New Year New news or perhaps New Year old news - I am still banging the drum for Renewables and it seems I am not the only one. Forbes has published an article highlighting the key industry trends for 2019 and below is a summary of some of the TED talks included in the article.
First up a talk about how we can accelerate the shift to clean energy through the creation of local grids. Bill Nussey, clean tech CEO, states that local electricity production is similar to the 'farm to table movement', it is cheaper, cleaner and more secure. A large part of this is due to the fact that solar, wind and battery storage are technologies and not fuels. Unlike coal that needs to be burned to produce electricity, solar plants allow for continuous production of electricity for the duration of the solar photovoltaic plant's life.
In the UK the Government has decided remove the support for rooftop residential solar (see Passle from Chris Pritchett on the end of the FIT tariff) but there is still a strong case to be made for residential self-consumption and community energy generation.
The second talk from Marek Kubik explains how energy storage fits in the renewable energy puzzle. He states that the absence of batteries has held back the renewable energy revolution. He then goes on to explain the historical inefficiencies of our energy system, where we have traditionally paid to 'turn-off' wind and solar and paid again to run coal fired plants to cover our energy needs. Battery storage enables a 'shift' to our energy system, where electricity is stored when not needed and discharged when needed most.
If you are interested in technological advances, then listen to the fourth talk regarding organic solar cells that can be installed on buildings of any type. These third generation solar cells are aesthetically better, more lightweight than traditional panels (and thus more suited for buildings in the UK) and can be integrated on buildings, thus leading to considerable savings in installation costs.
The final talk is an inspirational talk about the use of energy as a driver for industrial development in countries with limited to no access to electricity. It is striking that as of 2017, 1 billion people did not have access to electricity.
See Renewables can (and will) save the world in all its many guises!
2019 is an exciting year for renewable energy. More and more countries and cities are adopting ambitious renewable energy targets and the technology is evolving rapidly. Many of these technologies, such as microgrids and energy storage, could become mainstream technology in the coming years. At this speed of innovation, it is difficult to keep track of all the changes!