By 2023, solar energy could be the main contributor to electricity production in many countries. Cost reduction and efficiency improvements have enabled to make photovoltaic a reliable source of energy for energy security in the world. Let’s see now some future trends in solar energy.
Most people have heard about ChatGTP and have witnessed the tremendous development of artificial intelligence. It will impact society as AI will handle more and more tasks. These new technologies will also have an effect on the solar industry.
Firstly, AI will assist developers in selecting solar sites by analyzing geographical data, solar resources, and grid infrastructure. Once the developers have selected the right site, AI will then optimize the design and construction planning of the project. When the solar farm is finally producing energy, AI technology will forecast the power production of the installation. This will help better synchronize with storage facilities and other power generation farms.
Figure 1 – Applications of AI for the energy transition, classified by type of data
(Source: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate the Energy Transition – WEF)
In our current regular grid, it is mainly large power plants that produce the energy. That is then sold in centralized markets, and transmitted over a large distance to final customers.
In a smart grid, the power generation is decentralized. In addition, the consumer actively participates in the system because the electricity is a two-way flow. Technology and digital network manage the entire infrastructure thanks to the exchange of data. The smart grid helps regulate the fluctuations in electricity generation and demand. Power plants and storage facilities communicate, which can help outsmart the challenges posed by the intermittency of renewable energy.
To reach Net Zero Emissions by 2030, investment in smart grids should have doubled by 2030 (USD600 million per year). The modernization of the grid will accompany the development of solar energy.
Figure 2 – Applications for Smart Grid (Source: www.lem.com/en/smart-grid)
Hydrogen is a form of energy that is a clean alternative to natural gas. It almost doesn’t exist as a gas in nature. It is produced through the electrolysis of water, which decomposes water into oxygen and hydrogen.
Hydrogen is a secondary source of energy, which means it stores and transports energy produced from other sources of energy (fossil fuel, nuclear, solar, wind, etc.) Hydrogen produced from renewable energy, including solar, is called green hydrogen.
Figure 2 – Applications for green hydrogen (Source: https://blogs.worldbank.org/ppps/green-hydrogen-key-investment-energy-transition)
The energy density and large application of hydrogen make it a key element of the decarbonization of our economy. Solar energy, as a cheap, efficient, and clean source of energy, will be a pillar in the future development of hydrogen.
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