A person who speaks as frankly as I do and whom I have admired for many years, recently spawned the quote “They will be knocking down our doors to get hold of our solar panel technology” while speaking at a PV solar (photovoltaic) industry conference last week.
Human history was littered with mistakes and bad decisions by our leaders. These bad choices usually entail much suffering and even death for the general population in those times.
Underestimating or also blatantly ignoring the true-scale of the energy problems we all now face, may again prove this hypothesis right.
I have always said we are currently living through a period of denial. Just like people living before the second world war. The signs were everywhere, but people continued to live their lives with a false sense of security. Our leaders can sort it most believed. This thought process prevented people from preparing for the worse, which as we now know came suddenly, but with plenty of warning.
This situation will be real with our real modern-day energy crunch. Fracking will save us, our present-day leaders say, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief and continue as they have always done. Just like Prime Minister Chamberlain’s assurance from Hitler in 1939, we get the same assurances from our politicians and the world largest and most important oil supplier Saudi Arabia.
The vast majority of the population still believe that the oil will continue to flow abundantly, despite the extra demands from Asia’s Tiger economies. But the real world signs say differently.
Behind the scenes reports from Saudi Arabia’s oil fields teach us that they are already having problems keeping the flow-rate consistent, while at the same time the Saudis are investing 100 billion pounds on alternative energy technologies to make the kingdom self-sufficient from oil. How big do you want the signs to be?
The only questions are when and how big the first tremors will come. Will other problems arise from unexpected quarters like Egypt’s political problems and the associated Suez canal which could cause a potential supply route problem for the worlds already stretched demands?
Even Britain’s business leaders lead by Richard Branson has been warning us that an energy crunch is only five years away (this was three years ago). Why people are not preparing en mass for alternative ways to heat their homes, power their necessary appliances and cushioning themselves from this predicted energy crisis is puzzling.
Learning from history comes hard to human beings. This reason is why the last century was littered with wars and conflict, but unless there is an apparent monetary gain, we just have little desire to make changes in our lives. Even during the last 150 years when oil and gas field finds were going through its boom times, there have still been recent times when people have suffered through even small glitches in the supply chain, so why do we all have this ‘head in the sand’ attitude to energy?
Learning from the past and looking to the future
Remember only a decade ago when the energy bills that come through your door were still small and affordable. A single decade is a short geological period, yet the pressures from the East and the decline in new oil field finds has already given us the first pricing tremors of future problems ahead.
Even British Gas has published predictions of £2-3,000 annual energy costs for the average family by 2020, and that is our best case scenario without any hiccups along the way.
If the writings so clearly on the wall, then why the incapacity to act, or will people only take action once forced to do so, and will this cause floodgate of demand for alternative energy technologies such as PV solar panels and thus overwhelming installers creating supply chain problems not just locally, but worldwide?
I will then make my prediction for the next decade, a future where the haves and the have not’s can be defined by not what car parked outside the home, but whether your home has solar panels on the roof to deflect the pre-mentioned energy issues.
As a person who taught to ‘be prepared’ by my wonderful years in the scouts association, it makes sense to me to install PV solar panels now not then.
If you want an extra incentive to beat the madding crowd before the energy crunch tremors become more frequent, then just remember that the current feed-in tariff scheme will not be as beneficial or around at all for those who install when it’s too late.