Rethinking the way we use energy

Energy usage across the globe is growing. The increase of energy usage can be attributed to several main drivers which include global population and GDP growth, increasing urbanisation and increased demand from non-OECD countries (e.g. China and India) as well as OECD countries (e.g. United States and The Netherlands. By 2030, global energy demand will increase 20% – 35% .

Spotlight Solar

A study at Yale University points out that people attach great value to visibility and through this, more easily adopt solar panels. Spotlight Solar cleverly responded to this need through introducing attractive solar ‘power trees’ for different environments.

Facts, Figures & Implications

  • Demand from non-OECD countries will grow with 41% and for OECD countries 3%.
  • As of 2013, renewable energy sources provide 22% of the total electricity generation.
  • At the moment, the majority of the increasing energy demands are supplied by fossil fuels (81% in 2035). However, such sources accelerate global warming problems and are limited in stock. Therefore, higher energy usage forces us to rethink the way we use energy. Choosing the right energy source is paramount for our future.
  • The fast-rising energy demand forces the energy sector into a transition towards a more dynamic and agile structure. Bearing in mind that the number of energy using vehicles will doubled by 2035, considerable investments in the new future in new infrastructure are a must.


Tesla Motors tackles the energy demand from different perspectives. They develop fully electric cars and battery packs allowing for large-scale energy storage. By doing so, they reduce pollution and increase energy availability.

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Increase in energy usage

The worlds population is constantly growing. This causes our energy demand to increase as well. Because of this, our society needs to be more energy efficient. Not only agriculture and manufacturing, all possible sectors are affected by this. We are pushed to explore for alternative sources of energy because fossil fuels are limited and quicken global warming. Moreover, as predicted by experts, energy usage will be doubled in the next 15 years.

People’s needs are also changing rapidly. These needs become more demanding. People want to have access to energy everywhere, at any time. Not just in people’s houses, but also while commuting to work, doing grocery shopping or strolling in a park. Convenient sources for sustainable energy are key in meeting consumers’ expectations. Therefore, our society needs to move forward with novel initiatives and innovations.


In order to follow the pace of these trends, technologies should be more advanced. Besides that, products, whether incrementally or radically new to the world, should be more environment friendly. It might that through future technologies, people are able to consume, have access to sustainable energy everywhere, and facilitated in more advanced ways. For example, existing technologies already allows us to charge our phone wirelessly. But, are we in the future able to transfer all energy wirelessly?

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Nowadays, energy usage is a fashionable topic. With the growing population, energy demand grows as well. This increase pushes our society to be more energy efficient in demanding domains like mobility. Exploration for alternative energy sources is a must because fossil fuels are short-term ‘solutions’ and also accelerate global warming. Despite the fact that products become more energy efficient but more energy demanding, we predict that energy usage will be doubled in the next 15 years.
People’s mobility needs change over time. In their daily activities, people want sustainable mobility since they are aware of global warming and want to contribute positively. Also, people have more demanding needs concerning energy and mobility accessibility. This causes organisations to think differently about their offerings since today’s offerings are not enough to fit future customers’ needs.
The environment’s harmfulness and limited access to resources through growing demand for transportation fuels, such as kerosene and oil, forces us to think differently about mobility and ways of transportation. Still, people have the need for fast and convenient mobility. This accounts for daily commuting but also for travelling around the world. Future vehicles will be much more advanced and sustainable and even self-driving. So for example, are we able to travel around the world with self-driving public transportation vehicles within one hour? Bearing these trends in mind, companies in the mobility sector actively seek for applications of electricity in order to keep up the pace with current developments and their competitors. Therefore, future mobility across the whole world will change incrementally and radically. Mobility around the whole world will be faster, more energy efficient, sustainable, and convenient than ever before.


Nissan’s vehicle-to-grid program makes it possible for owners of certain models in the UK to resell their vehicle’s battery stored energy to the national grid via a partnership with a network operator.

