Solar+Storage, Strategy and Best Practices
Article | September 17, 2022
Renewable energy has transformed our planet. It's raised awareness of global warming and climate change. Both governments and ordinary people are seeking to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy because of this awareness. Technology's involvement in this revolution cannot be understated. Thought a few years ago that solar energy would power average houses in small communities. Thanks to the widespread manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, EVs will be the next big thing.
Major Renewable Energy Technologies Transforming the Future
Despite the name, this is not a conspiracy theory about global dominance. Modern technology converts electricity into synthetic fuels, thermal energy, and hydrogen. This breakthrough technology can minimize fossil fuel dependence by focusing on synthetic ones. It can also help with efficient storage solutions.
Green Appliances and Machines
Leading household appliance makers are launching solar-powered appliances. This is a wonderful start toward minimizing family power expenses. Many households have begun to invest in gadgets such as solar air conditioners.
Distributed Generation Systems
Several locations are experimenting with distributed generation. This reduces dependence on a centralized grid and simplifies transmission and distribution. It also reduces grid dependability and failures.
Most European nations are actively electrifying to cut carbon emissions. This is not the same as a power supply. Rather, it implies developing assets and infrastructure that can shift and aid in the adoption of electricity. Providing public EV charging stations is a step towards electrification.
Prominent private companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have made significant commitments to renewable energy in recent years. While some governments are actively attempting to make the shift, others have yet to take environmental challenges such as global warming and climate change seriously. Technological breakthroughs are helping to make the transition to renewable energy greener, quicker, and more economical.
Article | July 7, 2023
Despite rising energy costs and dwindling customer ratings of the ‘Big Six’, over 37% of Brits still believe they are getting a good deal when it comes to gas and electricity.
Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of rising independent Outfox the Market, challenges those age-old perceptions that are damaging consumer bank balances…
I have never quite understood the notion of pay more for the same service. Except that last part, is really where the difference lies.
As I have made my way through the energy market, it seems clear to me that we are facing a common notion.
Age-old dinosaurs, that have relied on name status and brand power to retain customer loyalty, despite not providing anything different or any value-added service, give the impression that customers are somehow safer with them. That is the biggest misconception.
We at Outfox the Market would like to challenge that.
Of course, when I speak in such a way, I am referring to the ‘Big Six’, those long-established brands whose share in the energy market whilst substantial, is increasingly coming at the cost to its customers.
For example, in the latest independent customer rankings from Which, it was determined that the traditional big energy companies had some of the lowest scores for customer service and value for money, yet some customers still feel secure with them.
On the contrary, rising independents, such as ourselves, were scoring highly in these areas and this is where I feel the difference lies.
Regardless of your opinion on fossil fuels and/or renewables, it is more the value of looking after your customers, understanding their concerns and dealing with them efficiently that has become somewhat lost for the ‘Big Six’.
It is true that they have a larger proportion of customers to serve with a larger workforce, but that should not be to the detriment to the service they provide.
What were are seeing now, as evidenced by the recent Ofgem price hikes, is the ‘Big Six’ once again failing consumers in these areas, with most of the top names putting costs up by £96 a year on average as of April.
I am not one to not acknowledge that energy firms are tongue-tied in some respects in passing regulated costs on; there are times when we must. However, customers could also benefit from a little research.
Even with growing numbers of consumers switching, nearly 60% of all households in the UK are still on standard variable rate tariffs, those that are subject to the incoming Ofgem hikes.
So, the real question is why aren’t more customers switching? Heritage, loyalty and brand association. These facets really should not come at cost of paying more for energy.
I really believe it is down to time-sensitivity and a misunderstanding around the barriers to switching, with cost somewhere in the middle.
According to MoneySuperMarket, 75% of us would switch if we could save £149.99. A hefty figure, but why not the £96 highlighted earlier? That is still pretty good, and something that would add up nicely over the years.
I understand we are time-poor as a nation, it’s well publicised, but we’re all well averse in switching phone contracts and insurance deals, so why not where our energy comes from?
Truth be told, I believe it’s an age-old notion that energy is ‘just something that comes with the house, not worth the hours or hassle to change.’
But in all honesty, it takes a matter of seconds to switch. Firms such as ourselves offer this and more via a quick and easy quote online. Best of all, many energy providers will help manage the switching process for you, contacting your current provider and notifying them of your intentions.
I would also like to challenge this notion that once an energy firm ‘gets you’, you are ‘locked in’ for years upon end in ever rising contract costs.
If you are on a standard variable tariff, you can switch to a new provider at any time. What’s more, even if you are in a fixed term energy deal, which can be subject to exit fees, sometimes the cost involved outweighs the savings you can make with your new provider.
