Global Energy Update: The Green Power Transition

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The face of energy is transitioning from dependence on fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy solutions. With pressure from the current administration and mounting climate concerns, nations across the globe are rallying behind the green energy movement. The efforts to transition to clean energy represent the convictions of a massive industry. According to the International Energy Agency, an estimated 1.7 trillion dollars will be invested in clean energy in 2023. 

There is a lot to cover in the realm of renewable energy. You can rely on Shale Magazine to be your resource for energy insight. We’ll cover the latest news on the green energy transition and how it impacts the industry. 

The Green Transition: Renewables

Investment in clean energy has risen significantly since 2021. As the world transitions to green energy, solar, wind, hydro, lithium, and nuclear power, all make up a significant portion of the global energy supply. Though the world still has a long way to go before total dependence on renewable energy, advancing technology and clean energy investment could provide a greener energy future. 

With energy costs soaring to record highs over the past few years, many nations are doubling down on efforts to increase affordable green energy production. Renewable energy is a current buzzword in the green movement. The energy sector is rapidly evolving to help the planet move toward reliable and renewable power solutions. 

Solar Power

Solar energy is often the first thing that comes to mind when discussing renewable energy solutions. This energy option utilizes the sun’s rays to produce electricity via solar panels. Solar technology has seen incredible advances since it first became available. Though it is still relatively costly, many nations are making investments in solar power. 

Portugal developed a floating solar farm within a stagnant reservoir. This solar field takes up no land space and has the potential to power approximately 1500 homes in the local area. This brilliant idea could be a potential avenue for solar power companies and designers to explore moving forward. If this creative solution is explored further, it could drastically change how we view solar energy. 

In a recent update by ScienceDaily, solar energy could take on a more elemental form in the future. Instead of producing solar energy via solar panels, this innovative solution utilizes solar heat transferred to stones and other elements found in the ground. By converting solar heat to energy using rocks, scientists can use thermal energy storage to produce electricity. If this technology is further explored, it could reduce the dependence on costly batteries to store solar energy. 

Wind Energy

Harnessing the power of the wind to produce electricity is hardly a new technology. Recently, wind power technology has excited the energy sector about the transition to green power. There is vast potential in utilizing wind power to supply electricity to the global power grid, and several energy investors are jumping into this renewable energy resource. 

Wind power makes up roughly 10% of the United States’ electricity produced by renewable resources. As one of the most significant contributors to renewable energy, wind power could be a viable source for transitioning to clean power production. 

The Department of Energy recently awarded Kansas State University its prize for the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition. This annual competition challenges college students to create viable solutions for the energy crisis. The winners of this competition have proposed economic strategies for harnessing wind power that are amenable to production and environmental operations. The brilliant minds working on these projects see a bright future in harnessing the wind for energy. 

Furthermore, the Department of Energy recently conducted a competition to advance technology in floating offshore wind energy production. This technology could revolutionize and dramatically increase the energy produced by wind turbines. With the potential in offshore turbines, transitioning to green energy could be spearheaded by offshore wind power production. 

Hydro: Wave Energy

One of the most up-and-coming renewable energy sources is wave power. This Innovative technology utilizes the oscillating currents in bodies of water to produce energy. With more than 70% of the globe covered in water, the potential of wave energy could be a most abundant resource for energy production. This budding technology is vastly unexplored but could have exciting prospects. Several European countries are estimating a significant boon in wave energy in the oncoming years. 

However, because this technology is so new, it is yet to be thoroughly investigated by lawmakers and agencies. There are currently no licensing agencies to officially license prototypes for technological pioneers for wave energy. Its lack of support could prove a fatal flaw in a massive renewable energy resource. As this technology progresses, the lack of planning and licensing support could hamper wave power’s progress in the early stages of development. 

Of course, with any rising technology, there is cause for concern. Many are concerned about the environmental impacts wave energy technology could have. As investors produce prototypes, they must take into account the natural environment for oceanic creatures and plant life. While these concerns are not impossible to overcome, they can present challenges to developers. 

