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Top Renewable Energy Trends in 2024

Renewable energy technologies help preserve the environment by eliminating fossil fuel usage. Technological innovations like automation and artificial intelligence improve operational and maintenance efficiencies for maximum operational success.

Solar PV remains on track to meet the Net Zero Emissions Scenario. Wind, hydropower and non-bioenergy renewables must accelerate much more quickly in their deployment.

1. Hydro Power

Water is one of the greatest resources of nature. Tapping into its full potential will enable a sustainable future and ensure we live a clean life.

Hydropower is an established, sustainable source of electricity which accounts for 16 percent of world energy while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. Furthermore, hydropower represents one of the main forms of emission-free renewable energy in the US and should continue its role as such.

Innovative hydropower technology now makes possible new applications such as pumped storage. Pumped storage plants utilize pumps powered by wind or other renewable sources when electricity demand drops below an established threshold, cycling water between upper and lower reservoirs through a system.

Innovative hydropower technologies include small-scale hydroelectric dams that operate without interfering with river flow; ocean energy harvested from tides, currents, and waves; component improvements that enable cheaper green hydrogen fuel cells; these advances enable zero emission vehicles.

2. Bioenergy

Bioenergy is another renewable source with immense potential, offering lower carbon emissions than fossil fuels and making electricity or vehicle fuel production possible. Furthermore, it can also be stored and used later.

Biofuels can be produced from waste biomass waste, residues, crops and trees. Ethanol made from corn and sugarcane is currently the main biofuel used, typically mixed with gasoline or diesel for fueling cars or trucks. Scientists are exploring more advanced biofuel sources like algae, perennial grasses and wood chips as potential feedstocks.

Bioenergy seeks to reduce harmful emissions while simultaneously protecting the environment. Companies are actively creating innovative technologies that make bioenergy more cost-effective, sustainable and affordable – such as integrated PV systems, floatovoltaics and agrivoltaics – while many traditional natural gas and oil companies have begun investing in green technologies as part of their business strategies.

3. Solar Power

Solar energy continues its worldwide growth. According to an IEA market analysis, global renewable capacity additions are projected to surge 107 GW between 2018-2023 due to lower module prices and greater distributed solar uptake.

Utilities have also begun offering incentives to encourage residential solar energy use, with over two million homes currently powered by solar – with this figure expected to double by 2024 according to the Solar Energy Industry Association.

Startups provide solutions that reduce the costs and adoption rates for renewables, like SeeO2 Energy’s reversible fuel cell technology that transforms CO2 into natural gas, methanol and synthetic liquid fuels; their systems also feature storage capacities – technologies which could accelerate global transition to renewables. Take a look at these handpicked Startups.

4. Wind Power

Wind energy is an affordable, eco-friendly energy solution, ideal for land or marine deployment. Large wind turbines harness wind’s kinetic energy by rotating propeller-like blades to capture moving airflow energy before passing it on through a generator to produce electricity.

Onshore and offshore wind farms are prevalent, while distributed wind includes smaller turbines built onto private property to power homes or businesses. Batteries and pumped-storage hydropower storage solutions can also store excess energy until later use.

Wind energy projects tend to have lower effects on wildlife compared to other forms of energy generation; however, the National Audubon Society has voiced concerns that wind projects could alter important habitats or cause bird deaths. New technologies, proper siting strategies and ongoing research efforts are helping minimize interactions between wildlife and wind plants.

5. Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Fuel cells are quiet and efficient power sources that utilize hydrogen gas and a catalyst to generate electricity while producing water and heat as byproducts, making them perfect for stationary energy systems like power stations or homes to use laptops for work and playing online slot games on websites listed at the, as well as zero emission transport applications.

Hydrogen fuel cells can power vehicles for 300-380 miles between refills and can be recharged in under five minutes, making these plug-in electric vehicles widely available from several automakers as popular sedan and compact SUV models. Companies such as Plug are even deploying hydrogen fuel cell forklifts for materials handling, improving warehouse productivity.

