2019 is shaping up to be an incredible year for renewable energy. A growing number of companies, countries, and regions are starting to adopt clean tech generation, and the renewable energy landscape and applications are evolving rapidly. Watch out for these four cutting-edge trends in the coming years.
Latest Renewable Energy Trends
Renewable energy is not a new concept, but with the latest advanced technology and more widespread effort across the world, it’s now starting to become a legitimate alternative to traditional energy sources. Here are the top trends happening in the renewable energy industry:
- Artificial Intelligence and Microgrids
Local energy grids, also known as microgrids, can operate when connected to a traditional grid or autonomously. Microgrids provide efficiency, energy independence, and protection in case of emergencies. Coupled with the learning capabilities of AI, microgrid controllers will be able to improve and adapt continuously. It will also allow countries around the world to transition toward renewable energy in a cost-effective way.
- Creative Energy Storage
How renewable energy is stored plays an important part in a balanced power supply and demand. It is also vital in dealing with the intermittency issues of clean energy. Pairing a renewable energy source with a storage system helps establish a steady power supply, even when there’s a lack of optimal weather conditions for generation.
From this year and beyond, experts expect energy storage technologies to improve. Right now, batteries are the most-widely used device for storing renewable energy. Not only does it help spread the use of renewable energy, but also assists with recycling efforts, such as in the case of Barbados which repurposed old electric car batteries as a means to store grid energy.
- Energy Blockchain
The blockchain was originally invented to support transactions with cryptocurrency, but it’s now being adapted to be used by the renewable energy industry. The incorruptible nature of blockchain transactions can pave the way for removing the middlemen when it comes to suppliers of electricity. It can help lower inefficiency and inequality, and also empower consumers to trade energy directly with other consumers.
- IoT and Renewable Energy
Furthermore, the Internet of Things (IoT) can also be combined with the blockchain to reveal a new layer of using energy systems. For instance, devices can be used to purchase energy at optimal times, maximize the settings of energy systems in real time, and continuously analyse and monitor the energy consumption of various devices.
These two technologies are now being tested in revolutionary projects. One such initiative is the Brooklyn Microgrid, where a community-powered microgrid allows owners to use blockchain technology to buy and sell power to one another.
Greater Access to Renewable Energy for Every Country
Finally, more and more countries around the world can now look forward to making use of renewable technology. At present, renewable energy seems to be a technology reserved for first-world countries with the resources to keep up with expensive development and fund projects. However, a huge part of the world’s population – greater than a billion – have almost zero access to energy, renewable or not.
The good news is that new energy commitments and technologies from the World Bank and other international groups make the future brighter for developing countries. There are plans to develop community microgrids in poorer countries and deploy initiatives that will lead to greater energy connection around the globe.