The world continues to struggle with the switch to renewable energy. Despite the plentiful natural resources handed to us through wind, water and sun, governments around the world are wrestling with ‘selling’ the idea to their citizens. Standing in the way of on-mass innovation adoption is, often, cold-hard cash.
To illuminate just how imposing a problem this is, consider this – despite unparalleled growth in the sector over the coming years, by 2040, all renewables will still only account for less than 10% of global power supply (Fortune). Sobering figures indeed. With this in mind here we look toward the most promising forms of technology, and a couple of key trends, as we continue to grapple with the burning of fossils.
Trends emerging on the horizon
New tariffs will be introduced to work more seamlessly with grid operating costs
Whilst the cost of rooftop solar continues to nose dive, we now face another problem: the cost of managing and upgrading grids to allow for two-way energy flows.
Hawaii has been home to an industry leading case study in this respect, with the introduction of a wide range of differing tariffs, including multiple options for “self-supply”. This transition from legacy NEM tariffs, to next gen, will certainly make for interesting viewing.
Smart tech will only become ever smarter, helping us to become greener
Smart technology may be one of the most exciting realms to be working in right now – and for renewable energy consumption, the potential is practically unmatched. Central to the successful merging of this area and energy consumption, are thermostats and heating/AC units that are becoming more intelligent; and as more of us continue to adopt smart home tech, the accompanied costs will continue to drop. A final benefit of smart tech is that consumers themselves become smarter and more informed as to how and where it is that their energy is being consumed.
Key tech promising to be pivotal to the renewable energies market
The home powering battery
Further to the issue of cost, is the issue of being able to rely upon renewable energy. For too long homes have faced the prospect of having to have a back-up should their renewable energy system fail. For this, there comes one innovative solution from the makers of the world’s most ground breaking electronic car.
We talk, of course, of Tesla, who have just announced development of their ‘Powerwall’ – which is effectively a battery for homes that allows them to tap into the power of solar or wind energy. Not only could it make energy consumption far cheaper, but it promises also to allow householders to feedback any surplus energy and actually make money, rather than burn it.
The traditional Central heating System (may) finally be thrown out
The Big Magic Thermodynamic Box – cutting-edge and forward-thinking in equal measure, this technology demonstrates that the future of energy storage does indeed promise much in the way of an energy storage revolution. However, whilst the technology is cutting-edge, the concept is a simple one – providing a renewable heating system for a property, and hot water, through the power of solar. Going into a little more detail, The Big Magic Thermodynamic Box features Thermodynamic Panels which are free from the need of direct sunlight for energy; instead, they harvest energy from the temperature of the atmosphere around them – making them an optimal choice all year round when compared to weather reliant solar panels.
A further defining (and rather HUGE) selling point of the Big Magic Thermodynamic Box is that the average home can have hot water all year through for, wait for it, the tiny price of approximately £80.
Finally, it seems that renewable energy can be harnessed in a way that makes it accessible for all – overcoming high costs with serious savings all year through and doing away with consumer rejection of seasonally hit and miss alternatives.
It truly seems that we may be on the cusp of tapping into renewable energy on-mass – which is certainly something to be celebrated given how decades have passed by with only relatively limited success of renewable energy acceptance.