On social media and at industry conventions, it is easy to find high-profile discussions on the technological revolution of electric grids. Experts on energy storage, distributed generation, and wireless options describe how emerging technologies are poised to transform the electricity sector. The hype is real. Energy companies are developing technologies at an increasingly rapid pace. But for all the attention on these new devices and expectations of market growth, there’s still no clear path to widespread adoption. As this series shows, several key barriers prevent technology adoption from keeping up with technology development.
In a dynamic discussion at the Rockefeller Institute of Government on April 18 in Albany, N.Y., financial experts explained how they “follow the puck” by observing technological and social trends as they move their funds from fossil fuels toward clean energy.
“Puerto Rico is suffering,” said José H. Román, interim president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, to a crowded room of attendees at the Future of Energy Global Summit in New York City on April 9. The summit explored how the global renewable energy market is changing even as it faces policy headwinds in North America. For Puerto Rico, a United States territory, hope for the future seems distant given its currently harsh economy and inadequate infrastructure.
In 2018, one of the most pressing questions about the viability of electric vehicles is where to charge them. Throughout the Future of Energy Global Summit in New York City on April 9-10, people asked: How quickly will electric vehicles arrive? And how rapidly will the market grow?
For many energy innovators, securing venture capital may seem to be an impossible challenge. Taking this issue to heart, the technology company Rho AI is exploring the power of artificial intelligence to find capital for companies in the renewable energy marketplace. Having recently earned a grant from the United States Department of Energy to create a solution called Partner AI, Rho AI is reaching its seventh month of development. Partner AI is an online artificial intelligence-based solution that will work to streamline today’s renewable energy venture capital process.
When the United States renewed funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on March 23 despite a proposal to defund this energy-innovation agency, what galvanized support for this decision? Two reports published in 2017 by the National Academies Press and Information Technology & Innovation Foundation showed why the agency plays a quiet but energetic role that moves industries forward.
A potentially transformative energy storage solution is being developed by a group led by Yet-Ming Chiang, professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Zheng Li, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. Their research was published in the journal “Joule” in the article “Air-Breathing Aqueous Sulfur Flow Battery for Ultralow-Cost Long-Duration Electrical Storage.”
Now that installations of solar PV coupled with battery storage (solar+storage) are becoming more common in commercial markets, it is important that disadvantaged communities not be left behind. One of the reasons for this lag in market uptake of clean energy in low- and moderate-income communities is a persistent financing gap.
The focus of business leaders shifted toward new horizons on Jan. 31 at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City. These included the role of organized labor in the global energy transition. This was the first conference session Clean Energy Finance Forum has covered where labor issues were discussed at length.
There was a full house when speakers offered strategic advice on energy storage financing at the Solar Power Northeast conference. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) held this conference in Boston on Feb. 5-6. Solar energy storage systems are not yet widely used. And this lack of popularity can make storage systems difficult to finance.
In regions of the developing world where electrical grids are weak or nonexistent, people often rely on kerosene. In a webinar on Sept. 16, staff from four pay-as-you-go solar companies described how they are building rural sales networks in Africa and India to replace kerosene lighting.
On May 7, 2014, Unilever and NRG Energy announced the formation of a strategic partnership. The goal? To source 100 percent of the energy used by Unilever’s United States operations from onsite and offsite renewable generation by 2020. During a recent two-day conference, managers from both companies reflected on the progress they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learned during the past year.
In the United States, microgrids are concentrated in the Northeast, according to Katherine Tweed, a writer at Greentech Media. How can microgrids expand their footprint and reach other regions and cities?
Climate resilience retrofits for affordable multifamily housing are critical to the survival of apartment residents. Jim Newman, principal of Linnean Solutions, said in a workshop at BuildingEnergy 15 on March 4 in Boston that “a lot of people are going to be sheltering in place.”