Lithium: Energy Storage

Lithium batteries are leading the charge in climate change. As a crucial component of electric vehicles, lithium batteries are paramount to the green energy transition. The market for electric cars has skyrocketed over the past several years, leading to a natural demand for advancing lithium production. 

Lithium production is primarily found in South American nations like Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. These nations make up the lithium triangle, which supplies upwards of 60% of the world’s lithium. However, recent restrictions from Chile have some investors concerned about the lithium supply. The Chilean government has proposed strict holdings on their lithium supply, which could lead to a shortage as demand increases. 

While Chile may be cracking down on lithium exportation, this presents other opportunities for other lithium-rich nations to increase their production rates of the world’s lightest metal. In California, the Salton Sea has vast quantities of lithium that could help replenish the supply. This area is known as Lithium Valley with its rich potential and prosperous lithium production. This deposit of the vital electric battery component could prove to be a game-changer in the face of American green energy production. 

Nuclear Power 

The proposed emission restrictions by President Biden have recently struck nuclear power plants across the nation. If these restrictions follow through, nuclear power plants would be forced to install costly equipment to trap emissions, make the switch to lower-emission power sources (like hydrogen), or face shutdown. The impending restrictions could cost nuclear power plants billions over the next ten years. 

The restrictions stem from nuclear power plants’ reliance on coal to create electricity. Biden’s proposal could prove to be devastating to the coal industry and atomic energy in the United States. 

However, the future of nuclear power is not all bleak. Several nations in Europe and Asia have committed to increasing nuclear power efforts. Countries like France and China have increased their investment in nuclear energy. Globally, nuclear power has vast potential for creating clean energy solutions. 

Additionally, recent breakthroughs in hydrogen transportation could help the transition to cleaner energy. Hydrogen has immense potential for low-emission energy production. Since the proposed nuclear power restrictions involve switching to a source like hydrogen, the transportation breakthrough could be a viable option for nuclear power plants in the United States. 

Gas and Oil Are Still Vital to Energy Production

As the world makes efforts to transition to green energy, fossil fuel Industries still have a principal role to play. Though oil and coal companies often receive criticism amidst climate change parties, they still make up the majority of America’s energy production. Without fossil fuels’ contribution to the energy sector, the power grid would see a catastrophic decline. Energy industries like coal, natural gas, and oil are vital to sustaining America’s energy needs. 

Even Biden Admits, “We’ll Need Oil and Gas for a While” 

It’s no secret that President Biden has been one of the most determined supporters of green energy throughout his presidency. President Biden has made considerable moves to transition to clean energy sources by making renewable energy a significant platform in his election campaign. His recent crackdown on coal production and implementation of nuclear power restrictions is par for the course of his presidency. 

Despite his criticism, the president himself admits that America will need oil and gas for a while. The transition to green energy for our nation cannot happen overnight. Oil and gas refineries will still be necessary for the foreseeable future to help supply America’s power grid. The president’s comments come after mounting tensions between oil executives and the green energy movement. 

While the comments made in the presidential address have alleviated some concerns, it has not put them entirely to rest. Several executives are still concerned that oil refineries may be facing a short lifespan based on the previous actions of the current administration. 

According to the United States Energy Information Administration, roughly 60% of energy comes from fossil fuels, like natural gas, petroleum, and coal. With the majority of energy being created from fossil fuels, the transition to green energy will take more work and time. To make a smooth transition to green power, the world will undoubtedly need fossil fuels throughout the process.

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Author Tyler Reed
Tyler Reed began his career in the world of finance managing a portfolio of municipal bonds at the Bank of New York Mellon. Four years later, he led the Marketing and Business Development team at a high-profile civil engineering firm. He had a focus on energy development in federal, state, and local pursuits. He picked up an Executive MBA from the University of Florida along the way. Following an entrepreneurial spirit, he founded a content writing agency. There, they service marketing agencies, PR firms, and enterprise accounts on a global scale. A sought-after television personality and featured writer in too many leading publications to list, his penchant for research delivers crisp and intelligent prose his audience continually craves.

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