Posted by: doug308 | September 28, 2009

Expanding Power Markets

Stats From The Energy Information Administration
Stats From The Energy Information Administration

You don’t have to be Nostradamus to know that the worldwide demand for energy is going to do nothing but increase in the future. And according to the U.S. Government’s Energy Information Administration (see graphic at left) that demand is going to go up by about a quarter over the next 20 years.

Generally speaking this is a good news/bad news sort of thing. The bad news is that the world is going to have to come up with some pretty large new sources of the fuels we currently use and/or some new types of fuels to take their place PDQ. The good news is that from an economic standpoint this creates some pretty amazing business opportunities for those willing to invest the time, resources and effort into taking advantage of these wide-ranging series of markets. Some of the more notable being oil and gas exploration and production and nuclear power plant construction on the big end. And things like combustion efficiency controls (i.e. companies like Zolo Technologies and smart electricity transmission systems on the other end of the scale.
In a previous post I postulated that the world economy seems to have bottomed out and may be starting a slow climb back up the ladder and that the companies that will lead the way this time around are going to be the small to mid-sized businesses. In part because they operate with far less overhead and can thus offer better prices. However, I think they also will have an advantage insofar as their size will allow them more flexibility and greater speed in adapting to new and changing market conditions. The interesting thing to me according to the stats shown above is that while China and India are certainly going to be a big market, it is the rest of the world that looks like the place to start looking for clients. Excepting of course that “the rest of the world” includes Europe where we already do a lot of business. The part of the equation I think that US companies in this range are going to have to deal with to capitalize on this though is getting over the xenophobia so common in the US business mentality. But adaptation this time around is going to mean getting used to whole new way of doing things (just when they thought learning Mandarin and Hindi would save them).  Africa is not like China and Indonesia is not like France. So this is not going to be as easy as showing up on their doorsteps with some cool new technology and a slick pitch. If they can do that, the independent streak that made us such a big deal on the world stage might just keep us there.
How about it? Will the underdogs step up?

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