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Due to the constantly changing climate, society needs to think of creative solutions for energy usage and energy provision. Since people are spending a lot of time in their houses, domains like housing also needs to change. Houses need to be more energy efficient and sustainable in order to decrease emissions and improve people’s well-being in the long term. In future’s society, energy is not a limiting factor anymore because all people will be able to generate their own energy.


People’s needs also change over time and people want to contribute to society in a good way. Through improving their households, people can contribute to a more sustainable and environmental friendly world in their own way. As a result, the real-estate sector will look different in twenty years. Organisations like contractors and brokers will have to come up with new and innovative housing concepts that are both attractive and energy efficient at the same time.
The challenge is how we translate these initiatives to products/services? Through these initiatives, people are able to use energy in their households efficiently. With current technologies, people are already to a minor extent self-sufficient. Bearing in mind that technologies develop extremely fast, future houses will be even more sustainable and will serve as energy storage buffers. Probably, we are able to independently run our own households in the future. Not just in rural areas where nature is a sustainable energy source but also in big cities where only a few natural sources are available? If initiatives like Solar Decathlon will keep on improving houses and as such fulfil people’s future needs, the housing sector will be significantly more sustainable and attractive at the same time and therefore improves planet earth’s and people’s well-being in the long run.

Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon is an initiative by the US government where students come up with innovative and sustainable housing solutions. Besides an attractive design, these full-size houses should be water and energy efficient, have market potential. Solar Decathlon is now active world-wide.

Offshore windmill parks

In the Northern Sea just above The Netherlands, offshore windmill parks are situated. These produce great amounts of energy for Dutch households. Big multinationals like shell invest to further these parks. One project of 100 windmills should provide one millions households with energy.

Due to global warming, governments all around the world are investing in sustainable and innovative modes of energy generation. A good example of this is wind energy. Wind energy is an energy source which is not limited in supply and thus offers governments and organisations chances for long term investment in energy. Examples of such investments are offshore windmill parks. They offer people sustainable energy both in the short and long term. This view on unlimited energy supply and usage changes society’s view on energy usage and thus also people’s needs.

Both people and organisations are willing to contribute positively to society in order to prevent worsen global warming. Innovative investments in energy such as windmill parks fulfil these people’s needs. Windmill parks not just indirectly fulfil people’s needs to contribute to society, they also provide people with sustainable and innovative forms of energy for people’s households.

People’s well-being can also be improved through new technologies. If for example, people are able to ‘lease’ wind energy and windmill parks are directly connected to people’s houses, people are more self-sufficient and generate their ’own’ energy. Energy providers could develop a technology allowing people to ‘pay-by-the-hour’ for energy usage. This is in stark contrast to how people pay their electricity nowadays. When people leave their house, products still consume unnecessary electricity. New technologies allow people to live more cost efficiently and sustainable.

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Energy usage in Ghana

Energy usage in Ghana is growing and different sources of energy are available. Urban areas differ heavily in contrast to rural areas regarding the energy source being used.

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Facts, Figures & Implications

  • Bioenergy is the biggest energy source in Ghana with 50% of the total energy supply. Oil represents, with 28%, the second biggest energy supply in Ghana.
  • More than 70% of the Ghanaian population has access to electricity.
  • Electricity is skewed towards urban areas with 87% of households in possession of electricity access. Less than 50% of the households in rural areas have access to electricity.
  • Electricity demand is estimated to grow 10% per annum.


Start-up companies such as SolarNow exploit our largest energy source, the sun, to foster the increasing (African) energy demand. They sell solar systems to rural households and businesses with a credit facility to make them affordable.



SunFire Solutions offers solar cookers that offers African people suffering from poverty the chance to cook food in alternative ways. Through using light-reflecting panels, people are able to prepare food in the sunny climate of Africa. Besides this, SunFire Solutions also offers other solar lighting options.


