Top 5 Energy Innovation Trends for 2019

Energy efficiency, energy sustainability, and energy independence are big topics for 2019. In fact, research shows that homebuyers are willing

Energy efficiency, energy sustainability, and energy independence are big topics for 2019. In fact, research shows that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium of $15,000 for homes with solar panels.

As wind turbines and commercial solar solutions begin to pop up around the world, this trend is only expected to grow. The following are five big energy innovation trends to watch out for in 2019 — and maybe invest in yourself.

1. Big Commitments

As the first of our top energy innovations, we can expect increasing numbers of companies, cities, and nations to embrace alternative energy. They are beginning to take action towards emissions reduction targets, and establish action plans to limit the rise of Earth’s temperature.

As of now, more than 100 cities around the world have reported that 70% or more of their energy production is from renewable sources. Over 40 are now functioning on 100% renewable energy. Hundreds of others have promised to shift towards energy production that’s 100% renewable. Additionally, 158 different companies have committed to shifting over to using 100% renewable energy.

2. Energy Storage

Innovative energy storage has the all-important role of managing the supply and demand of electricity, and it’s integral for resolving the intermittency issues involved in renewable energy. Combining storage systems with renewable energy sources will ensure smooth, steady power supplies, even when the weather isn’t providing ample sunshine for solar energy or wind for turbines.

Of course, batteries have always been the most common devices for storing power in innovative energy systems, and battery usage is increasing for both residential and grid-wide energy solutions. Fortunately, energy storage solutions are only going to improve over time, making them both more viable and more affordable.

Not surprisingly, it’s expected that power storage will be a core component in new energy technologies as we move into the future. As storage systems become more affordable, the remaining advantages of traditional power will start to disappear.

3. Falling Costs and Grid Parity

Grid parity happens when an innovative energy solution generates power at a level of cost and performance that’s equal to or less than energy produced using conventional methods. In many areas, solar and wind technologies have reach parity already, in both performance and price. Meanwhile, new technologies continue to improve every day, both in commercial and residential applications.

The old-fashioned model involving large, top-down, centrally-distributed electricity production is now being replaced with modular, consumer-driven, evenly-distributed production. Though once considered difficult to integrate into the power grid, renewable energy is now helping to strengthen conventional energy’s reliability and resilience. Furthermore, utilizing blockchain, artificial intelligence, and automation is making renewables truly self-optimizing, which increases their efficiency.

4. Microgrids and Artificial Intelligence

Microgrids are small, local power grids that work either autonomously or connected with a large, conventional grid. They offer energy independence, efficiency, and protection through emergencies. By using machine learning alongside microgrid controllers, their operation can be continually adapted and improved over time. Small communities may rely on a single microgrid, but you can establish your own in your backyard if you have enough land.

Setup of microgrids has become considerably faster, with innovative software making it possible for designs to be finished in as little as one day. Particular innovators intend to create turnkey solutions that take up to 90% less time and expense than traditional methods.

5. Energy Sources in Developing Nations

And the last of our five trends in energy innovation to follow, energy is becoming more accessible and wide-spread in developing countries.

With so much excitement over alternative energy, it’s easy to forget that much of the world lacks any access to electricity at all. One billion people currently live without access to electricity, while hundreds of millions deal with unreliable or incredibly costly power sources.

Arriving at universal energy access is going to be critical for solving global problems in the face of development changes. Changes occurring in the energy industry can offer a solution to the global problem of electricity access. Small, community-based microgrids could be the least-expensive way to provide affordable, dependable power to people who currently live without it. Clean, modular, renewable power systems are optimal for most communities that have been largely unable to use electricity in its conventional, centralized forms.

Politics often prevent progress, but for the issue of global energy access, the way ahead is highly promising. And there you have it: from exciting new commitments to energy in developing countries, these are our top five energy innovation trends to watch in 2019.

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