What's coming for 2009? Heck if I know, but here's a shot
Predictions can be a tough business. Back in May, Arjun Murti of Goldman Sachs released a report saying that demand from China and lackluster growth in supply will push oil near the $200 mark over the coming months.
During the same week Lehman Brothers' Edward Morse speculated in a report that Saudi Arabia may boost output by 1.3 million barrels a day next year, more than the growth in demand. This could push prices toward $90 a barrel.
And what happened? A worldwide economic collapse has pushed it to $50 a barrel, Lehman has gone down the toilet and Goldman Sachs has decided to become a branch banker.
And the people that have been predicting since that VCs would finally pull the plug on funding solar startups saw Companies like Nanosolar and Solyndra pull in hundreds of millions.
But here's my shot at 2009. Some of these are painfully obvious, but on others I'm stepping out on a limb:
- Vinod Khosla will admit to an audience at the World Economic Forum that he can't figure out that lightbulb chart he shows off during speeches either.
- John Doerr will break down in tears in front of the same audience, telling them how his daughter has accused his generation of ruining non-dairy creamers, sitcoms, album art and the aftermarket for skateboard trucks.
- An algae company will announce a stunning breakthrough that will help the world move away from fossil fuels. Seriously. I feel this one coming on.
- Russia and Brazil will fall further behind China and India as leaders of the two countries will fail to agree on whether to call themselves Brusha or Roomba.
- A foolish old sea captain will disrupt the Second Annual Wave and Ocean Power Conference with a warming about the fury of Neptune. Attendees will scoff and push him around, but suffer no tangible consequences.
- Google will stop inv esting in alternative fuel technologies so it can concentrate on improving the world's cafeteria food.
- Tesla Motors will suffer further delays after workers tell the interim CEO that their real boss said they could work outside today.
- These things will be found to be insufficient feedstocks for biofuels: earwax, Lucky Charms, lint, old keychains, pencils with the erasers broken off, day-glo Post-Its, bile and unused business card holders.
- President Barack Obama will fail to get a carbon tax plan passed in his first year in office. Bloggers will huff.
- These things will be declared the New Black: micro-inverters, flexible substrates, cobalt insulators, aerogels, anodes, and heat exchangers.
- VCs will flock to investments in software, smart grid and energy efficiency. Biofuels will lose even more momentum. At least 612 people will try to take credit for predicting this first.
- That French guy with the car powered by compressed air will enjoy the transcendent experience of flight right before meeting a grisly death when his car plunges to the ground like an empty balloon.
- EEStor. In my thoughts I have seen, rings of smoke through the trees.
- The Demand Response Smart Grid Coalition, the GridWise Alliance, The SilverSprings Technology Alliance Program and The Green Grid will go out in the parking lot and settle it like men.
- Dean Kamen will bite off a chicken's head if you buy a Segway.
- Solar: Silicon will become more available, prices for raw materials and panels will decline, but demand will still grow way faster than supply.
- VCs and private equity firms will agree that water needs serious attention.
- Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers and PG&E CEO Pete Darbee. Turns out it's the same guy.
- Filmgoers will flock to "Who Killed Electric Football?"