In order to address the growing demand from consumers for businesses to embrace more sustainable operational practices, energy and utility technologies will see a substantial amount of research and development in the upcoming years.
Continue reading to learn how energy technology and society will be impacted by sustainability this year and in the near future.
Renewable Energy Sources and the Shift in Energy
The global energy transition will witness a shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources, as well as more efficient use of existing energy.
Large IT companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google have all set long-term plans to make their energy usage more responsible and efficient, demonstrating that they too see the benefits of switching to renewable energy.
Microsoft has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and plans to eliminate all of the carbon emissions the company has produced since its establishment in 1975.
To do this, it intends to buy 60% more wind, solar, and hydroelectric this decade and considerably more beyond that.
The e-commerce behemoth Amazon intends to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, five years ahead of schedule, by using renewable energy to power 100% of its activities by 2025.
In the past year, the firm launched 26 new wind and solar energy projects throughout Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also made the largest corporate investment in renewable energy within a 12-month period last year.
With regard to its global corporate emissions, Apple has achieved carbon neutrality and plans to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its supply chain activities by 2030.
For instance, throughout the past 11 years, they have reduced the average energy required to utilize their goods by 73%, demonstrating the efforts they are taking to make their designs more energy-efficient.
Google aspires to run totally on carbon-free energy by 2030. The company achieved carbon neutrality in 2007 and was the first big one of its size and scope to achieve 100% renewable energy in 2017.
Google has listed the following as the steps it will take to accomplish its 2030 milestone:
“Promote innovative methods for obtaining clean energy.”
“Promote advancement in cutting-edge technologies”
“Collaborate with allies to promote wise public policy”
In order to take advantage of green energy on their own terms, save energy expenses, and have more control over the energy they need to run, some corporations are even investing in the establishment of their own wind and solar energy farms.
Reducing trash and transportation expenses is another benefit of producing energy resources on-site.
Companies like these will eventually broaden their offerings to establish themselves as providers of alternative energy in the rapidly expanding green energy sector, generating additional income.
Smart meters are networked devices that track how much electricity, water, or other resource a customer uses in their house. Depending on the meter’s intended use, this allows the customer more control and visibility over how much they use.
The utility provider can then receive the monitored data back so that more insight into usage patterns can be gained.
Utility firms can also leverage this data to develop more individualized marketing tactics. For instance, low-consumption customers might be more precisely targeted with promotions or new product offerings tailored to their needs.
Better marketing ROI and enhanced customer experiences are the outcomes of this.
The two primary advantages for customers are:
There’s no need for manual meter readings anymore.
It is urged to use resources more effectively.
shrewd energy conservation
The primary advantages for utility companies are as follows:
Reducing the amount of time employees must spend manually reading meters will free up time for other duties.
Response data from real-time electrical system monitoring can be utilized to balance power loads and lessen blackouts.
Enables dynamic pricing
Storage of Energy & Smart Grids
Utility providers are under pressure to advance energy storage technologies as sporadic energy sources like wind and solar become more commonplace. This will ensure that supply and demand are met constantly, rain or shine.
This year’s technological advancements will make low-cost energy storage possible, which will reduce the need for coal and natural gas and increase the need for renewable energy sources.
The popularity of electric vehicles has increased recently, and as research advances and public awareness of the negative environmental effects of gasoline and diesel cars grows, we may anticipate that this trend will continue into 2023 and beyond.
Newer, longer-range batteries that enable consumers to go farther between charges are one of the key developments in the EV (Electric Vehicle) market. This will increase the attraction of EVs to drivers whose primary concern is the lifespan of the battery.
The construction of EV charging infrastructure is expected to see unparalleled growth in 2023 as a result of this surge in popularity.
With a market share of about 18%, Tesla is currently the top-selling electric vehicle company in the world. VW Group (12%), Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance (9%), and Hyundai Motor (6.95%) trail closely behind. (Statista)
Though there are rumors that Apple and Hyundai may collaborate to introduce Apple’s much awaited electric car, this market share may soon significantly shift.
Experts predict that the automobile, which has not yet been released, will be positioned as a rival to Tesla models and completely upend the autonomous vehicle industry.
Communities That Generate Their Own
Self-generating communities are emerging all over the world as renewable energy choices become more accessible and inexpensive.
People are beginning to create their own communities that are powered by renewable resources that they possess the facilities to gather themselves since they don’t want to rely on conventional energy providers and non-sustainable supplies.
These kinds of alternate living patterns should become more and more common over time.
Virtual communities, as an alternative to real, self-generating communities, are composed of peer-to-peer networks that engage in online energy asset trading and sharing.
Here are a few instances of self-generating societies in the actual world:
Operating off-grid and separate from the mainland, the Danish island of Samso is entirely self-sufficient.
Felheim, the first self-sufficient village in Germany, runs on solar and wind energy.
Nestled in the Costa Rican jungle, the Finca Bellavista Treehouse Community is a rustic, self-sustaining, and carbon-neutral community. It has internet connection and cellphone reception thanks to a neighboring cell tower.
Powered by solar and wind energy, the self-sufficient Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri, USA, stays connected to the rest of the nation to share its message of sustainability with those beyond its borders.
Located near Yeovil in Somerset, Tinkers Bubble is a small self-sufficient community whose members cultivate their land without using fossil fuels and generate electricity from solar panels and a wind turbine.
The Mindful Shopper
Customers are growing increasingly concerned about the ethics and sustainability practices of large corporations as a result of increased education and media campaigns. In many cases, they are severing their connections with businesses they believe are not doing enough to promote sustainability and run on clean energy.
We may anticipate an increase in the prevalence of this kind of customer as climate education and awareness spread to more people.
As a result, in order to stay competitive and gain the favor of customers, more firms will turn to renewable energy sources. This will raise demand for green energy while decreasing demand for the antiquated alternative.