Clean energy is the best way to go, with new trends emerging while old ones change to fit the transforming landscape. Here are 10 energy trends rising to beat the high temperatures and pollution.
1. The Internet of Things
Internet-connected devices are making waves in the energy sector by allowing consumers to control how much they consume and when. Companies are upgrading their operating technology to facilitate more efficient electricity generation.
New technology tends to come with some concerns, however. Increasing digitalization means a higher chance of cyberattacks. Businesses like Honeywell have strengthened their security measures to prevent hackers from interfering with community energy supplies. Operating technology attacks tend to carry more weight than others due to the potential for environmental harm, a factor companies are addressing.
2. Automatic Sensors
Automatic sensors fit within the growing digitalization movement. Building sensors can detect power usage and adjust the surroundings as necessary. The system could turn the lights off in an empty office or increase the indoor temperature to correspond with the outside.
Many of these devices also report power consumption levels, allowing for automatic or manual adjustment. Landowners of commercial and residential buildings can monitor how much energy they use within a day, week or month to conserve electricity.
3. Efficiency Standards
The federal government creates efficiency standards for many businesses. These guidelines extend to the appliances companies use and produce — such as Energy Star certified printers or generators. All applicable products must fit the standard, or regulations will prevent developers from releasing them.
These rules prevent companies from straining the grid or contributing more carbon emissions to a taxed planet. As the climate situation increases in urgency, lawmakers and energy experts revise criteria to be more stringent about environmental protection.
Hydropower is a viable option for renewable power in areas with access to running water. This technology sees success in rural environments and regions with large dams, although future improvements could spread it to other cities.
Water already has an immense stake in electricity production because of its cleansing properties. Miners wash their coal during the mining process, and they convert oil and natural gas to energy through water refining. Eliminating fuels and using water as a power source can avoid resource depletion and reduce electricity usage.
5. Energy Storage
An increase in renewable energy brings a rise in storage. Renewables have high variability rates, requiring users to store electricity for later use. Many solar arrays come with batteries enabling the consumer to continue using power after dark.
Backup generators also serve as storage solutions, with some models running on solar power. Collection technologies will become commonplace as people shift away from fuels and choose natural sources.
6. Solar PV
Solar PV has swept through multiple industries, rising to popularity because of its practicality and cost. Future improvements will see an increase in sunlight absorption, allowing users to harvest more energy for their money's worth. If solar roofing isn't feasible, other options exist. Ground-mounted panels are an excellent alternative to roof mounts and are easier to maintain.
7. Distributed Energy Resources
Consumers want freedom over their utilities, and they're obtaining it through cleaner energy. People calculate how their carbon footprints affect the environment, which encourages them to adopt better generation methods. Distributed energy resources are community-based and consumer-led. Power sources are coming closer to home through microgrids, and people are leaving large companies.
8. Wind Power
Wind power is best on rural properties that receive frequent gusts. Industrial farms and large businesses are most likely to harness wind electricity rather than individual users. However, small turbines exist for residential use and can provide off-grid power for those seeking to leave their energy network. Offshore turbines may make wind power more prevalent in the coming years due to improved electricity delivery.
9. Green Policies
Federal and local legislators enact green policies to encourage a practical adoption of renewables. Interconnection standards instruct utility companies on managing clean energy within fuel-based grids, and output-based regulations set limits on emissions levels. Environmental policies seek to conserve natural resources and protect ecosystems by reducing harmful operations.
10. Net Zero Cities
A city with no carbon emissions sounds like a dream, but it's becoming a reality for various communities. The organization C40 encourages megacities to lower their greenhouse gases by constructing net-zero buildings, employing low-emission transportation and reducing waste. They have over 100 cities across the globe committed to their cause, with 30 of them already on track to achieve net-zero status.
Curbing Climate Change With New Solutions
Much-needed energy solutions will emerge in response to ecological concerns. Technological advancements have allowed developers to change how they operate buildings, generate energy and share power across the grid.
Emily Folk grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. She has a passion for ecology and conservation and sustainability. In high school, she discovered her other passion: writing. After graduating with a degree in Professional Writing, the most natural step seemed to be combining the two passions in one forum. Her goal is to help people become more informed about the world and how we fit into it.
Her website is Conservation Folks