Customers must do their best to ask more of energy firms, check the service they are being given and hold it up against national bill averages. Compare what your neighbours, friends and family are paying under similar living circumstances, and weigh up if you are being given a fair deal.
Living costs and regulated price hikes are always going to be an ever present worry, so I call on both customers and energy firms to do their due diligence in these respects.
Age-old energy firms relying on their reputation must take a serious inward look at their lessening market share to understand why they are failing customers.
It’s time to make a change now, both from business attitude and a consumer standpoint; switching is quick, easy and a vital notion to bear in mind, as both retaining custom and saving money becomes an ever-growing sticking point in the energy market.
Strategy and Best Practices
Article | July 8, 2022
Energy is an important feature in the economic and political development of a country. In developed nations like the USA, energy expansion has now reached a point where renewable energy sources also play a large part in the production of electricity.
To meet the energy demands of the country, most production of renewable energy comes from fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources.
Around 25% of the world’s energy is generated with renewable energy resources- mainly solar, wind, hydropower, and in some cases, geothermal. It is one of the fastest-growing electricity sources.
Renewable energy is collected from resources that are abundantly available in the environment, like the sun or wind. There has been a growing interest in renewable energy production as fossil fuels are depleting. In most parts of the world, renewable energy has become a primary source of energy production.
Renewable energy is preferred as they produce fewer greenhouse gases than non-RE sources. There are several other advantages to renewable sources like lower carbon emissions, reduced air pollution, and other socioeconomic benefits.
However, unlike non-RE sources, there are challenges in renewable energy like economic, political and regulatory barriers, structural, social, and technical challenges which require advancement in technology, and a heavy investment with a proper understanding of obstacles it faces. Some obstacles are due to technology associated with renewable energy, whereas others are because of policies, marketplace, regulations, and infrastructure.
Impact of Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a grinding halt. It has severely impacted individuals and businesses alike, with many of the latter being closed down permanently. Similarly, the pandemic has also impacted the expansion of clean energy systems by forcefully curbing any investments.
The technology and adoption of renewables have been making uneven but sure progress. The global pandemic has slowed down this development. According to International Energy Agency, the global share of electricity supply from renewables had reached 28% in 2020 from 26% in 2019, but the growth is expected to slow down further. The total energy supply is set to reduce by 13% from 2019. This substantial decline can be attributed to supply chain disruptions, lockdown, and emerging financial problems. Transport biofuel production and renewable heat consumption are projected to decline due to lower industrial activity.
Governments have an opportunity to promote and accelerate the use of clean energy by incentivizing building, technology, and infrastructure across the country. This would be crucial to rebuilding the economy, create jobs, and build efficiency.
Capital Costs and Investment
The most obvious challenge of widespread adoption of renewables is cost, predominantly infrastructure costs like building and installing solar and wind power plants. Although it is quite cheap to operate and maintain solar and wind power plants, installation becomes more and more expensive.
Over the last few years, even though the prices of installation of solar panels has fallen significantly, it remains higher than non-renewables. On average, a 2-kilowatt solar panel system costs $4,159 after tax credits, whereas the capital cost of a gas-fired power plant would cost lesser than that.
In the last two years, investment in renewables has increased, but that is only because the investments in fossil fuels have been rapidly falling. Clean energy investments still fall short of what is necessary to convert into a more sustainable future. To ensure continuous investment in sustainable energy, policymakers have to focus on short investment turnaround, focus on rapid environmental gains favoring cleaner energy generation.
Power on demand
One of the most significant challenges of renewables is the ability to provide power on demand. In the case of solar power, you only get energy during the day and only when it is sunny. As for wind energy, power is generated only when it is windy. There is an intermittent generation of power in renewables which wouldn’t be a problem if there were appropriate energy storage solutions. The biggest test in providing power on demand is storage. Even if homes, businesses, or states install wind energy systems or solar panels, storing the generated energy is still an unsolved issue.
Opponents of renewable energy highlight the reliability factor on solar and wind to augment support for coal, gas, and nuclear plants, which provide baseload power. This argument is used by lobbyists to drive out investment into renewables, thus becoming a barrier to widespread adoption of wind and solar energy.
Renewable energy plants have grids that require a large area of land. It can be unappealing to customers to switch to renewable energy sources as it is conditional depending on the size of the land. Not all states and regions are apt to build solar panels or have wind turbines as they are dependent on the geographical location. For example, building solar panels in California makes more sense than building them in New York as the former has an abundant supply of both sun and land.
Renewables operates on what is known as a decentralized model. In a decentralized power plant, small generating stations are spread across a larger area that works collectively to deliver power. In the case of coal, nuclear power, or natural gas, they are highly centralized and depend on fewer high output power plants.
