As much as people love to enjoy modern life’s benefits, few take the time to question the source of such amazing opportunities. Energy, namely electricity, is a non-negotiable commodity for human existence today, while the conventional methods of producing it create substantial problems. Renewable energy on the other hand promises possibilities not just for the environment but also for the global economy. Whether it be office cleaning Sydney operations, wind turbine production or geo-thermal facility installments, renewables offer numerous types of business activity and employment. As the public gets a better vision of the future where limitless renewable energy will replace fossil fuels, the pressure upon political parties, lobbies and interest groups that profit from fossil fuels is also increasing, foreshadowing a new revolution in energy markets.
In today’s global market, households are a major source of economic activity and solar panels and batteries are getting more popular in America. In a country where natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes create state wide power shortages, the capability to gather solar energy and store it for future use is a significant relief. In the last two years, American households have been buying solar batteries faster than the factories could produce them, with triple the amount of battery storages installed in the last quarter of 2017 than the first quarter, according to a study by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. Such batteries’ capability to collect excess electrons when the turbines are working allows their owners to turn them on later and access electricity, while companies such as Xcel Energy, NV Energy, HECO, PG&E and Arizona Public Service Energy Company are already investing into large-scale storage facilities to offer commercial services soon. Such batteries require no refills, make no disturbing sounds and provide energy for days. Analysts believe that the real market explosion will happen when the batteries will become available for electric vehicles, taking on internal combustion engines for rivalry.
On the opposite shores of the Atlantic, Portugal wrote history in March of 2018 when the country’s national energy grid, (REN), “produced more renewable energy than it needed.” The success story belongs to the efficiency of the country’s wind, solar and hydro-electric plants which “accounted for 103% of electricity consumption” for the month of March, while fossil fuels were still used to supplement the grid when renewable energy systems went offline due to natural reasons. However, even during such periods, renewable energy could still sustain 86% of all national demand while in periods of over-activity, the ratio rose to 143%. The country’s policy makers are looking forward to 2040 as the turning point in Portuguese history when renewable energy will be able to supply electricity to the entire mainland for a full year. Only 10 years after such an accomplishment, Portugal seeks to become completely carbon neutral as well. In northern countries such as the United Kingdom and Scotland on the other hand, weather instability and storage difficulties deter further investments, leading to low levels of supply than is insufficient to meet national demands. The costs of installing large-scale storage facilities outweigh the financial benefits of renewable energy, which stagnates market growth in both countries. Not every player in the corporate game seeks to profit from the harmful and problematic use of fossil fuels for energy and Apple is a leading firm that takes pride in its green energy policies. In March of 2018, the company announced that “all of its retail stores, data centers and corporate offices now run on 100% clean energy” including facilities in 43 foreign countries. Apple’s success originates from its diverse approach as the company utilizes solar technologies, wind farms, biogas fuel cells and micro-hydro generation systems to create renewable energy. Apple also has convinced 23 of its main suppliers to use renewable energy when producing the company’s products. Since 2011, Apple’s global facilities have been producing 54% less greenhouses gases as well while ‘Apple Park’ in Cupertino, California houses several large-scale solar panels on its roof which “give back clean energy to the public grid during times of low usage.” The company is also investing into new green data centers in Denmark while also cooperating with a Japanese solar company to install 300+ new rooftop solar systems for its facilities in Japan. In a similar vein, Microsoft has also announced that the company’s global operations have been completely carbon-neutral since 2012, while Google’s has been completely carbon-neutral since 2007 with the company reaching 100% renewable energy capabilities in 2017.