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Five Clean Energy Trends that Could Transform the Energy Sector in 2020

The recent breakthroughs in natural-gas extraction is a classic example of the sheer speed with which game-changing technologies are transforming the energy industry. With rising environmental concerns and clean energy becoming a necessity than ever before, we can expect to see several groundbreaking clean energy trends over the next couple of years. This article describes some of the key clean energy trends that could revolutionize the energy sector. While not all of these clean energy trends may succeed in the long-run, even if a few of them pan out they could bring considerable changes to the energy landscape. Furthermore, it is also possible that the development of energy technologies is approaching a tipping point that will generate increases in energy productivity on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

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Clean energy trends 2020

clean energyDigital power conversion

Large-scale high voltage transformers that were developed in the 1880s lead to the widespread development of the electrical grid, virtually the same technology continues to be used today. High-speed digital switches that are composed of silicon carbide and gallium nitride have been developed for high-frequency power management in military jets to high-speed rail. They are known to be highly energy-efficient and take up only about 1 percent as much space and are more reliable and flexible than the existing transformers. Today’s advanced applications include consumer electronics and variable-speed industrial drives for manufacturing. As such applications expand and the major semiconductor manufacturers begin to produce these technologies at scale, they could replace conventional transformers in the utility industry by 2020. China is particularly well positioned to reap the benefits of adopting digital-power electronics because of the scale of its planned grid expansion.

Blockchain networks

Blockchain technology would enable the buy and sell of clean energy at optimal times and will largely be driven by IoT and related technologies. This can play an integral role in boosting the performance of energy saving devices. This is a type of peer to peer network that effectively allows customers to trade energy. This may be done through the energy company itself, or even from customer to customer. Either way, this means that the majority of firms will need to capitalize on this emerging market. This can all be done in real-time settings and with the transparency that the blockchain network provides may prove to be beneficial to both businesses and their customers.

Leaders of companies and countries who neglect what is happening on the margins today risk being pushed to the margins themselves in the not-too-distant future.

Clean coal

Such clean energy trends could help coal-fired generators to capture majority of their carbon-di-oxide at a much lesser cost. The viability of this technology could also prevent the closure of several coal plants in the coming years. The same is applicable to plants situated even in China and Europe. However, this cannot be made a reality and be expanded at scale without supportive carbon regulations.

It may prove challenging for energy industry companies to rapidly changeover to clean energy sources, and to ensure successful transition organizations must be prepared to beat the hurdles. Get in touch with our experts to know how we can help you overcome major roadblocks in the energy sector.

Biofuels and electro fuels

With crude-oil prices skyrocketing, market shares for biofuels such as cane and corn ethanol are rising rapidly. Although second-generation cellulosic biofuels have proved harder to make than many had hoped five years ago, innovative start-ups focused on cellulosic and algae-based biofuels are starting to create high-margin specialty chemicals and blendstocks, generating cash now and suggesting a pathway to deliver biofuels at much cheaper rates in the next couple of years. Furthermore, biopharmaceutical researchers are developing electro fuel pathways that feed carbon dioxide, water, and energy to enzymes to create long-chain carbon molecules that function like fossil fuels at one-tenth the cost of current biofuels.

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Top Renewable Energy Sources That Will End the Fossil-fuel Era

renewable energy sourcesEver wondered what exactly is renewable energy and what are the top renewable energy sources available to us today? Renewable energy, as the name suggests, is a form of green energy that’s not detrimental to the environment. They are a part and parcel of our planet’s physical structure and can be found in the sunlight, air, oceans, and underground.  Also known as “sustainable energy”, they are naturally replenished and serve as the best alternative to fossil fuels like coal and oil. However, a fact to keep in mind here is that energy sources that are renewable are not always environmentally safe. For instance, harnessing hydro energy by building dams affects the ecosystem for fishes and the wildlife. Another example of this is the use of wind to generate energy by building windmills, which also has a detrimental effect on the local ecosystem and wind streams.

Despite the strides we’ve made in discovering new renewable energy sources and harnessing the energy generated from such sources, many countries are still not using renewable energy. Wonder why? Renewable energy is still pretty expensive compared to conventional energy. And since favorable renewable energy sources are mostly present in remote locations, a lot of money must be invested in building an appropriate infrastructure. Despite such challenges, most governments are investing in discovering new renewable energy sources and are offering attractive tax benefits to encourage investments. That being said, now let’s take a look at some of the best renewable energy sources that can be leveraged to help our world to go green:Ask an analyst

Top Renewable Energy Sources

  • Solar energy

Sunlight is perhaps one of the most famous renewable energy sources available today and its energy can be harnessed by using technologies that can leverage solar energy to illuminate houses or street lamps, warm or cool water, or power cooling systems for businesses. Solar energy, which can be harnessed with the help of photovoltaic systems, can benefit corporates and government bodies alike.

  • Geothermal energy

This form of energy is derived from deep underground and the heat generated can be used to produce electricity. Such renewable energy sources can be implemented on a smaller scale or a large scale, depending on its end-goal. On a small scale, geothermal energy can be used to keep nearby buildings warm or cool. On a large scale, it can be used as a commercial utility energy solution.

Connected Car Technology

Top Sustainability Trends Changing the Face of Businesses in 2018

Sustainability TrendsFollowing the turmoil of last year, which was largely brought on by the rising support for protectionism and technological advances, 2018 is turning out to be a pivotal year for sustainability. This year both businesses and consumers are demanding that it takes theAsk an analyst center stage. Sustainability has been eluding businesses and consumers alike but with the rising economic volatility, climatic changes, and growing popularity of automation, sustainability has become a priority for everyone. In this article, we at Infiniti Research, have highlighted some of the sustainability trends for this year. The sustainability trends which are based on the research and estimations of our in-house industry experts will offer fascinating insights into the changing frameworks for business in the new global economy.  

