place, and a couple more project managers.
As we embark on year 7 of our mission we're excited to see 14 new sites launching 'The Student Energy Project' in October, some great new partnerships (including one with a software company in the USA increasing our service offering), and some great new sites launching this year including sky diving tunnels in France, new student accommodation in Spain, and the world's first commercial artificial surfing lake in, you guessed it, Dolgarrog, Wales.
We will be looking to incorporate more technology into our business process but also into our client solutions. It's an exciting year ahead and let's hope by 2020 I get my B2TF hoverboard!