7 trends to watch in the energy industry in 2020

(Originally published on Interesting Engineering)

What energy trends should you keep an eye on in 2020? These 7 promise to be some of the most exciting.

Which country uses the most renewable energy?

Many countries around the world are pushing forward with adopting renewable energy technology. But which ones are ‘all in’?

According to sites like clickenergy.com.au, the top 12 “most renewable” countries include:

  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua
  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Uruguay
  • Denmark
  • China
  • Morocco
  • The USA
  • Kenya

How much renewable energy did the US use in 2019?

The United States is one nation that is investing heavily in renewable energy, and 2019 was no exception. With energy generation and distribution a matter of national security, any means of helping maintain energy independence should be welcomed.

According to the Energy Information Administration, 2019 saw good growth in renewable adoption.

“EIA forecasts that utility-scale renewable fuels, including wind, solar, and hydropower, will collectively produce 18% of U.S. electricity in 2019 and 19% in 2020.” – eia.gov.

Which energy trends should you watch in 2020?

1.     Energy storage and better batteries – The ‘Achilles Heel’

The main ‘Achilles Heel’ of the most popular sources of renewable energy is their lack of reliability. Solar PV isn’t very useful at night and wind power needs the wind to blow.

For this reason, a means of “making hay when the sun shines” is vital to ensure the future of renewables in the energy mix. Much work has already been done to develop better and longer-lasting batteries, as well as other means of storing any energy generated from renewable sources.

2020 should be no exception, with energy industry leaders pushing to develop and promote better energy management and storage. This will also require greater grid flexibility to allow energy firms to balance supply and demand in a highly variable market.

Consumers are becoming ever-more savvy with how they chose energy suppliers, meaning “the invisible hand” of the market should continue to be the main driver for change. Commercial consumers are also pushing hard to source their energy from more diverse and renewable sources.

An integral part of good energy management is viable and reliable storage systems and, by extension, batteries. 2020 should be an exciting year for new developments in this area, with companies like Tesla, Eos, Sonnen, and  Vivint Solar being some to keep an eye on.

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