2019 looks set to enter another dynamic phase for renewable energy and technology as emissions targets draw closer, government policies come online and exciting technologies hit the market. Here are some of the developments we can expect to see in 2019..
Microgrids, AI & Blockchain
As the name indicates, a mircogrid is one that operates independently of a main electricity grid and can be connected in case of emergency or other reasons. They allow for energy independence and if paired with AI (artificial intelligence) the efficiencies can be exceptional as the system learns to adapt to mass fluctuations and improve the overall operation. Further to this, blockchain technology can be incorporated to improve the ease of users buying and selling energy within the grid, cutting out the need for electricity suppliers. Here is an example of this technology in action in Brooklyn, New York. link https://www.greenbiz.com/article/microgrid-grows-brooklyn-future-energy
Energy Access Improvement in Developing Countries
As per the previous point regarding the democratisation of energy through microgrids and blockchain, it is expected that developing countries will gain wider access to electricity. It is shocking but true that over a billion people globally still don't have electricity at home, and these technologies are providing ways to circumvent the issues of supply and cost associated with traditional systems.
Key to the success of renewable energy is battery storage in order to provide consistent supply. Across domestic and commercial applications, battery technology is improving and prices are coming down, making renewables an increasingly viable option.
Continuing on from 2018, global electric vehicle sales will experience another bumper year in 2019. This will be fuelled by a raft of new vehicle options for every type of use including cars, SIVs, trucks and vans. The full gamut of tastes and budgets will be catered for with new models coming from Hyundai and Kia right through to Mercedes, BMW and Porsche. China will be implementing new incentives this year to encourage the development of longer battery range vehicles and penalise car companies who don't reach a set proportion of EVs across their total production.
Cost of Renewable Energy Reduction
The cost of renewable energy has begun to equal that of energy sourced from conventional means. On a level price playing field, the environmental benefits of renewables will tip in their favour, however as the additional benefits of blockchain and AI are added they will become the premium option for consumers across the board.