An increasing number of countries, companies and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving. Here are 6 renewable energy trends to watch in the coming year. Renewable energy is booming in China.Getty Energy storage plays an important role in balancing power supply and demand, and is key to tackling the intermittency issues of renewable energy. Pairing a storage system with a renewable energy source ensures a smooth and steady power supply, even when weather conditions are not optimal for energy generation. Batteries are the most common storage devices used in renewable energy systems and their use is increasing on both the residential and grid-wide scale.
Japan will focus more on renewables as a key power source in an effort to curb the country's nuclear dependence, a draft energy plan stated Wednesday, despite maintaining the same energy mix targets as before. The plan, which serves as a guide to the country's mid- to long-term energy policy, stresses the need for resource-poor Japan to build infrastructure that will enable it to contribute to the fight against global warming through reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Nonetheless, the government kept the same targets for its mix of energy sources as in the previous plan. In fiscal 2030, it aims to have renewables account for 22 to 24 percent of electric power generation in the country, while nuclear is intended to comprise 20 to 22 percent. The government hopes to finalize the plan, presented Wednesday to a panel of experts under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and seek Cabinet approval this summer, officials said.
The government's scaling back of a program encouraging residential solar power has Panasonic Corp. hopeful the market for home energy storage systems is about to receive a boost. In 2019, a program designed to buy back solar power flowing from rooftop panels at above-market rates will start becoming less enticing, potentially leaving homeowners who signed up with excess power on their hands. Osaka-based Panasonic is anticipating that installations of energy storage systems combined with solar panels will rise as a result. Panasonic has been selling residential energy storage systems that include a battery and an inverter since 2012. In April, it will begin offering a new model a third the size of the current version while also being able to be hung on an outer wall and installed using fewer parts.
The energy industry has undergone many changes over the past couple of years. With new advances in industrial processes, multiple sources of energy are now available which can drive forward a more efficient use of energy resources. With the newest breakthroughs artificial intelligence (AI) has offered in the fields of robotics, self-driven cars, finance, and healthcare, energy companies are now exploring the possibilities of incorporating AI to increase the prospects of more efficient consumption of energy. Several artificial intelligence courses are already being developed to facilitate learning in the field of AI. The ability to compress and analyze large sets of data can help brands monitor and interpret the data produced by energy industries to optimize energy consumption.
Developing and implementing microgrid infrastructure and energy storage batteries have helped places in the Dominican Republic and Japan stay resilient against Mother Nature's blows and create hope for a sustainable way forward. Such a practice shortens power lines that can stretch for miles and be highly susceptible to the elements, while also providing a backup source of energy.