Over the coming years, a hybrid of micro and macro elements are bound to become a new reality in the power sector. The days when passive components and large power plants dominated the system are getting edged out. Over the coming years, the power sector will have a new landscape with a hybrid of small and large scale elements. The Large-scale will include super grids and renewable generating plants with solar power leading the pack. These large scale entities will also move power across long distances and microgrids as well as buildings producing energy and end users therein playing an active role.
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Renewable energy to lead investment options
Renewable energy will drive investment opportunities in the energy sector, and markets are already tuned into this reality. The software industry will play a valuable role in grid management and many electric appliances and technologies including electric vehicles, heat pumps, solar batteries and PV will all come together with buildings managed through ICT systems. Such buildings, in turn, will become net energy generators rather than mere consumers of energy. Automation and digitalisation will play crucial roles in providing electricity and the complex task of grid balancing as well as power quality.
Increased flexibility from mass markets
Mass markets will provide a greater level of flexibility which is a core necessity for the grids today. Personalised energy where individuals source energy, price it and gain a better understanding of the system of electric supply will soon become the order of the day. Digital platforms will empower consumers to demand choice as well as control over electricity consumption in their homes. Technology support to achieve these objectives is already in place.
Together, the following trends will create a new era in power production, distribution and management.
- Quantum shift in demand for electrical energy from trucks, cars and other automobiles, as well as electric heating needs, will be major triggers for production and consumption of energy.
- Graphene and hybrid variants in solar cells, power converters with a range of bandgap semiconductors will enhance performance, efficiency and reliability of electric grids and the next generation of solar panels.
- Digitalisation of the power sector will bring a wide array of benefits. The cost of wind energy is expected to peg lower, and customers will be in better control of power consumed by them.
- Wind energy production and distribution will scale greater heights with technological advancement impacting generation as well as distribution.
- Electricity storage will see better storage and chemical batteries will help consumers store solar energy and smart software embedded in the batteries will optimise the use of those batteries.
- A more reliable and controllable system of demand response will impact the way utility companies work today.
Pricing to dip further
(Source : http://reneweconomy.com.au/ )
But topping all the above developments will be the pricing of solar PV impacted by as many as 30 plus new developments in the anvil. Over the next decade, together, these developments will bring down the price of solar PV by as much as 40%. It is projected by the year 2025 solar PV will become the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the globe.
Power grids will also go hybrid to make room for an increase in the share of multiple streams of renewable energy facilitating better transmission efficiency over longer distances.