The Trends in Clean Energy Services According to Dennis DeGrazia
Each new year brings favorable developments to the scene of clean energy. With this calendar year still fresh out of the gate, energy industry specialists are anticipating 2019 to be one of the biggest years yet for increased, affordable clean energy services.
In light of current advancements, here are some of observations on current trends that owner and president of Clean Energy Service LLC Dennis DeGrazia believes will continue throughout the year.
The Implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Microgrid Systems
Increasingly, grid systems are implementing the technologies of artificial intelligence for improved efficiency. These AI-enabled grid systems, sometimes referred to as “microgrids”, have the advantage of flexibility: they may operate independently or as a part of a larger traditional grid system.
The technology used by microgrid systems also make them increasingly quick to assemble and deploy. New software allows some designs to be completed in a single day, a rate which has caused them to quickly gain popularity especially in California and the Pacific Islands. In fact, by the year 2050, the Pacific island nation Palau plans to transition to 70 percent renewable energy. The venture, if completed, would successfully construct the world’s largest microgrid—a goal which Dennis DeGrazia believes will likely encourage larger nations to follow suit.
Increased Focus on Energy Storage
Manufacturing clean energy is only half the battle when it comes to crafting renewable energy solutions; effective storage methods are also necessary. In regard to the challenges that clean energy faces, Dennis DeGrazia admits that intermittency is one of the biggest barriers. Ensuring a steady, consistent power source despite potentially unfavorable conditions is what will allow clean energy sources like solar energy to finally compete with fossil fuels.
Solar batteries, which work by converting the DC energy produced by solar panels into AC power for later use, are currently the most popular method of storage. Recent years have seen clean-energy batteries implemented on both a grid-wide and residential scale. In 2015 alone, the energy storage market grew 243%. By 2020, the Energy Storage Association expects the solar battery realm to become a $2.5 billion market in the US.
Lower Cost for Clean Energy
When cutting-edge labs produced the first solar panels back in the late 1950’s, they were admittedly neither efficient nor affordable. As solar technology has advanced, the cost of clean energy has been significantly lowered. Even just since 2009, solar prices have dropped an astounding 62%, making clean energy an increasingly affordable option for both individual and industrial use.
This increase in affordability is due in part to technological advancements and also due to country-level auctions which create competition and serve to drive down prices. Now, solar energy’s average cost per kilowatt-hour of solar has even fallen far below that of coal and gas—a statistic which Dennis DeGrazia believes will likely turn renewable energy into the preferred energy source for much of the globe.