Solar, wind and natural gas-fired electricity energy dominate discussions of predicted energy trends among industry analysts and experts in 2017. In fact solar technology continues to contribute to consistent declines in cost to global consumers, making it the most affordable type of energy in 2107. Expense reductions impacting solar energy also applies to companies comprising the corporate solar technology market. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, newer solar energy products are costing much less to construct than wind energy products, with solar energy rapidly overtaking natural gas and coal. Since 2006, installation of solar energy devices has risen over 50 percent each year while the price of such products fell 70 percent.
Solar power is expected to be a leading energy trend due to its ability to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and pollution associated with burning fossil fuels for energy purposes, capacity to provide energy during times of power outages and tax credits afforded to building owners opting to depend on solar energy.
Wind Power in the 21st Century
The Global Wind Energy Outlook 2016 predicts wind energy growth will power significant areas of the world, especially Latin America, Africa and Asia. Although GWE Outlook reports that world wind power achieved over 400 gigawatts in 2015, energy experts expect generation of wind power could increase over the next five years by 500 to 1200 percent.
An initiative called “Wind Powering America” is currently being implemented by the Department of Energy in the U.S. with the intent of generating at least five percent of the country’s electricity from wind power over the next decade. In addition, this program is expected to provide over $50 billion in capital investments including $1 billion in earnings for rural landowners and nearly 85,000 new jobs over the next two decades.
Theoretically, the wind has the ability to generate at least five times more electricity than the amount currently used by U.S. citizens. Plains states like Kansas, South Dakota, Missouri and Oklahoma possess optimal wind resources because of their flatness and geographical location. Representing areas in which the DOE’s “Wind Powering American” program hopes to establish viable wind farms, these states as well as regions in northeast U.S. will be vital players in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, diminishing greenhouse gas levels and providing much-needed jobs in the near future.
Gas-Fired Electricity Trends
The U.S. Energy Administration is predicting gas-fired electricity will continue to be one of several, rapidly developing energy sources in the world. The International Energy Outlook 2016 reveals that generation of gas-fired electricity is expected to rise by nearly three percent over the next 30 years. By 2040, this energy resource should be providing at least 27 percent of all electricity globally. However, the IEO2016 report also states that coal continues and will probably continue to remain the primary fuel utilized for producing electricity worldwide.