This is a report from my Linked-In Profile earlier this year.
I came across this news release today, outlining a new relationship between Caterpillar, Inc. and First Solar and I found it very exciting. On the surface, it looks like any old news release from any PR intern. However, I think it symbolizes the future of the energy marketplace for North America, at least in some small way. In this relationship, they are creating a change in the delivery chain and as a result, Caterpillar will open up an entire new marketplace for First Solar and the end result is new era energy solutions, not offered by the old utility company. That's how it starts (in my Denzel Washington voice)... in my humble opinion.
As founder & former CEO for Diversegy (my last gig) - I created a new motto about two years ago: "Energy for the next 100 years." I created this tag line based upon the belief that the manner in which we've bought and sold energy for the past 100 years will NOT be the way it will be done over the next 100 years - it's a forward-thinking position statement for Diversegy. We all know that the current state of things (energy grid) are archaic and there exist competing, if not warring interest throughout the new supply chain of energy (source to meter) As a result, change will not come from the same old players, but from new thinking by new players and by educated end-use consumers (C&I) looking for new solutions apart from their old utility company. Don't get me wrong, eventually the same old players will have to write checks in the way of M&A dollars to stay relevant, but they will not be the source of change.
I believe that change always happens/starts on the fringes, you have to be out there mixing it up where real buying decisions are made, where stakeholders really live and you must know how they manage/prioritize their operating budgets. During my tenure at Diversegy, I can affirm that I was regularly asked by large commercial and industrial end-use consumers on a regular basis for guidance and assistance in navigating through what new era energy options were available to them - this question always followed after we had just brokered whatever electricity or natural gas retail solution for them. This repeated experience reminded me of what was happening in the 1990's when companies were forced to create "Digital Roadmaps" or "IT Roadmaps", which became strategic tools and in some cases even a competitive advantage. Prior to this, IT was simply a necessary evil so to speak. Accordingly, I adopted the term "Energy Roadmap" about 3 or 4 years ago. Of course, the Energy Roadmap will also become the same type of tool for businesses and in some scenarios, it may even become a competitive advantage for some.
You can see the press release here, and while they are starting off in every place but North America, I am hopeful to see them expand the offering here. http://www.energycentral.com/functional/news/news_detail.cfm?did=36261460&utm_source=2015_05_25&utm_medium=eNL&utm_content=271