The energy industry has taken all sorts of turns throughout the years. There have been political movements to push energy efficiency and there have likewise been those that have created obstacles for certain types of developments, as well as many new players that have entered the industry. With the continuous evolution of the industry, especially in the last few years, this year is sure to be noteworthy.
Here are 5 energy industry trends to look out for in 2017
1. Corporate Renewables
Renewable resources have caught the attention and commitment of large corporations. 2016 saw commitments to renewable energy by the majority of the multinational corporations, the best example of which would be Google. In 2017 we can expect to see these major players make their moves and bring new innovative ideas and pledges for greater energy efficiency.
2. Wind Power
Wind power is gaining greater attention in the energy industry. GM’s global manager of renewable energy, Rob Threlkeld, said, “Wind costs have gone down in the last three or four years to the point where they are the lowest-cost source of power on the grid.” Offshore oil and gas developers, as well as the offshore wind developers, are recognizing that the latter brings to the table pros that deserve attention. This will only continue to drive attention to wind power. The technology of wind power also keeps constantly evolving and improving this segment of the energy industry. For example, ABB’s new motor starter technology can save up to 45% of the time compared to traditional systems. With greater attention and technology, wind power will be sure to drive greater power generation.
Tesla is one of the leading energy companies that have gained our attention after the rather busy year of 2016. A couple of rand gestures that caught our eye in 2016? Tesla bought SolarCity and also revealed a solar roof that is made completely of glass tiles. In 2017, more information may be revealed for a new-age electric vehicle and other developments that could completely change how customers and even homeowners incorporate energy efficiency into their every day lives.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set and put in motion ambitious goals for India. Modi said to plan a $3.1 billion package, in state funding, to boost India’s solar factories. Currently, the country’s renewable capacity is 45 GW and he plans to boost this to 100 GW by 2022. This means that every year from now, we are to see significant developments in India towards supporting this plan. At the Concentrated Solar Thermal Technology and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards, Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, said that India exceeded its 2016 fiscal year solar targets by 116%, and that the country “has signaled to the world that we’re ready to lead.”
5. Surplus of energy choices for customers
The energy industry has seen all sorts of new products and options come to market. For example, there are currently many Energy Star Certified appliances for customers to choose from. Now there are also electrical vehicles and solar options, giving customers the ability to choose whichever energy efficient products they want.
The energy industry has certainly seen developments through the past few years. So let’s keep an eye on these trends and see what 2017 will bring.
Photograph by Jondaar