For too long, countries all over the world have relied on coal, oil, and natural gas for energy. Recently, the world is seeing the shift from these finite and expensive resources to renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy. Unlike traditional energy sources, these renewable resources are constantly replenished and will never run out.
Developed countries are now turning to renewable energy to produce power. The U.S., in particular, is seeing an increase in the use of renewable energy.
Renewable Energy in the U.S.
As stated in a recent analysis by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewable energy currently accounts for 18 percent of energy sources in the U.S. Majority of renewable energy comes from hydro sources, which are starting to rebound as the drought in the Southwest begins to diminish. In total, renewable sources produced 717 terawatt-hours of energy in 2017, a significant increase of 89 terawatt-hours over last year.
Based on these numbers, renewable energy is poised to pass nuclear power, which currently generates 20 percent of the country’s power. If this rate of growth continues, renewable sources will soon become the third largest source of energy in the U.S.
The same analysis also highlighted the falling prices of lithium-ion batteries. In particular, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are about 23 percent cheaper than they were over a year ago. This also translates to lower costs in building energy storage facilities.
Renewable Energy Around the World
In other parts of the world, energy companies are beginning to see value in renewable energy. Orsted, formerly the Danish Oil and Natural Gas, has sold its oil and gas business and transformed it into a renewable energy company, with a particular expertise in offshore wind. BP, on the other hand, plans on investing $0.5 billion of its annual capital expenditures on clean energy.
These recent announcements by energy giants send a clear message: traditional energy sources are no longer viable, and the world must begin to look at the opportunities presented by renewable energy. Although these companies are taking the risk of lower returns, they are often fixed by long-term contracts.
The movement toward renewable energy is beginning to gain momentum, and the world’s biggest companies are taking notice. Major players in the energy section are compelled to keep up with the accelerating pace of growth in renewable energy, lest they miss their chance of taking part in a trillion dollar new energy economy.