Decentralized systems prove to be a problem for siting and transmission of energy created by solar or wind. Siting is needed to move blades or solar panels to large pieces of land. To do so requires to draw up contracts, negotiate, acquire permits, or build community relations; all of this can delay or kill a renewable project even before it begins.
Businesses can incur additional charges due to demand and delivery which seems like a significant challenge for them. Utility services apply these charges to recover costs of purchasing energy and maintaining power lines and energy lost in the transmission system. Moving power sources closer to your business will help you avoid such preventable expenses.
The next challenge to overcome in renewables is the transmission of generated electricity. Transmission means the transfer of electricity from where it is generated to where it is consumed. Most transmitters that exist in this day and age are built for coal and other fossil fuels and not renewables. To make things easier for transmission of clean energy, there needs to be a significant infrastructure and technological development, which cost a lot of money.
Making the economics work with financing and siting can prove costly for developers and customers alike.
Policies and Regulations
Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry is backed by multi-billionaires who wield a considerable amount of political influence. This severely affects the chances of expansion for the renewable industry. Industry experts estimate that the USA spends upwards of $60 billion on subsidies for fossil fuels every year. The taxpayers have helped fund the industry’s research and development, drilling, mining, and generation of electricity. Renewables like wind and solar enjoy much lesser subsidies and political backing. The fossil fuel industry has used its enormous power to spread misinformation about climate change.
To increase public interest and investment in renewables, there need to be clear and concise legal procedures and regulatory policies. Having proper regulations in place creates a stable environment for investment and overcome hurdles and can anticipate the revenue streams. Large-scale renewable energy projects require a large amount of capital which is hindered by the failure of proper policies that fail to attract private players.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a major challenge with using more renewable energy?
Renewable energy is competing with fossil fuels and nuclear technology. Other major challenges include underdeveloped infrastructure and lack of economies of scale.
What are the benefits of using renewable energy?
Some benefits of using renewable energy are lower energy costs, reduction of emissions, massive positive impact on environment, and marketing opportunities for businesses.
Is renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels are subsidized which makes it cheaper at the beginning. However, renewables get cheaper to maintain over the years hence making it cheaper than fossil fuels.
What is the cheapest source of renewable energy?
Solar PV and on site wind are the cheapest sources of renewable energy sources.
"name": "What is a major challenge with using more renewable energy?",
"text": "Renewable energy is competing with fossil fuels and nuclear technology. Other major challenges include underdeveloped infrastructure and lack of economies of scale."
"name": "What are the benefits of using renewable energy?",
"text": "Some benefits of using renewable energy are lower energy costs, reduction of emissions, massive positive impact on environment, and marketing opportunities for businesses."
"name": "Is renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels?",
"text": "Fossil fuels are subsidized which makes it cheaper at the beginning. However, renewables get cheaper to maintain over the years hence making it cheaper than fossil fuels."
Article | July 7, 2023
Discover top events shaping the future of solar power. These solar conventions and events in 2023 bring together experts and industry leaders to explore groundbreaking technologies and foster collaboration.
In an era marked by environmental concerns and the urgent need to transition towards sustainable energy sources, the global focus on solar power has never been more critical. As the global community endeavors to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, the significance of exploring innovative solutions and fostering knowledge exchange in this field becomes increasingly apparent. Attending top solar events dedicated to solar power and renewable energy is an exceptional opportunity for professionals, researchers, policymakers, and enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the latest advancements, industry trends, and groundbreaking technologies. This article delves into some of the top solar events that are a must-attend for anyone passionate about solar power and renewable energy. These events serve as hubs of inspiration, collaboration, and education, driving the renewable energy sector forward and shaping a sustainable future for generations to come.
1.Global Energy Show Exhibition & Conference
June 11 - 13, 2024 | Calgary (Canada)
The Global Energy Show is a leading B2B exhibition and conference that brings together industry buyers, sellers, stakeholders, partners, CEOs, and young professionals to foster knowledge sharing and fuel innovation in the ever-changing energy landscape. This event will serve as an inclusive platform encompassing all energy systems, providing features on the exhibition floor and conference sessions dedicated to oil sands, hydrogen, wind, solar, petrochemicals, gas and LNG, electrification, and nuclear energy. This inclusive approach will ensure that attendees gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities present in the global energy sector. The event's comprehensive program tackles various topics, including meeting energy demand, navigating the energy transition, showcasing cutting-edge technology and innovation, and exploring the role of various energy sources within the broader energy system. By attending the Global Energy Show in 2024, energy professionals can play an active role in leading the path toward sustainably meeting energy demands.