Top sustainability trends for 2018

Re-prioritizing sustainability

This year, many companies have started leveraging regulations put forth by the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to their advantage by using them to guide their sustainability initiatives. Also, the availability of business commissions gives companies an incentive to achieve the targeted SDGs. In the last year itself, more than 43 countries signed up to conduct a review on SDGs progress. Sustainability trends such as this are expected to pay a major role in the near future since many countries are making it a legal obligation to meet their SDGs.

Boosting supply chain transparency

One of the sustainability trends that has been picking up steam this year is the use of data and technologies to boost supply chain visibility. Data in its digital form is offering huge opportunities for innovations, especially in terms of new technologies. Drones and apps are making it extremely easy to better understand sustainability challenges and devise effective strategies to mitigate them. Technology can also be used to impart knowledge and increase awareness about sustainability among farmers. The availability of such technologies makes it easy to access data from supply chains and use them to study the journey of some products.Ask an analyst

Rising need for collaborations

Collaborations are crucial for addressing pressing sustainability challenges in today’s competitive scenario. Most producers or farmers tend to look at sustainability differently, they usually take a more holistic approach and consider production costs and investment expenses. Such sustainability trends have given rise to new collaborations platforms that help streamline certification processes. A recent example of this collaboration is the merger of the Rainforest Alliance Systems with UTZ, which has helped a number of cocoa and coffee farmers.

Certification checks

Certification remaining under scrutiny is one of the crucial sustainability trends for this year. Even today, supply chain partners and end-users continue to ask about the benefits of certification. What they don’t realize is that certification offers scrupulous supply chain insights that are otherwise extremely difficult to obtain. The connection that certification builds along the supply chain has a positive effect on the producers and the environment. Certification is one of the only sustainability trends that has the potential to bring about a transformative collaboration between the government, NGOs, and other bodies.

To know more about the top sustainability trends for this year:


Market Intelligence Assessment for a Sustainable Energy Supplier Helps Identify Strategies for Market Expansion

In 2013, sustainable energy accounted for almost 22% of the global electricity generation and is expected to witness a 26% increase by 2020.

Due to the world economy’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels during the past decades, the carbon dioxide emissions accompanying economic development have intensified the global greenhouse effect; and global warming, climate change, and ecological destruction have severely threatened human survival. As a result, the issue of sustainable development is growing in importance, and the governments of many countries have made sustainable development one of their administrative focal points.

As the world moves towards a more sustainable energy future, the development of technologies that facilitate this for heating, transport, and power systems is crucial. Sustainable energy is one of the fastest growing and complex sector, as energy is an area of geopolitical concern as well as financial activity. There are many forms of sustainable energy that can be incorporated by countries to stop the use of fossil fuels. Moreover, sustainable energy is replenishable and helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions without causing any damage to the environment. Sustainable energy sources include solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and biomass energy.

Although the sustainable energy sector seems to have a promising future, there may be certain factors that affect its growth:

  • The high capital costs: The most obvious barrier to sustainable energy is the upfront expense of building and installing such power harnessing facilities. Sustainable energy sources are free and require minimum maintenance. A bulk of the expense comes from developing the technology to harness and transmit such energy.
  • Siting and transmission: The sustainable energy segment consists of a decentralized model with smaller generating stations spread across a larger area. To adequately take advantage of these resources new transmission infrastructures are needed, and both siting and transmission can be significant barriers for suppliers in this sector.
  • Market Entry: New energy providers find it difficult to compete with major market players like coal and gas, and those who have proven themselves with low cost solar and wind technologies.

To overcome the challenges mentioned above, sustainable energy suppliers are increasingly opting for a detailed market intelligence assessment. Leveraging the use of market intelligence solutions help firms operating in the sustainable energy market gain a holistic view of the current market scenario and its key stakeholders.IR_Brochure At its core, market intelligence solutions make use of varied information sources that help in creating a broader picture of the company’ existing market, competition, and growth potential for new products and services.

The Business Challenge:

  • The client: A sustainable energy supplier

The client, a prominent sustainable energy supplier, wanted to gain detailed insights into the current market scenario to achieve a stronger foothold in the sustainable energy market space. The client also wanted to carry out a thorough analysis to improve their business models and projections. Additionally, the client was looking at utilizing statistical tools and more complex technologies to handle and manipulate the data.

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The Journey:

Infiniti’s team of experts, specializing in market intelligence, carried out extensive interviews and discussions with prominent stakeholders within the sustainable energy market space. This helped them in understanding the current market scenario, the competitors in this market space, and the potential threats. Moreover, our experts were also successful in gathering information from primary sources including industry experts, researchers, consultants, and distributors. They also explored secondary sources like newsletters, business journals, market research data, and industry associations to improve their awareness in the sustainable energy space.

The Solution Benefits and the Business Impact:

The market intelligence solution offered by the experts at Infiniti assisted the client in anticipating their competitor’s plan and helped them identify the gaps in the market. The solution helped the client by offering a 360-degree view of the market, suppliers, opportunities, and also highlighted areas of concerns. The client also gained a competitive advantage as these solutions enabled them to control costs, act faster than the competition, and react more quickly to customers’ needs. Moreover, it also helped them develop strategies to improve their market presence.

The Future:

Considering today’s market developments, sustainable technologies are cheaper than nuclear and coal and are on par with combined-cycle natural gas. This, along with the lowered costs of digital equipment such as sensors, CPUs, and data storage technologies will help in the growth of the sustainable energy industry.

A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the sustainable energy sector


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