Renewable energy technology is an integral part of global sustainable infrastructure movements. Robotics increases efficiency by helping solar panels self-orient themselves automatically, as well as speeding up wind turbine operations with drone inspection and operation control capabilities.

6. Advanced Photovoltaics

Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable technologies, currently making up a substantial percentage of global capacity additions. Solar’s distinct advantage over fossil fuels lies in its daytime production and relatively steady load profile as night falls.

Innovative developments are helping make solar energy mainstream. Big data and AI are being employed to optimize energy efficiency and predictive maintenance while blockchain offers P2P electricity trading platforms.

Scientists like Professor Nazir Kherani are working hard to bring down the cost of solar energy. One way is through fabricating high-efficiency silicon photovoltaics at low temperatures – which would make solar more cost competitive with conventional electricity. Another challenge associated with solar PV energy production is storage. Startups offer various battery and batteryless solutions. An interesting development in solid state batteries (lighter and with higher energy density than lithium-ion) offers another possible solution.

7. Advanced Wind Turbines

Demand for renewable energy sources worldwide has led to the development of several cutting-edge technologies, including solar technologies that improve energy efficiency, intermittency management solutions and grid integration technologies.

Wind power uses propeller-like blades to generate electricity, and then transforms this mechanical energy into electrical energy with the use of a generator. Wind energy can be utilized at homes, businesses, and industrial facilities alike.

Robotics technology in the wind energy sector enhances production and process efficiency by speeding up equipment maintenance. Robotics-powered drone inspection allows companies to quickly detect internal or external damage on large wind turbines.

Renewable energies like solar, wind and hydropower make up a large share of worldwide energy consumption; however, growth in non-bioenergy renewable technologies such as geothermal, concentrated solar power (CSP), and ocean technologies has stagnated due to COVID-19 regulations and supply chain challenges.

8. Energy Storage

As we shift towards renewable energy sources, startups are creating solutions to lower costs and expand storage capacities. These innovations range from technologies enabling electricity producers to store power for use when needed to enabling electric vehicle trips on long distance routes as pollutant-reducing measures.

Energy storage systems use chemical (such as lithium-ion batteries ) or mechanical means ( such as pumped hydro or compressed air ) to decentralise energy production and to manage fluctuation in supply. Startups are now offering batteryless options like flow batteries or solid state batteries with higher energy density.

EV batteries can even be used as storage and sell energy back to the grid through V2G, while other storage solutions include hydrogen produced through electrolysis, thermal ice storage to avoid or reduce electricity use during peak demand, and geothermal energy harnessing underground reservoirs of hot water and steam to produce electricity and heat buildings.

9. Smart Grids

Digitization and solutions that overcome intermittency are popular trends in renewable energy technology trends, helping level supply and demand more effectively and reduce energy costs while simultaneously meeting supply and demand more efficiently and cost effectively.

Startups are using blockchain technology to facilitate secure transactions within the energy sector and enhance operations and maintenance (O&M) processes. New innovations like advanced photovoltaics and mono-passive emitter real contact (PERC) panels enhance solar conversion efficiency.

The Smart Grid allows consumers and businesses to take advantage of electricity prices that are lower during off-peak periods by using smart devices that track energy usage to switch off air conditioners during these peak times, or sell back energy they generate when charging at lower rates to the grid – ultimately helping reduce scope 3 emissions while upholding corporate social responsibility.

10. Biofuels

Biofuels are renewable energy sources made from recently living organic material that provide a cleaner and more eco-friendly alternative to petroleum fuels. Biofuel production can come from agricultural crops, waste products or even used cooking oil from businesses or households – or even from forest residues!

Biofuels such as ethanol made from corn are the most widely-used liquid biofuel, while others such as biodiesel made from vegetable oils or animal fats may be blended with petroleum diesel fuel in various proportions to form third-generation biofuels that are more environmentally-friendly than previous ones.

Covid-19 caused renewable technologies to take a hit during 2022, yet these technologies are slowly rebounding as time progresses. We anticipate significant wind and solar PV growth over the next decade along with hydropower and geothermal energy projects.