Top seven renewable energy trends for 2019
2018 was a big year for the green energy revolution. We’ve seen renewable energy hit record-breaking numbers, smart energy finding its way into more and more homes around the UK, and dramatic protests from anti-fracking campaigners.
The UN hit the news during the latter half of the year, with startling research about the almost irreversible effects of climate change on our planet. There’s now more pressure than ever on governments to hit climate change targets and improve their environmental policy.
We’re expecting big strides in Britain this year, as we move towards a more sustainable way of living. Here are our top seven renewable energy predictions for 2019.
1. Renewable energy
2018 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy. The capacity of green energy sources, like solar power and wind energy, overtook that of fossil fuels in the UK for the first time ever – tripling in the last five years, while the capacity of fossil fuels has fallen by a third.
Solar power broke the record for weekly output between 21 and 28 June 2018, and it looks like 2019 is set to follow this trend. 20% of Britain’s electricity comes from green energy sources, and EU climate change targets mean that this is likely to increase even more. The use of renewable energy is showing no signs of slowing down, and it’s never been easier to switch to green energy.
2. Energy Storage
Energy storage allows energy to be generated when weather conditions are particularly sunny or windy, and then stored to be used later when it’s needed.
The technology is key to helping renewable energy reach its full potential – as the popularity of renewable energy grows, so does the need to develop new technology to harness it.
Energy storage can be used on a domestic scale and a larger, smart grid scale. Throughout 2019, energy storage technology is expected to grow in order to help homes and businesses make the most of green energy generation.
3. Smart energy
Smart meters should help us all become more energy efficient, and smart energy apps are also being developed to help people see exactly where they can save energy.
Although smart meters themselves won’t save energy or money, they can give you a better understanding of how much energy you’re using and help you to see where you can make savings.
As smart meter apps and smart meter installation is rolled out in 2019, we’ll all become more aware of how much energy we’re using and where we can make savings.
4. Time’s up for fossil fuels
Grid parity occurs when an alternative energy source can generate power better and cheaper than conventional methods can. Solar power and wind power have virtually reached parity with traditional fossil fuels, in both price and performance.
Green energy is already proving to be more efficient than conventional sources, and with new technologies being developed, it looks set to become even more viable in 2019.
5. The end of fracking?
Despite the Conservative Party referring to fracking as the gas ‘revolution’ in their election manifesto, the results of fracking in 2018 were pretty underwhelming. Not as much shale gas was found as originally expected, so it doesn’t look as if fracking will help meet our gas needs and make us as energy independent as initially thought.
One of the main dangers of fracking is that it’s thought to cause earthquakes, and there have been 47 earthquakes since October 2018. As a result of high magnitude tremors, fracking in the UK has come to a halt for now. We’re hoping that 2019 will mean the end of fracking for good.
6. Big commitments from big companies
More and more companies, cities and whole countries are committing to cutting their carbon emissions. Over 100 cities worldwide have reported that at least 70% of their energy comes from renewables, and over 40 are operating on 100% green energy.
RE100 is a global group of businesses who are all moving to 100% green energy – including Gatwick Airport, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Ikea and BT.
It’s essential that big businesses get behind renewable energy because they set the tone for smaller businesses to follow. If we’re going to fight climate change, everyone needs to get on board. It’s up to consumers to tell businesses what they want from them, and what they can do to help tackle climate change.
After the 2018 report released by the IPCC claimed we only have twelve years until the effects of climate change are irreversible, in 2019 we can expect to see more and more businesses of all different sizes committing to going greener.
7. The electric vehicle revolution
We started the electric vehicle revolution back in 2011 when we created the Electric Highway, our national network of electric vehicle charging points. But after the news that the sale of all diesel and petrol cars will be banned from 2040, plenty of car manufacturers have announced plans to launch their own EVs.
Manufacturers like Smart, Jaguar Land Rover, Mini and Volvo have all started developing EVs, and other car makers are expected to follow.
BP has also helped push EVs forward as it bought Chargemaster, a network of EV chargers that spans the UK last year, and committed to adding EV charge points to UK petrol stations in 2018.
Seeing big corporations who have invested in the oil and petrol industries for so long moving to a more renewable and environmentally friendly way of doing things, tells us that 2019 is going to be a big year for EVs. The message is clear – electric cars are the future.