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Case in point: Katanka Group

The Kantanka group manufactured their first electric cars at the beginning of 2016. These cars are the first electric cars that are made in Ghana. The manufacturers state that if the cars can handle the rough terrain of Ghana they can handle every terrain.


People’s needs are changing and the world’s stock of fossil fuels are decreasing. Therefore, we have to take alternative initiatives into consideration. An example of such an initiative is electric cars. A Ghanaian electric automotive company, the Kantanka Group, pursues the goal to provide Ghana’s citizens with sustainable and innovative mobility solutions.

Beside other world famous brands like Tesla, Kantanka Group also proved that automotive future does not need to run on gasoline and they undertook concrete steps to turn such a vision into reality.

With a current production capacity of 150 cars a month, Kantanka Group is aiming for economies of scale in order to increase production capacity and downgrade costs. The cars are especially made for Ghana’s rough terrain and the founders of Kantanka Group aim to conquer Ghanaian automotive market and to further exploit their electric cars. The materials used for producing the cars are locally acquired which stimulates Ghana’s economy. The Kantanka Group is opportunistic for other mobility solutions such as buses and sports cars. Also, today’s prediction of fully autonomous cars can be a market to be targeted. This implicates that for example the public transport in Ghana will change, improve, and become more sustainable in the long run. This will enhance Ghana’s overall mobility causing changes in people’s needs and expectations.

Needs are becoming more demanding. People want to travel around faster, more convenient, and in a sustainable manner. As such, a continuous process of new and more innovative initiatives for mobility improvement takes place. Governments, organisations and non profit organisations are looking for all sorts of possibilities to fulfil people’s needs in a sustainable way. In the future, this process will continuously take place leading to a highly competitive environment for profit as well as non-profit businesses also consisting of new entrants of multinationals (e.g. Apple, Google, Uber). Such organisations have to come up with new and innovative products and services that provide convenient and sustainable mobility to citizens. This not just accounts for Ghana, also for the rest of the world. Today’s vision for the future has endless possibilities regarding mobility with both incremental and radical changes.

Energy usage and housing in Ghana

In African countries like Ghana, new housing initiatives pop up rapidly. These initiatives reach a lot of people and improve their well-being in different domains. Despite these developments, some people are still not assured of housing. Initiatives like the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) contribute to society in a good way since it provides people with financial back up when they are in the need for it. Because Ghana is urbanising heavily with over 50% in urban areas, their housing should be also more energy efficient. The United Nations is one party that deals with this issue.

Case in point: Watly

Launched in Africa, Watly is the first termodynamic computer in the world. It provides people with fresh water, electricity and internet services. Through state-of-the-art techniques, Watly purifies 5000 liters of water by using solar power. Also, Watly is able serve as a wifi access point with a 800 meters radius.


Energy usage and housing

People’s needs all around the world are changing. Even though societies differ in the extent they are advanced, in rapidly developing continents like Africa, people’s needs are more demanding too. This for example because of the fact that people have increasingly more access to electricity. Watly is an example that shows Africa’s development in sectors like sustainable housing. Watly provides people with fresh water, electricity and internet access through solar power. Launched in Nigeria and Sudan in April 2016, Watly has a lot more potential in countries like Ghana and other African countries.

Especially in energy usage and domains like housing, where people spend a lot of their time and use the majority of energy, Watly can provide people with long term sustainable solutions. Through natural sources like solar energy, Watly can fulfil people’s needs in a sustainable way. Besides that, it will radically change people’s conceptions of energy usage in their households. They will be fully self-sufficient in energy and are able to share sources like internet with neighbours. This will also affect relations among people in a way that people build relations with each other through sharing resources. As a result, individual households will move to collective, but still self-sufficient, households.

As such, people’s housing needs change over time. People want to be fully self-sufficient but where possible are willing to share resources for the better of the environment. Initiatives like Watly changes the housing paradigm radically through exactly fulfilling the future needs of people. While Watly is still unknown in the rest of the world, other initiatives also rise to the surface which all contribute to a sustainable and energy housing sector.