When we think of transforming industries, we tend to think only in terms of what has already been done and seems reasonably plausible. However, it takes a certain type of visionary to think outside the box. To "transform" also means to revolutionize, remodel, overhaul, reshape, redo and reorganize from the beginning.
The current energy market is a rapidly changing landscape, far more than most people realize. There are massive changes being made and groundbreaking companies being built that will change the way we as an entire society operate.
You should know who is behind it:
One of Musk's earliest entrepreneurial achievements, PayPal, would be a lifetime dream to most entrepreneurs. Compared to what he is doing today, PayPal pales in comparison.
Musk says often that the goals of his companies revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity for the better. As the chairman of SolarCity, and the founder of Tesla, he has rightfully positioned himself as both an innovator and a pop-culture icon of what powers the future.
If you're not up to speed (pun intended), Tesla is working with SolarCity to combine Tesla's lithium-ion batteries with SolarCity's rooftop solar arrays. The new energy program allows homes and businesses to do everything from store energy for an emergency to powering their Model S. Musk is, essentially, involved in every facet of the modern energy market, from production to its use in the locomotion of cars.
The concept of an attractive, clean-energy car was considered fantasy until only this decade, because of the work of Elon Musk. And we have all seen the explosion of clean and alternative-energy vehicles grow bigger as a result. If he can disrupt the automobile market in such a drastic way, what is stopping him from disrupting the entire energy market?
Bringing into reality what most have dreamed of and yet believed impossible, Musk is changing the way we think about energy.
Could the future of energy come from a 14-year old boy?
In today's world, the idea might not be so far-fetched. Max Loughan is the young science hobbyist who created a crystal radio from items found around his family's home to generate power from radio waves in the earth's atmosphere. The idea of free energy harkens all the way back to Nikola Tesla, who is the original proponent of the device Loughan successfully created.
"As cheesy as this sounds, from day one, on this planet that I knew I was put here for a reason," Max said during a recent interview. "And that reason is to invent, to bring the future. My true goal is to help. It is to invent a future where people can be happy, where they can be safe and sound."
Max represents the idea that change is necessary. Just as we can all unite in our collective frustration with cable companies, we can come together with the idea that energy (whether fossil-fueled, solar, or wind) is ripe for disruption. His discovery of free energy, no matter how small or big it seems, represents that change is right around the corner. It has re-energized the discussion about power, and how we produce it.
By giving us a glimpse of the impossible, Loughan is soon to become a power player in the energy sector.
Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria
Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria is showing us a world in which traditional power companies are obsolete, and expensive power bills are a thing of the past. A graduate of Brown (MD) and Stanford (MBA), Kathuria is the founder of New Generation Power (NGP), a company focused on providing clean and reliable power to even the most remote locations of the world. NGP's projects produce renewable energy from every clean resource imaginable, including solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, and biomass.
Dr. Kathuria has seen first-hand the disparity between energy consumers on different sides of the planet. This stark contrast has forced him to consider new ways villages in India can access power in safe ways.
Today, roughly one-third of the world still uses natural gas to power their homes, leading to thousands of gas-related deaths and injuries annually. A subsidiary of NGP, Veriown, is transforming the way people in rural India access the modern power grid. By allowing individual homes to harness solar power, use the electricity that they need, and record credits for carbon trading, Veriown is creating an "Internet of energy." Each home can be self-sustaining for its energy uses, and can contribute to the commerce and success of the whole town at the same time, solving a myriad of issues that these remote areas face on a daily basis.
Like Elon Musk, Kathuria is also an avid entrepreneur and space explorer. Kathuria was the Founding Director of Mircorp, the world's first commercial enterprise to privately launch and fund manned space programs. Mircorp even supplied millions of dollars to keep Russia's Mir space station operating in 2001. Kathuria also co-founded American Teleradiology NightHawks, Inc., a radiology and cardiology service provider, which later merged with NightHawk Radiology Holdings, Inc. and went public on NASDAQ. And in 2004, recognizing the opportunity for change in our government, he ran for the US Senate in Illinois. The eventual winner of the US Senate seat was none other than Barack Obama.
Kathuria is striving to change things both within and without the public sphere. By breaking down the existing idea of the 'energy company,' Dr. Kathuria is changing the way we access and distribute energy.