There's plenty of buzz about energy these days. But what are some of the innovations that stand out?
Government studies predict that the U.S. energy intensity will continue to decline about 2 percent every year through 2040. While efficiency in a broad term is accelerating, the steep drop in energy usage will be in automobiles.
"At the same time, efficient use of electricity – which is used three-fourths in buildings, one-fourth in industry – is finally starting to pull out its decades-long doldrums."
Renewables are booming worldwide with solar systems and wind turbines being installed all around the world. Wind power added 45 GW of global capacity last year, and solar PVS added about 32 GW.
"These and other no-hydro renewables are continuing to win a quarter-trillion dollars' private investment per year globally. It's the core of the global market and increasingly central to the United States' energy landscape."
The means of producing electricity have shifted from slow, gigantic projects to scalable, mass-produced manufactured products. This shift from centralized to distributed generators could be the future of energy and how it powers our homes and businesses.
"Distributed renewables save money, avoid price volatility and fuel insecurities, and prevent carbon emissions. But their unique strategic and marketing advantage is that if properly deployed in a largely distributed system, they can enable a resilient grid architecture that makes big cascading blackouts improbable by design."