The attention is now on the energy sector, which emits more than 70% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as the world aims to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C, with upwards of 100 nations making net-zero commitments at the recently finished COP26 UN Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow. Renewable energy, on the other hand, is poised to rise to the challenge, holding the key to limiting global warming.

According to a new report, advanced robotics, advanced photovoltaic (PV), artificial intelligence, hydropower, distributed energy storage systems, big data, grid integration, green hydrogen, bioenergy, blockchain, and wind energy will be the focus of interest in the renewable energy sector.

Solar energy will remain the preferred option. More floatovoltaic and agrivoltaic initiatives are projected in PV. More emphasis will be placed on environmentally friendly thin-film cells and the use of materials such as perovskite for improved energy conversion. To help boost production and process efficiency, advanced robotics will be deployed.

Grid management is predicted to rise in importance in the energy sector, and distributed energy storage technologies will not be left behind. Artificial intelligence and big data algorithms would be increasingly used in energy grid management for real-time decision-making and to enable the internet of energy (IoE) applications for autonomous trading and pricing. Local renewable energy administration generation through storage—would benefit from the battery and batteryless options for distributed energy storage systems. Grid integration would concentrate on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems to help stabilize the grid during peak hours as well as grid-to-vehicle (G2V) systems for storage at other periods due to the necessity for grid integration. In this industry, blockchain could be handy for performing trusted transactions.

Green hydrogen developments, which are predicted to attract increasing attention, are expected to focus on improving hydrogen storage, transportation, and distribution. Bioenergy, hydropower, and wind energy are also predicted to grow in popularity. Algal and microalgal feedstocks will increasingly be employed in bioenergy to generate energy from biomass sources. Energy converters are intended to contribute to more efficient energy generation in the hydropower sector. According to the ‘Renewable Energy Innovation Report,’ the development and implementation of the airborne and offshore wind turbines will supplement land-centered wind turbines in wind energy.

Such discoveries may appear to be scarce and distant at the moment, but with the recently electrified clean energy ecosystem catalyzing additional such developments, it won’t be long until they become commonplace. For example, the Glasgow conference’s Breakthrough Agenda aims to bring countries together to allow clean technology and make sustainable alternatives affordable and accessible, while also assisting less developed countries in securing tools to attain the net-zero goal.

The agenda, which has the support of the leaders of 40 countries representing 70% of the global economy, aims to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2030. The goal is to get countries and corporations to work together to support the development and ramp-up green industries through programs such as the Glasgow Breakthrough on Power, which aims to make clean energy affordable and reliable for all needs in all countries by 2030. The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, and the Green Grids Initiative are three of the efforts projected to deliver the Glasgow Breakthrough on Power.

Direct air capture, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, and sustainable aviation fuel are among the areas where the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst hopes to lower clean technology prices. The new project, which is part of Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy initiative, aims to help corporations, governments, foundations, and individuals invest in crucial climate technology to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It will fund the development of new technology as well as the commercialization of existing technologies.

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