By Vishnu M S
As we are approaching the end of what has been a tough 6 months, with COVID-19 disrupting lives and economies across the world. The energy market was greatly affected by the pandemic as well, and lockdowns may need to be extended till the end of 2021, disruptions are likely to continue. However, there are few trends and technologies in the energy industry to watch out for as several countries around the world are pushing forward with adopting renewable energy technology. EIA predicts that the utility-scale of renewable fuel, wind, solar and hydropower will collectively produce 18% of U.S. electricity in 2019 and 19% in 2020. Here are some of the top trending technologies in the energy industry to watch in 2021.
The most favored source of renewable energy is their lack of dependability. Solar PV are not useful at night and wind blowing is essential to generate wind power. Hence it is vital to ensure the future of renewables in the energy mix. Most of the work has already been done to develop better and longer-lasting batteries and other means of storing various types of energy generated from renewable sources.
2020 is no exception, as the energy industry leaders pushing to develop and promote better energy management and storage. This will also need substantial grid flexibility to allow energy firms to balance supply and demand in a variable market. Consumers are becoming more and more acute with how they chose energy suppliers. The market should continue to be the key factor for change. Commercial consumers are also pressing hard to source their energy from more diverse and renewable sources.
An integral part of good energy management is feasible and dependable storage systems or batteries. Several companies like Telsa, Sonnen, Eos, Vivint Solar have new developments in this area.
Artificial intelligence is making waves in several industries around the world. The energy industry is no special case. AI is being implemented to help energy companies and consumers to collect and filter through data to help identify and track technologies in energy generation and consumption. Smart meters and smart energy management systems are also taking advantage of integrating AI. It can also help with implementing better energy storage decisions, as well as rising energy efficiency.
Energy and mining organizations are also beginning to adopt AI to assists them to fasten the production process and reduce waste. The investment should ultimately pay dividends and make services more profitable.
Blockchain technology is another interesting development in the energy industry. These peer-to-peer networks are assisting the clients to effectively trade energy easily.
This can be implemented by energy companies or even by private individuals as well. Such technology, with help of IoT, can help improve the performance and efficiency of smart, energy-conserving devices and of building management systems. Utility providers can benefit from blockchain's distributed ledger technology by tracking the chain of custody for grid materials and other related materials.
One of the disadvantages of the increasing digitization of the energy sector is its vulnerability to hacking or cyber-attacks. A concerted and powerful attack could take down the entire energy grid of a nation. Wargames are conducted regularly to test this scenario. AI and blockchain might be vital points to overcome this perpetual danger.
Finally, the technologies implemented in these energy sectors might look good on paper but it is a tough task to make it a real-time application. However, if this is executed, it will be exciting and helpful for several energy sector organizations.