Fully-scaled energy storage, intensely “smart” cities and devices, theoretically free surplus renewable power, and huge drops in carbon creation are in the minds of energy thinkers for ten years from now. That according to a column in Forbes.

ECC ran several blogs about the immediate future of energy according to experts. Maybe since it is the start of the decade, we keep seeing more speculation on the next couple years. So, we’ll pass along predictions we find interesting.

Sweeping changes are expected, and a few surprises.

Smart is the key word. Controlling homes and vehicles will be highly advanced to make and save energy. “The power systems in these cities are decentralized – distributed generation dominated by renewables, supported by grid-edge technologies, such as energy storage and EV charging.”

Expect corporate changes. “Strategies have shifted, and the lines have blurred between oil and gas and utilities.” Mixing up old company lines of business has already been tried and will likely happen more. What may be interesting are the players involved. Maybe not the traditional utility and petroleum companies, but new players that put together portfolios of assets and skills that can work together. Who knows, amazon Energy?

Far from the center of the world of energy in ten years, the U.S. and its companies may have to adjust in technological, political, and business ways. Imaginative and flexible companies that can simultaneously work ten minutes and ten years ahead will do the best for customers.

As with so many predictions, sometimes the opposite happens. That may be case with old predictions about the demise of oil, gas, and coal. That is because carbon may be trapped before it hits the atmosphere. “Industrial-scale carbon capture and storage opens the prospect of prolonging fossil fuels’ life in markets where there’s access to suitable spent oil or gas reservoirs.” That would be big.

The article is a quick read with interesting ideas: What Will The Energy Sector Look Like In 2030?