Energy Progress Despite Pushback

Kirsten Long

Despite the U.S government pushback, specifically Donald Trump’s denial of climate change, North America seems to be making a lot of progress when it comes to renewable energy, thus giving us hope for the future.

The renewable energy industries have made tremendous progress in recent years within areas such as wind power, the discovery of gilsonite, and wearable device energy.

The wind energy industry has experienced some significant accomplishments with the long-term levelized cost of wind power purchase agreements being proportional with the price of natural gas in many jurisdictions. Another remarkable achievement involves the discovery of gilsonite, a naturally occurring asphalt. The gilsonite can be used to prevent short circuit-based explosions when coated on lithium-ion batteries’ positive electrodes, impeding dendrites from forming. Dendrites, which are needle-like metal growths, are known to cause hazardous short-circuiting. Meanwhile, Researchers at Binghamton University have discovered a way to help power wearable devices that detect heart rate along with an array of other vital signs. They developed textile-based microbial fuel cells, which use human sweat as a source of power.

Home energy trends are on the rise, helping to make residential carbon footprints lighter. For instance, pricing of solar panels is continuously dropping, making them more appealing to homeowners. Another trend that is making its mark is a Wi-Fi connected sprinkler that senses when your lawn is saturated enough, shutting off the equipment and preventing water waste.

It is also worth noting that new lighting advancements will be able to provide ways to conserve energy with environmental sensors that can detect when a room is being used or not.

While we can’t list all the new and exciting renewable energy advancements in one short blog, it is encouraging to know that the renewable energy market is gaining strength and that more countries are moving forward with clean energy policies. According to the International Energy Agency renewable energy growth is expected to be very strong through 2022.