In the world of alternative power, “the next big thing” is really small—and you don’t want to miss it. People are racing to become part of a revolutionary craze that boasts the strong potential to change the way we live. It is the ever-growing (or ever-shrinking) world of nanotechnology, and, in this special issue, we bring you a cover story that delves deep into the new industrial revolution that is already affecting the lives of many in the power installation industry.

With the current aging power infrastructure, it won’t be long before alternative energy becomes mainstream and new power devices unfold. In fact, the magnitude of this emerging source is immense––the National Science Foundation predicts the market for nanotechnology products and services will be as much as $1 trillion in 10 to 12 years and funding from the National Nanotechnology Initiative is expected to reach $847 million for 2004. These are some serious numbers, and contractors will be challenged as integrators to capitalize on these cutting-edge opportunities. How? Turn to page 24 to find out more about the nano revolution.

Commercializing nanotechnology applications is one of the main goals for nanotech companies such as NanoDynamics Inc. (www.nanodynamics.com), who guided us with our cover story and provided us an inside look at some of their revolutionary products. Located in Buffalo, N.Y., they are developing devices and systems for portable power and generation markets that are bound to make a dramatic impact on the market. Their new fuel cell systems, especially their “Revolution,” will represent a breakthrough in lightweight compact power, which contractors will eventually install in a wide variety of applications.

In this issue, we also explore other alternative energy sources such as nuclear power, solar lighting and existing fuel cells. We find out that there is a growing lack of expertise in the nuclear power sector since most contractors who worked on the original nuclear power plant projects have retired. Contractors should now jump at the opportunity to train their work force and capture whatever market share exists.

Make no mistake about it––the amount of work in alternative energy is growing exponentially. If you haven’t entered the market yet, don’t wait. You don’t want to miss the next big thing. And last but not least, special thanks to Sandman Studios (www.sandmanstudios.com) for creating our striking cover this month.

Hope you enjoy the issue. EC

STANIMIRA Z. STEFANOVA, Editor