The 3 Biggest Future Trends (And Challenges) In The Energy Sector

At-a-Glance: 

The traditional ways of generating energy were designed for a world of the past, aptly deemed, “fossil fuels.” Transforming the energy sector is a crucial challenge as our reliance on fossil fuels has reigned far too long. Traditional energy companies can be slow to change – probably because they face some unique complications, such as health and safety risks, and the huge amount of capital invested in existing energy assets. But change they must, if they want to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive sector. The following article proposes three future trends, and challenges in the energy sector within the quest to phase out the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. To learn more read, The 3 Biggest Future Trends (And Challenges) In The Energy Sector

Key Takeaways

Trend #1: Decarbonization

  • The world must transition towards a clean, carbon-free world, largely by increasing our use of renewables and increasing premiums on the use of fossil fuels.
  • In the US, fossil fuels are responsible for 60.3% of electricity generation. For electricity to become emissions-free, we must move further towards renewable energy solutions such as wind, solar, and biofuels. 

 

Trend #2: Decentralization

  • This trend is all about transitioning away from our current system of highly centralized energy grids run by monopolistic energy providers, towards distributed energy production systems.
  • Thanks to a combination of renewable energy and localized “microgrids,” consumers can generate their own electricity for their own needs.

 

Trend #3: Digitization

  • This trend is all about the use of digital machines, devices, and technology to optimize energy production, infrastructure, and use. 
  • An increasing variety of zero-carbon energy sources will mean our energy networks become more complex. Decentralized grids will need intelligent solutions to monitor and manage fluctuating demand. Digital tools will help overcome  these challenges and realize much-needed changes in the energy sector.

Path to 100% Perspective:

No power system can achieve 100% renewable electricity just by adding more renewable generation. It also needs to slash fossil-fueled generation. That means reducing the reliance on traditional gas – and coal-fired power plants. The challenge is these traditional plants are inflexible. The solution is to retire inflexible coal and gas plants and replace them with a new generation of flexible generation plants that stop and start in minutes, only burn fuel when the grid signals the need, and can convert to run on renewable fuels such as power-to-gas fuels become more plentiful and affordable.