Energy Transition: Power 2 the crowd?


Recently, I was one of the 25 participants in a Delphi research regarding the energy transition. A wonderful experience, especially because it dealt with a subject that isn’t headlining my daily schedule. Meanwhile, the results have been published, though are not yet available in English.

During last week’s ‘inspiratieHUB Delphi Energieransitie’, I got on a soapbox and briefly pitched my opinion about this transition. Finally, I’ve chosen to share what I see happening in the world with a broader audience. My observations may be separated in three phases. Below I’ll share my thoughts:

3 Phases:

  1. Now as a starting point
  2. Pushing against the status quo
  3. From controlling to facilitating

Phase 1: Now as a starting point

  • Less trust in large institutions and readiness to take action;
  • Historically low interest rates, big money on the market, and a few market makers with more money than a single country;
  • Technology and experiments are becoming cheaper;
  • Emergence of peer2peer platforms > sharing knowledge, money, labour, and stuff, fueled by the increased use of mobile devices;
  • Startups become extremely scaleable and use ‘reverse technology assessment’ > reversed innovation processes. Doing first, talking later. However, still centrally managed and short-term funded;
  • Startups are seen as a hype, and not yet respected for its real value;
  • New technologies making existing parties (publicly and privately) discover/proof there raison d’être anew, especially by asking the short term question about competition and regulation in stead of ‘how to be a more qualified organization / government by using new technologies;
  • People start to see that property isn’t the most ideal solution (95% of my time i’m driving my Volvo V70 all alone);
  • People always choose the solution that is best for themselves.

Phase 2: Pushing the status quo

  • New initiatives are faster than the rest, mostly sprouted form frustration or amazement;
  • Existing organizations mostly react short term and complain about their legacy is if it were a handicap;
  • New initiatives are praised to the skies and mature organizations are depicted ‘slow, cumbersome and moribund’
  • Extremes arise; things are either good or bad. You are either for or against;
  • Techno-optimism: techniques solve all problems. Result: no responsibility;
  • Experiments with new organization models and techniques: blockchain, cooperative models, etc.
  • Entrepreneurial activism, like ‘Follow This’ and ‘Shell’.

Phase 3: From controlling to facilitating

  • Please understand we’re due to look for balance;
  • Existing organizations are to see their legacy as more than a handicap;
  • 3 Stakeholders:
  • Civilian: consumer /prosumer
  • think for themselves
  • want more control on where where products originate from
  • will prefer their own convenience and don’t act rationally
  • have tools to organize themselves quickly and arrange things for themselves. Financing through crowdfunding, shared property as part of the sharing economy, etc.
  • Ecosystem lowers thresholds for large groups of stakeholders.
  • offers consumers segregated niche services
  • become quickly the best in the niche they inhabit
  • Parties controlling and managing the bigger picture (they don’t have to be today’s ones)
  • offer a platform (WordPress) on which a consumer may create its own space and the ecosystem may integrate services
  • think in all-in-one solutions, take burdens away, and create many new business opportunities.
  • Platform minded governments (Estonia!), process optimization, influence on robotization, and heavily discussing ‘how to foster a purpose filled life and embrace new developments as opportunities, rather than seeing them as threats…