In history, the thing that gives society a fresh start is a war. Despite the loss of life and terrible outcomes wars bring, they also do a few good things. They are a big red RESET button. For human society, war is like the comet that killed the dinosaurs. Although it was a buzzkill for the dinosaurs, it led to an evolutionary restart that resulted in an (arguably) better outcome for life on earth.
Wars clean out the bureaucratic burden which naturally builds up and accelerate the modernization of technologies that have been on the verge of feasibility but haven’t quite reached the mainstream yet.
After a war, a new world order ensues. The old systems are broken and tossed aside, and new ones must be formed. Our lives, our jobs, how we are educated and how we have fun, all change in new and unpredictable ways.
COVID 19 is this generation’s war (hopefully the only one). When it’s inevitably over, (probably late 2023) a new world order will emerge.
During this transition period, many businesses will be shutdown. Many people will retire sooner than they would have under normal circumstances, and many will quit their jobs and follow different paths. This is sad, but it’s life - just like how the dinosaurs went extinct.
Many things will have changed in our world. In this letter, I aim to predict how these trends will change, specifically with regards to energy, and how Edgecom Energy is well situated to take advantage of these changes.
Environmental, Social, and Governance ratings have been all the rage in 2021. However, just because they’re well meaning, they don’t always represent an actual positive impact on the environment, workplace, or community. These are ratings are quite frequently made up or pumped up to appeal to ‘social and environmentally conscious investors’ aka millennials and the generations that follow. Historically, these ratings are BS and there are some major problems with how these ratings are established:
They are based on mostly self-reported data from third party sources and can’t be verified
The 3 factors of environment, social and governance aren’t really related
There are many biases related to company size, geographic location, and industry
In 2022, ESG will finally legitimize itself. These new ESG standards will begin to have real value and ratings will actually start to mean something tangible for economies and investors around the world.
How Edgecom will take advantage: Our newly formed Sustainability Group is working with leading researchers from Oxford University to establish and deliver new emission reporting techniques based on REAL FIRST PARTY Data. This is step one in the launch of our new Sustainability Arm which will focus on offering emission reduction products and services in conjunction with electricity cost savings for our clients.
Although the ESG movement is currently still mostly comprised of greenwashers touting non-verified statistics, their money is still real. Which leads to my second prediction:
There will not be a single silver bullet solution to climate, this is clear now. But the diverse set of options we will have to deploy are now reaching technical maturity and are (finally) getting the financial backing they need to really make a dent. Whether it’s Toronto-based Hydrostor raising $250M from Goldmansachs or Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Catalyst Fund raising $1.5B to invest in direct air capture, green hydrogen, aviation fuel and energy storage technologies, there is a wide array of clean/green tech options that are now receiving the financial attention they deserve.
This is also paired with recent headlines highlighting just how dire the situation with climate change really is. With the outcomes of the United Nations’ COP26 event and bold statements from US president Biden and other leaders, nations have been kicked into gear when it comes to fighting climate change and we can expect more government money to also be funnelled into clean and green tech in 2022.
How Edgecom will take advantage: Our current product offering and the various R&D projects we have in the works are perfectly aligned with the goals of the clean and green tech sectors and are perfect candidates to receive a portion of this capital influx. These funds will help springboard our up-and-coming products to commercialization and into new markets, and will enable Edgecom to expand our market share in Ontario and in new jurisdictions. We are also making a concentrated effort to increase our exposure to VC firms and participate in more government funding programs and university partnerships. These new relationships will allow us to not only have the capital required to expand into new technical sectors and topics but also expand our team by hiring new talent with the specific technical know-how needed for our new projects.
Not even 1 month into 2022 and Quebec and NYC have already passed laws banning gas heating. Electricity will heat everything and power almost everything before you know it and 2022 will see this trend accelerate.
In the past few years, we have already seen a noticeable uptick in the popularity of EVs and now other transportation sectors are also beginning their transitions. Plans and designs for electric trains, planes and boats are becoming increasingly common in headlines around the world with countries like Germany, Egypt and Australia making concentrated efforts to decarbonize the transportation industry.
This surge in electrification also comes at a time when governments are looking to shut down and replace aging power generating facilities. In Canada, the CANDU nuclear plants have be slatted for shutdown despite not having concrete plans to make up for this dip in capacity. The US is also suffering similar problems as they continue their struggle to free their grid from coal power plants.
Both these situations leave huge gaps in the baseload generational capabilities of the grid and it’s clear that the answer (or at least part of it) lies with Distributed Energy Resources. Technological improvements to “older” technologies like wind, solar and hydro have driven them to become truly economically feasible and accordingly they have been installed at recording-breaking rates over the past few years. We also have newer technologies on the rise like geothermal and off-shore wind, allowing us to generate power in places previous generations would have never considered.
The combination of the parallel rises in electrification and Distributed Energy Resources means the grid is being strained more than ever by electricity traveling in more directions and over further distances than ever before.
How Edgecom will take advantage: Electrification means more demand on the grid and governments will have to match the rise of electrification with an increase in smart grid technologies and distributed energy assets. Edgecom’s Peak Prediction engine and Network Operations Centre allows decentralized energy assets to be optimally run to reduce costs and emissions. We also offer DER in the form of our battery energy storage solutions.
In summary, Edgecom is positioned to help support both the rise in electrification and the rise in DER, while also offering smart grid technologies that enable our customers and grid operators to better manage demand on the grid. In the next few years, combining these products and services will enable Edgecom to introduce their own Virtual Power Plant (VPP) but that’s a whole other topic for later.
For the last decade, IoT has been a very tantalizing idea for various companies and academic institutions. Yet to this point, IoT has been stuck in this idea phase and isn’t quite ready for serious business applications. I predict 2022 will be the year when IoT finally transitions from a pipedream/side project to a fully-fledged and commercially impactful product in many industries.
We’re at the point now where investments and the ecosystem are both now finally ready to launch these kinds of programs and the required software is at the point where they can make a real impact. This is also paired with component costs decreasing to the point where the implementation is actually economically viable and not a total headache.
How Edgecom will take advantage: Over the past few months, our technical team has been hard at work developing and testing the software and hardware components required to launch our own IoT platform that will revolutionize energy management. Our offering will be able to capitalize on the hype and momentum of this space and push Edgecom to the forefront of this new tech space.