The energy industry has seen big changes over the past few decades. Where the energy comes from to power homes and businesses today looks very different from how it looked in the 20th century. The picture is expected to change even more in the coming decades. The question is, where will we get our energy? What will be our future source of energy?
The Growth of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is expected to gain a larger share of the energy market in the coming years and decades. There are a variety of reasons for this, from the decline of fossil fuel sources to the streamlining of various renewable energy sectors.
Solar energy will play a big role in the growth of the renewable energy market. While solar witnessed some setbacks in recent years, primarily on the regulatory front, there is reason to expect significant growth going forward. One of the main reasons for this involves advances in solar energy technology. Solar panels are becoming thinner, requiring fewer materials overall, and less silicon and other expensive materials for their production. As solar manufacturing facilities expand operations and overall capacity, they can produce more panels at lower costs. The decrease in costs for solar panels helps to reduce one of the principle barriers to consumer adoption—high upfront costs.
Photo Credit: DiyanaDimitrova
Wind energy is also expected to grow in market share over the coming decades. With decreasing costs, wider adoption rates, increased familiarity with wind energy facilities, and greater demand for renewable energy sources, wind is expected to grow from 600 billion kilowatt hours in 2018 to over 800 billion kilowatt-hours by 2050, according to the United States Energy Information Administration.
Powering the Future
Where we get our energy and how we source the electricity powering our homes and businesses continues to change. Reliance on coal is expected to decline in the future. Meanwhile, natural gas is expected to grow, and consumer demand for cleaner sources and processes is also expected to increase.
Renewable energy sources are all expected to rise in the future. From wind and solar to geothermal and hydroelectric, demand for renewable energy is gaining steam. Meanwhile, processes and technologies associated with renewable energy continue to streamline and grow more cost efficient.
Photo Credit: DiyanaDimitrova
A Leading Light
The projected leader in renewable energy over the coming years is solar. The United States Energy Information Administration projects solar energy production to skyrocket, growing almost 250 percent from 700 billion kilowatt hours in 2018 to 1.7 trillion kilowatt hours by 2050.
The reasons for this phenomenal growth mainly center on continued advancement in solar energy technology to further drive down production costs per unit as well as the building of economies of scale as production facilities grow to produce more and more solar panels and equipment. More solar friendly regulation and greater awareness and adoption among consumers are also expected to help solar energy take the lead in renewable energy production in the future.
The fact that solar capacity can be built right onto a home or business adds to the technology’s allure and helps solar grow in adoption one building at a time. The technology has taken significant leaps in recent years and is expected to continue to do so going forward. Solar panels are becoming more affordable and smaller. Solar panels are morphing into solar roof tiles. Parking structures and office building roofs are prime real estate for hosting solar technology. Opportunity for solar installation is everywhere.
Photo Credit: Petmal
The future of renewable energy is bright. From advancements in technology, decreases in costs, and increases in demand, renewable energy, led by solar, is not only here to stay; it’s here to grow. As more and more consumers demand clean and environmentally responsible energy sources, renewables will help meet that demand. Innovative energy companies will need to be there to fill a void created by outdated 20th century technology.
Learn more about responsible electricity and gas and how you can be a part of the future of energy. Visit Spring Power & Gas to learn more about our environmentally conscious products today.