2009 will be the year that the world becomes more “energy aware.” Energy topics will be all over the internet, as consumers try to find a way to cope with higher oil prices and learn about new energy technologies. I heard from a potential client today that said she was not able to travel to my office for a meeting because of the high price of gasoline. She was opting to do as much as possible by phone. This awareness of energy use and cost will become more and more the case in the coming year, even if oil prices do ease up a bit. The possibility of the price of oil dropping back to extremely low levels is remote, and even if it did, we know now that if we continue to not be aware of our energy usage, we will see high prices again. Also, beyond the price of oil, climate change issues have made us seek sources of energy other than carbon based fuels. The internet will be key to feeding this new need for energy awareness. Via the internet we can see that some countries are moving as fast as possible away from carbon based fuels, in an effort to reduce their countries carbon footprint. These countries are encouraging energy users to change to other fuels, such as biofuels for heating and electricity generation, and once they are changed over, they will not be going back. Likewise, once we become energy aware, we will not be going back to our energy hog days. Over the next year, the internet will be used to track new automobile technology, find out about new fuels, learn how much energy we are using to make a meal, monitor energy prices, and follow new technology breakthoughs, to name a few of what online consumers will be searching for on the internet. One site that will be interesting to watch is the Progressive Automotive X-Prize Organization’s website: http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/, where we can watch the race to win a $10 million prize for the best new car technology. It is an exciting time for energy awareness, and there will be a lot to watch over the next year. Recently, GM announced sweeping corporate changes that revolve around making more fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. The GM CEO spoke of hydrogen fuel-cell, electric, and hybrid cars being more of what they would be producing over the next few years. The internet will be the place to research these new vehicles that GM and other manufacturers will be bringing to the market. Instead of going to “kick some tires” on these new cars, we’ll be “kicking the tires” first via the internet.