Energy industry overview
The world population is on the rise, so is the demand for energy. The good news is that the recent energy industry trends are more focused on sustainable energy generation methods, especially due to the ever-increasing environmental concerns such as global warming. But on the flip side, the energy industry is facing mounting challenges when it comes to providing cheap and reliable energy owing to the high costs involved and lack of sufficient resources to meet the growing demand. Over the past year, global conditions have also continued to challenge the energy sector. However, with breakthrough developments in the energy sector in recent times and more emphasis from the government on clean energy measures, 2018 will undoubtedly be an eventful year for the energy sector. Here are our top picks of the energy industry trends that you can expect in 2018:
Energy Industry Trends 2018
Improved energy storage to the rescue of renewables
For a long period of time, the lack of large-scale battery energy storage systems has held renewables back from being more widely accepted. Big players in the market such as Tesla, ABB, and Siemens AES are focusing more on the improvements in battery storage in a big way, and 2018 could well be a ‘breakthrough year’ for battery storage tech. Better battery storage could demolish the main obstacle to renewable energy, contributing more to energy grids. According to several industry experts, battery-based energy storage will grow to as much as 45GW in the next five years.
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Data centers to become more efficient
In today’s technologically advanced world, the amount of data that is being created, stored, and shared is accelerating at an alarming rate. The inclination of people towards modern technology such as smartphone usage, downloads, IoT, and connected devices are putting immense pressure on data centers and also increasing the rate of power consumption. If experts are to be believed, the global power usage is expected to shoot up from 2% to 5% in the near future. These energy industry trends will drive data centers to become smarter and more efficient.
The rise of electric vehicles to create an energy ‘demand timebomb’
The government’s plan to control pollution from vehicles and eliminating fossil-fuel-powered vehicles is becoming a reality in most countries around the globe. This radical change has triggered the rise in demand for electric vehicles. The rise of electric vehicles will be one of the most prominent energy industry trends to watch out for in 2018. But this surge in demand is directly proportional to the demand for energy to power the vehicles, which obviously puts immense pressure on the energy sector to meet that demand. At present, most countries do not have the generating capacity to meet this skyrocketing demand. The players in the power industry will also have to equip themselves with the necessary infrastructure required for electric vehicles. Furthermore, adding millions of new charging points will add significant challenges to grid management.
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Electricity grids to become smarter
Digital solutions are making electricity grids smarter. This is one of the energy industry trends that is expected to accelerate through 2018. Smart grid hardware is being integrated, which can control voltage and redirect current in a coordinated manner. This will result in operations at electricity grids becoming more responsive and reliable. We can also expect a spike in demand for the multi-directional grid in the coming years, which would give consumers the ability to send power into the grid. Smart meters and smart appliances can also help consumers to gain better control over their energy usage.
Brain drain in the energy sector
One of the key energy industry trends that would impact the sector in a big way this year is the talent challenges they will face due to the imminent retirement of a large number of older workers. More than 500,000 energy sector employees are expected to retire in the next 5 to 10 years. This will result in the loss of critical knowledge resources that will create a hard-to-address skills gap. To avoid this situation, power companies will have to act immediately to aggressively recruiting new talent.
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