The race towards an energy transition is accelerating as the world understands the need for environmental changes, and governments finally engage in the search for solutions. Although each country’s journey towards sustainability has presented its own set of challenges, we are witnessing a steady, engaged move towards a greener world. In this scenario, tech innovations have appeared to ease the process and make it accessible to the general population to transition.
As the tech industry moves towards the future, the demand for electric power is dramatically increasing. The development and advancement of clean energy systems might resolve the major problems that this long-term project presents in developed countries. This might make all the difference in reaching the world’s goals for green energy in 2021. Here are the tech developments that are helping alternative power reach mainstream status.
Digitalization of the Energy
Tech advancements in digitalization have allowed renewable energy operators to handle their output more efficiently. This integration has come from the use of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand and project the patterns of wind and sun under specific circumstances, thus improving the reliability of the output.
The popularization of blockchain is also worth a mention. This is a revolutionary data recording system that distributes across a network of computers, with no involvement of traditional data managers, like banks. You might have heard of it from bitcoin, which blew up these last couple of years. Besides its uses in banking, blockchain is becoming a tool for digital transactions of all kinds to be conducted safely. This tech allows for output energy to be discharged into battery storage systems. Blockchain has come as a remarkable tool to support the transition towards green energy through electricity grids.
One of the biggest challenges in replacing traditional fuel sources with renewable energy is storage. Adequate storage solutions have always been a problem, but this is finally changing thanks to new alternatives. For example, since 2012, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has been on a steady decline, which has had positive consequences for renewable energy use. Other tech advancements like STF, a material capable of absorbing light and storing it as energy for later release, give alternative options for storage.
Maxwell Technologies in California has also developed one of the most efficient new storage technologies in the form of ultracapacitors. These artifacts capture energy through electro-static and release it quickly when needed.
Looking at the bigger picture, the lower cost of green energy will allow more people to approach the alternative to grid energy. This step towards cost-efficiency might put renewable energy in direct competition with traditional electricity in a few years.
Solar tech can be divided into two categories: concentrated solar power, known as CSP, and photovoltaics, known as PV. The difference is that PV uses sunlight to create power, and CSP transforms the heat of the sun to create thermal energy. This tech allows for infinite possibilities for green energy in the future.
One of the key elements in solar energy are solar panels, and the industry has made incredible progress in the subject. Tech has been vital in the search for alternative solar cell types. Perovskite has become a viable alternative material to silicon cells, the most used today.
Another breakthrough has been a tech advancement that allows waste heat emitted by solar panels to go back into the system to be harnessed and used. This possibility translates into lower costs, and ultimately improves the efficiency of solar energy.
We, as consumers, are using more energy than ever before, so it’s become clear that we will need to produce more energy than we are right now to meet the demands of the population. The integration of tech in the system of green energy might be just what was needed for wind and solar production to become a potential replacement for other fuel sources. Green energy is still looked at as an alternative, unreliable source, but there’s great hope for it in the future. The combination of greater necessity and a bigger awareness on the subject leads us to think that clean energy is going to win the battle.