One of the biggest problems with renewable energy trends is that there is so much conflicting advice and information. Online articles and news pieces will constantly push the Eco-environmental angle by saying how our world is two bonfires away from meltdown, and then we have online articles and news pieces about how fantastic renewable energy is and how it is blowing the competition out of the water. The truth is that there are only three genuine renewable energy trends to watch out for in 2019.
Energy storage is the key to help balance power generation with power supply. There is a great demand for efficient and high-capacity energy storage that is also safe, and this is especially true with people who produce their own power. When you are pairing a storage system with a renewable source, you much ensure you have a steady power supply that runs smoothly because things such as weather conditions may get in the way.
One of the most widely used storage devices with renewable energy users are batteries, which is the user on a grid-wide scale and residential scale. Energy storage devices improving and growing in efficiency and size, and since they are becoming more popular, it means they are going to become more affordable and viable with time. It has been said that storage will become the core component that will define the usefulness of all new energy technologies in the future. Sadly, unless domestic and utility-scale prices of power storage become more competitive, renewable energy products will always struggle and suffer to find buyers.
On the island Caribbean of Barbados people have been reusing old car batteries as to provide energy storage, which is crude, but every little helps, and it helps so much that people are able to exploit renewable energy far more than people in a low-income bracket are usually able.
Microgrids and AI
A microgrid can operate autonomously or may be connected to a larger traditional grid. Microgrids provide people with efficiency, protection until an emergency has past, and gives you energy independence on certain levels. Microgrids may be managed using AI, which helps to keep the microgrid as efficient as possible. Obviously, genuine artificial intelligence is not used because AI doesn’t exist. What people mean, is that a computer program is used that has several thousand scenarios programmed into it, and it can pick the right option based on the whichever scenario appears.
The Palau pacific island nation is building the world’s largest microgrid with 35MW of solar panels that are paired with energy storage solutions that equal 15 megawatt hours. By the year 2050, the country’s energy supply will be 70% renewable. Since these islands are going to be among the first to suffer when climate change shows its true colours, they are trying to set an example to the rest of the world.
Blockchain Distribution Ledger Technology
With the use of bitcoin technology, it may be possible to buy and sell units of power directly from producers without the need for other middle-companies to get involved. This means you may be able to buy power from larger energy companies at lower rates. It may also mean you can buy energy from the person down the street who has installed solar cells on his or her roof.
Bitcoin works on blockchain technology that is an incorruptible decentralized peer-to-peer network where units may move from one person to another without the need for middle-companies. We may even see a future where people within a microgrid are able to buy and sell power between their community. Imagine a small village where some people have apples and some do not, and where people in the village may go online and buy a few apples from one person and a few apples from another within the community. That is how bitcoin’s blockchain technology may one day be used to help people buy and sell power in a small community the same way they sold apples in the small village.
Conclusion – Have We Reached Grid Parity?
People are asking if 2019 is the year where renewable energy becomes less expensive than traditionally-generated energy, and the fact is that it will not. The problem is that the best energy-unit prices come from larger devices, such as the big wind turbines that are dotted around the countryside and coast, but the biggest devices cost a massive amount of money. Smaller wind and solar devices are cheap enough, but they do not produce enough power to make them cost efficient. It is unlikely that we will see any sort of renewable grid parity in 2019, but if the trends listed on this article continue, then we may not have to wait until 2050 before we see a big movement from traditional power generation to renewable power generation.