Last week the guardian posted an article on five renewable energy trends to watch in 2018, and here is a summary of what they are:
Renewable energy costs will continue to fall
Since 2009, solar prices have dropped by 62 % and off-shore wind by 50 %, reaching £57/MWh. Record low prices for both solar and wind at power auctions have made way for subsidy free energy. This trend is predicted to continue, with decreasing prices in India creating better competition in auctions.
China will push ahead with its ambitious energy plans
Contradictory, China is both the world’s biggest polluter and the global leader in solar generation. In 2017, China expected to install a whopping 54 GW of solar, surpassing their targets for 2020 already. By 2020, China plans to have invested £292bn in renewable power and to introduce a cap on the amount of coal burning that has caused severe air pollution in many of its cities.
China have eight large-scale carbon capture projects underway, plan to be the global leader is electrical vehicle manufacturing and adoption, and have finally introduced its national emissions trading scheme which put a price on the carbon emissions across the Chinese power generation sector.
Corporations will make bold commitments
Many companies are pledging to become RE100 companies, where 100 % of their energy come from renewable energy, joining the likes of Apple and Goldman Sachs.
Experts expect that the number of corporations pledging ambitious renewable targets to increase in 2018, mainly due to the prices of renewables falling and corporations being exposed to climate change and NGO campaigns.
The renewable industry will generate more jobs
The International Renewable Energy Agency released a report stating that 9.8 million people now work in the renewable sector worldwide, with wind turbine service technician and solar PV installer jobs becoming the fastest growing occupations in the US. Here in the UK, jobs should be created thanks to the £17.5bn invested in offshore wind.
To keep up with the increasing uptake of renewables there needs to be an increase in skilled workers, otherwise the speed of energy transition will be limited.
Competition in the battery market will increase
In 2018, Tesla will complete is Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2021, China plans to install 120 GWh capacity of battery cells.
In the UK? In April 2017, the Faraday Challenge was introduced. This is the first phase of £246m investment in battery technology designed to boost research and development, hoping to put the UK at the forefront of the energy storage market.
There is also a prediction that pumped hydro storage,compressed air storage, hydrogen storage, solid state batteries and water based batteries will all see a growth in 2018.
So there you have it, 5 renewable energy trends of 2018. Watch this space.