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The fourth quarter proved to be a time where incremental markers of disruption impacted utilities, EVs, and green data centers. The year 2013 may ultimately prove to be a watershed moment for the U.S. energy economy as the country becomes a net oil and gas exporter and it heads toward the No. 1 spot as combined producer of oil and gas.
As renewable power options develop, utilities will face more disruptions to revenue. Tesla continues to lead the EV charge, despite some headline risks during the quarter. And the server value chain looks vulnerable to disruption as big IT mulls over building its own chips and low-power-server makers attempt to find a market.
This report will examine the following events and their implications for the near term:
- Tesla has big plans going forward with an all-electric SUV and a mid-market luxury EV priced under $40,000. The company remains the leader in the EV market.
- With rooftop solar, commercial-scale solar from third parties on tap, and new energy-storage options, utilities have challenges going forward as new competitors enter the market.
- ARM server startup Calxeda didn’t make it, after raising more than $90 million. That’s not quite a verdict on ARM servers, but the news does mean there will be one less ARM server competitor in the market. And potentially some valuable IP for a server maker that wants to diversify.
- The U.S. continued its charge toward becoming a petroleum production leader. For producers of renewable energy, the best hope is that if the U.S. takes center stage as an oil and gas exporter, fossil fuel prices will rise further and make renewables more competitive.
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