The demand for renewable energy continues to grow.
By the end of 2024, around one-third of the world’s electricity is expected to come from renewable energy sources. Of the renewables, solar energy will continue to dominate the energy market and is likely to experience a 60% growth.
Other renewable energy sources like hydropower, offshore wind and biofuels will follow a similar trend.
Thanks to the growing environmental concern and significantly lower production costs, many businesses are adopting renewable energy.
Moreover, the increased need for a quick transition to clean energy allows significant developments in the renewable energy sector.
Today, more than ever, businesses and industries are opting for green energy alternatives to reduce carbon emissions, improve the environment and lower energy costs.
Many major renewable energy trends will dominate the industry in 2023. From integrating energy-efficient solutions to digitalization, using artificial intelligence and more, a lot is happening in the renewable energy sector.
While renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydroelectricity have been around for quite some time, recent developments, thanks to modern technology, have allowed for the emergence of some of the most promising trends in the industry. Moreover, there’s an advent of relatively newer areas of research in the renewable sector, which include tidal energy and energy from green hydrogen.
Let’s check out the top nine renewable energy trends in 2023.
#1. The Unfolding of State-of-the-Art Photovoltaics (PV)
While solar energy has been around for many years, and an increasing number of commercial and residential energy users are switching to solar, the emergence of state-of-the-art photovoltaics is new.
Solar energy-producing companies are now integrating photovoltaics (PV) with various aspects of the surroundings. The integration aims at reducing the need for additional space.
Moreover, as photovoltaics are integrated, agricvoltaics and floatovoltaics appear as a logical trend. These innovations allow businesses to develop more flexible, lightweight, cost-effective and environment-friendly energy solutions.
Renewable energy businesses are developing enhanced technologies to upgrade and modernize photovoltaics performance. They now rely on the use of lenses and mirrors to harness solar power using mirrors and lenses.
Moreover, the upgradation in the materials used for photovoltaics also increases energy conversion manifolds.
These innovative trends are maximizing the efficiency and production of renewable energy. Moreover, they are also promoting efficient resource utilization, sustainable energy production practices and the use of alternate materials to enhance energy output.
In the United States, several states now have specific policies that encourage using renewable energy sources through multiple channels. For example, individuals who cannot install solar panels in their homes can take advantage of community solar farms.
These solar farms are specific areas that allow for the installation of solar panels that can benefit subscribers without the need for installing solar panels on their property.
As a result, it makes access to renewable energy more feasible for individuals with shaded roofs, multi-family households and low to moderate-income families.
The states offering community solar farms include Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. However, some states like Virginia, New Mexico, and Hawaii have recently allowed for laws regarding community solar farms.
In 2023, we can expect solar energy developers to continue incorporating innovative renewable energy solutions on community solar farms. For example, the plantation of wildflowers or crops at community solar farms improves efficient space utilization and allows for sustainable agrivoltaics practices.
While we can also expect some resistance from communities, the trend will likely continue this year and beyond.
#2. Upgraded Renewable Energy Storage Solutions
One of the other top renewable energy trends in 2023 is the upgraded renewable energy storage solutions.
The most significant concern with renewable energy generation has been storage. There were numerous challenges when it came to storing excess renewable energy.
However, over the years, we have seen continuous development, which resulted in upgraded renewable energy storage solutions.
The emergence of Distributed Energy Storage Systems (DESS) limits the production of renewable energy and hence, helps overcome storage challenges.
Based on business and residential clients’ needs, energy solutions now offer a wide range of battery and battery-less energy storage solutions with additional convenience features like improved energy density and lightweight.
Moreover, the upgraded renewable energy storage solutions allow the conversion of excess energy into other energy forms, such as methane or heat, for convenient storage. These converted energy sources can be reconverted for effective utilization.
#3. Innovations to Harness the Power of Waves, Currents and Tides
Hydropower is one of the largest and oldest sources of renewable energy production.
However, over the years, energy production businesses have been moving away from hydroelectric dams to harness the power of other water elements such as tides, currents and waves.
Unlike wind and solar energy, which are heavily dependent on air movement, hydro energy is more reliable and predictable. Moreover, energy producers don’t have to rely solely on hydroelectric dams to harness the power of waves, currents and tides. Instead, they can access these power resources from the lakes, oceans and seas.
The innovations in sources of renewable energy that focus on collecting energy more efficiently continue to be a top renewable energy trend in 2023.
An example is ocean thermal energy conversion (OETC) which produces energy by capitalizing on the variation in temperatures between the oceanic surface and deep water.
Many small businesses are now emerging to harness this form of energy. While the volume at this point is quite low, however, the trend still has to go a long way.
#4. Reliance on Artificial Intelligence and Use of Data for Decision-Making and Trend Analysis
The energy production business is one of the most complex infrastructures. Using energy grids for energy production, storage, and transmission often requires urgent real-time decision-making.
While humans have been doing so for a long time, one of the most recent renewable energy trends in 2023 is incorporating artificial intelligence and the use of data analytics to speed up the decision-making process.
Apart from decision-making involving grid management, artificial intelligence is also used in the renewable energy industry to identify trends. AI and the use of data can help assess and forecast energy consumption. Moreover, it can also assist in predicting the maintenance needs of renewable energy sources.
