What are the 3 Trends to Watch in Green Energy? Solar and Wind power continues to maneuver their way onto the electric grid this year, but that’s just the beginning.
The United States counted over 96,000 megawatts of installed wind power and 64,000 megawatts of solar power at the end of 2018. That generated close to 10% of the country’s total electricity production, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the share of modern renewables in the grid to accelerate going forward. Wind and solar could reach 11% of total electric output in 2019 and 13% in 2020. By comparison, expect coal power to drop to 23% by 2020, down from 39% as recently as 2014.
Solar appears poised to grow even more quickly than wind’s impressive rise. Solar has accounted for at least 27% of all new capacity from any energy source added to the grid each year since 2013. A major utility in Florida has embarked on its “30 by 30” strategy, which will build 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030. The panels will represent an estimated 10,000 megawatts of capacity, compared to just 2,100 megawatts in the entire state today.
Storing energy generated is a giant reason for optimism that wind and solar will continue to accelerate their growth. Greentech Media also reports that the United States installed a record 311 megawatts of energy storage in 2018, which should double in 2019 and triple in 2020. The surge will be driven by bigger investments from utilities.
The residential energy storage market is also powering up with battery companies such as Tesla who has introduced their lithium-ion battery product called the PowerWall. Powerwall integrates with solar to store excess energy generated during the day and makes it available when at customer’s demand, minimizing reliance on traditional utilities.
This allows the turbines to be much taller than their onshore peers — boasting operating efficiencies higher than natural-gas power plants. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that over 23,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects could be put into production by 2030. Enough to also generate about 3% to 4% of the country’s total electricity.
Offshore wind power and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) will be emerging in the next ten years. The United States has incredible offshore wind potential thanks to its vast coastlines, including on the Great Lakes. With most of the US’s population residing in coastal cities, new technology allows offshore wind turbines to be built far enough into the ocean that they’re not visible from the shoreline.
Costs are down,options are up, and it’s never been more affordable or easy to utilize the power of the sun for your own home. The question is: are you going to look for something new, or continue to pay your electric bills the way you always have?
If you are interested in discovering just how easy, look no farther than Florida’s solar company– born & bred in the Sunshine State— Go Solar Power.
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