There are important trends to keep an eye on about sustainable energy in 2018. Here are four trends to follow in the New Year.
Energy Storage Knowledge.
It’s important to understand how storage works and where it will bring the most benefit.
Energy storage pilot, demonstration and trial projects cropped up all around the world in 2017. For example, one demonstration project in Hawaii identified how aggregated storage can form virtual power plants; proposals for trials in New York were requested in order to optimize commercially available technologies; in the U.K., a trail began to source and optimize recycled electric vehicle batteries for homeowners; in Australia, a trial now is under way to highlight the benefits of storage combined with solar in remote communities.
Expect to see not only a variety of new trials and demonstrations be announced in 2018, but also the results of completed and ongoing projects of this kind make their way into the hands of policy makers as they work to discern the value of storage to the stability of a green and resilient power grid.
Utilities and renewable energy developers in the U.S., France, Spain and Sweden in 2017 announced they either started or have completed projects that integrate batteries with wind power projects in their portfolios. Operators are looking for ways to make their projects last longer and improve efficiency and financial metrics. Storage will pair nicely with those goals.
Offshore Wind Hot Spot
In the offshore wind sector, the U.S. East Coast was one hot spot to watch in 2017, and frankly, that won’t change much in 2018. Existing projects are going to begin maturing through the development process and the finer issues will emerge on environmental and other fronts that will be the lessons for more projects down the road. Clarity will come in terms of the cost of the energy for East Coast projects. More states will work to find their own paths and follow the early leaders, such as Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts.
In cities around the world, waste management is a rising crisis, and in many regions, governments are turning to waste-to-energy facilities to control landfill expansion. New Dehli, for example, is facing a serious landfill dilemma over the next five years, when it expects city waste to require an area equal to 7 percent of the city’s land. To resolve the issue, the Indian government hopes to build a waste-to-energy plant that would process one-third of the city’s waste.
China, too, has made waste-to-energy a priority. China Everbright International this year secured its eighteenth waste-to-energy project in Shandong Province alone. In 2018, expect the number of new project announcements from existing players to remain steady, while progress on the policy front ticks up as the result of a call for change from residents of the largest, sustainably oriented cities around the world.