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Alfred Cannan

Alfred Cannan

Alfred Cannan

30 Voices on 2030: What does the future hold?

Much has changed over the last decade and the environment in which we are now living is vastly different from that a decade ago.

And I really mean the focus has been “the environment”. Because of the global warming crisis, our understanding now of renewable energy is far greater and we are seeking to strive for more understanding and efficiencies in the delivery of the energy that we need to power our daily lives. Of course, fossil fuels still exist and gas is still needed as a supplementary source of power, but it is increasingly reducing as new refined methods of wind and solar power generation are developed.

In fact the provision of energy is now a major focus for Government and the private sector, delivering power not just to the Island but seeking to maximise the natural resources available to us to export energy to both the UK and Ireland.

It has not just been the direct delivery of energy that has been impacted. Planning and building regulations have now changed to ensure that modern houses and buildings are both energy efficient and are capable of generating their own heart and power sources. Apartments have become more fashionable and indeed more affordable as construction industry seeks greater efficiencies and almost all new cars are now electric, with increasing experimentation taking place with hydrogen powered transport. 

Energy production and the environment have impacted in many ways and are now regarded as an industry in its own right. New jobs have been created and many have re-trained into new methods for provision of related services to consumers. 

Hand in hand with these changes has been technological innovation. The internet of things is truly a household expression and smart devices are monitoring our daily lives and providing us with enhanced services. But it is the delivery of services in the professional world of finance, law and accountancy that has changed beyond recognition. Blockchain technology has provided the authorities with transparent access to financial records and provides the consumer with significant levels of protection. Legal documentation, financial reporting and financial transactions must now be carried out using blockchain but this has meant that some deregulation has been enabled.

The changes over the last ten years have been mostly positive for society. Economic growth has continued during this period and the technology now available has meant that new businesses have been able to enter markets that may have previously had high barriers to entry.

This period has not been without challenges of course and public finances remain under close scrutiny and control. But generally these changes have been positive for the Island. The business sector is more diverse than ever, has greater access to world markets and energy provision has provided both stability and opportunity.

The Island remains a UNESCO biosphere reserve and its heritage remains strong; qualities enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. 

Although change is happening at a faster pace than perhaps is comfortable for some, we should seek to embrace it - not fight it.