Reliance on artificial intelligence and data also allows for various other aspects of improving the renewable energy model. With recent innovations, the improvement in technology has enabled energy businesses to use AI and data analytics to upgrade their design and performance.
As the trend continues, we can look forward to some more interesting developments in the field of renewable energy, thanks to the reliance on AI and data analytics.
#5. Innovations in Offshore Wind Energy Production
Humans have capitalized on wind energy for ages. The earliest traces of utilizing the power of wind can be dated back to thousands of years.
However, one of the top renewable energy trends in 2023 is the recent offshore wind energy production innovations.
Today, energy production businesses are evolving technology to devise the latest offshore wind turbines. These turbines will help lower the demand for onshore wind energy. Moreover, this recent trend will also provide opportunities for integrating other water-based renewable energy production sources, such as floatovoltaics. Integration of other water-based renewable energy sources will further lower the demand for land-based renewable energy sources.
#6. The Use of Liquid Biofuels in Vehicles
Biofuels rely on the use of biomass. Unlike other renewable energy forms that do not quickly convert into other energy sources, biomass can convert into liquid fuels.
The two most common types of biofuels that are commonly used today are biodiesel and ethanol.
Liquid biofuels have been meeting the demands of the transportation industry for quite some time. However, the production of biofuels is still limited. The restricted biofuel production cannot suffice the ever-growing demand of the transportation industry, which is why there is no possibility of completely switching over from the use of fossil fuels.
However, one of the latest renewable energy trends in 2023 that we can look forward to is improving the quality of liquid biofuels.
With innovative technology, liquid biofuels that compare with gasoline in quality are blended directly to be used in vehicles.
To attain that level of quality, energy businesses are now heavily investing in upgradation and improving biofuel processes.
As businesses strive to achieve an improved quality of liquid biofuels through integrating upgradation techniques and processes, we can look forward to reduced reliance on fossil fuels in future.
#7. Focus on Grid Integration
Over the last few years, an immense focus has been on understanding complex power grids. The idea is that an enhanced understanding of grid functionality will allow energy businesses to better meet the ever-increasing energy demand.
That’s where grid integration comes into play.
The broader idea behind grid integration is to develop efficient solutions using technology to upgrade existing power systems. The use of technology allows for more effective distribution, transmission, and stabilization of renewable energy.
While grid integration has been an area of focus in renewable energy for quite some time, it has emerged as one of the renewable energy trends in 2023. This year, we observed the capitalization of energy-efficient, grid-electronic technologies like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN).
With the use of these technologies, we can expect energy businesses to conveniently overcome many of the challenges experienced in the past, such as voltage and frequency fluctuations.
While the future of grid integration seems promising, it still remains one of the most challenging domains of renewable energy transmission and distribution.
#8. Involvement of Robotics in the Renewable Energy Sector
Gone are the days when everything was done by humans.
Today, the use of robotics is involved in almost every business to improve the efficiency of production and processes, and the renewable energy sector isn’t an exception.
Since process efficiency has remained a compromised area in the renewable energy business, the use of robotics allows for accurate and optimal resource utilization by overcoming this challenge.
For example, the automation of equipment involved in the production and distribution of renewable energy expedites the production and distribution processes. Similarly, the involvement of robotics in other renewable energy domains, like solar panels, allows for maximum energy conversation as the panels can orient themselves to optimize energy conversion.
These and many more are examples of the involvement of robotics in the renewable energy sector, which can turn out to be one of the most promising renewable energy trends this year and beyond.
#9. Shift to Green Hydrogen
Hydrogen gas is a unique power source that can be used to generate electricity, fuel vehicles and power homes and industries.
And while it is a relatively environmentally friendly fuel choice that produces near-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Most hydrogen is derived from non-renewable sources. Hence, the hydrogen gas that’s primarily used today is known as grey or brown hydrogen.
One of the most recent renewable energy trends in 2023 is the shift from grey or brown hydrogen to green hydrogen.
The developments in renewable energy have allowed for the generation of hydrogen gas using renewable resources like water. The process involves splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen gas which can then be used to fuel energy needs.
While it’s a clean energy source, there are still several roadblocks in producing green hydrogen. However, with the recent developments, we can look forward to improving green hydrogen production, transportation, storage and distribution.
Adapt the Latest Renewable Energy Trends in 2023
Innovations in renewable energy trends cannot go unnoticed now. To overcome the devastating effects of climatic change, businesses are now extensively focused towards producing and using clean and sustainable energy.
With improvements in hardware such as state-of-the-art photovoltaics and offshore wind energy production to reliance on artificial intelligence and data analytics, renewable energy production, storage, and distribution have come a long way.
While there are still several challenges that hamper the complete transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, however, the recent trends look quite promising.
However, one particular challenge that green energy companies may experience is the recruitment of the right talent for their business.
If you’re a responsible energy company looking forward to recruiting talent that can help your business navigate through the ever-changing renewable energy landscape, Whitham Group can assist.
We are a leading renewable energy recruitment company committed to helping businesses attract and retain top talent in various business environments.
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