2.ES 2023 (17th International Conference on Energy Sustainability)
July 10 - 12, 2023 | Washington D.C. (USA)
The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Energy Sustainability Conference serves as a focal point for identifying innovative technologies, research advancements, and design solutions that contribute to developing renewable and sustainable energy systems. The conference will focus on various topics, including utility-level systems integration, aiming to create a path toward a more sustainable energy future. Participating researchers will have the opportunity to present their high-quality papers, which will be considered for selection in a special issue dedicated to Energy Sustainability by the ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology (JERT) and ASME Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities. This ensures that groundbreaking research and design advancements receive recognition and dissemination in esteemed publications. ES2023 will feature keynote and plenary speakers, as well as panelists from national labs, the Department of Energy, and renowned researchers from universities worldwide. These experts will bring invaluable insights and perspectives to the conference, fostering knowledge exchange and inspiring collaboration among attendees.
3.IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting 2023
July 16 - 20, 2023 | Orlando (Florida)
The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) General Meeting (GM) stands as the premier annual event in the power and electrical engineering field, dedicated to meeting the energy needs of a dynamic world. This highly anticipated gathering will bring together over 3000 leading PES members, power and electrical engineers, prominent academics, and engineering students from around the globe. With a rich history dating back to 1964, when IEEE PES held separate winter and summer meetings, the GM has evolved into a single consolidated event since 2003. It has been a vital platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and networking among professionals in the field. By hosting the GM, IEEE PES aims to create an international forum that promotes networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among experts in the field. The event will serve as a platform to discuss vital issues, explore progressive developments, and address the challenges and opportunities in electrical and power engineering.
4.Global Summit and Expo on Sustainable and Renewable Energy (GSESRE2023)
August 28 - 30, 2023, | London (UK)
The 2nd Global Summit and Expo on Sustainable and Renewable Energy (GSESRE2023) aims to bring together renowned researchers, scientists, and scholars from around the world to foster knowledge exchange, present cutting-edge research works, and engage in discussions on the latest topics in the field of sustainable and renewable energy. This 3-day summit will gather key players in the sustainable and renewable energy community and related sectors. It strives to establish itself as a leading event, attracting global participants passionate about sharing, exchanging, and exploring new avenues in Sustainable and Renewable Energy-related scientific and commercial developments. GSESRE2023 features a comprehensive scientific program designed to cover a wide range of topics in Sustainable and Renewable Energy. Attending the summit will gives participants a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge and stay at the forefront of interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable and renewable energy. The summit not will only offer a platform for learning but also provide invaluable networking opportunities.
5.SEST 2023 (6th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and Technologies)
September 4 - 6, 2023 | Mugla (Turkey)
Governments worldwide are investing substantially in smart energy systems and technologies (SEST) to optimize energy utilization, enhance planning for outage responses and recovery, and foster seamless integration of diverse technologies such as renewable energy systems, electric vehicle networks, and smart homes within the power grid. The SEST conference is a premier event that endeavors to address the engineering complexities associated with designing and operating smart energy systems. At the SEST Conference, the primary objective is to facilitate in-depth discussions on advanced methodologies and best practices for developing various components of smart energy systems and ensuring their seamless integration within the grid infrastructure. This conference will serve as a vital platform for researchers, academics, industry professionals, and government regulators to collectively tackle the challenges faced in this domain. It will foster an environment conducive to sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas, and exploring innovative approaches to design and implement smart energy systems.
6.2023 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy and Environment (ICREE 2023)
September 22 - 24, 2023 | Eskisehir Technical University, Turkey
The 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy and Environment (ICREE 2023) is an eagerly anticipated event taking place in Eskisehir, Turkey. As a workshop of the ICPSE 2023 conference, ICREE 2023 provides an excellent platform for researchers and developers to come together and share their experiences, ideas, and research findings across various fields related to renewable energy and the environment. ICREE 2023 welcomes participants from diverse backgrounds, fostering a collaborative environment where students, postdoctoral researchers, and established scientists can engage in fruitful discussions and contribute to an integrative approach for addressing the challenges and opportunities in renewable energy and environmental sustainability. The conference will encompass an extensive range of topics, focusing on key areas such as photovoltaic technology, PV manufacturing, PV for rural development, solar thermal electricity, wind energy applications, hydropower applications, and more. Through research talks and presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to showcase their work, share insights, and gain valuable feedback from their peers.
7.Renewable and Sustainable Energy (RENEWABLEENG 2023)
September 25 - 27, 2023 | Barcelona (Spain)
The International Conference on Renewable and Sustainable Energy (RENEWABLEENG 2023) is a prestigious event that brings together a diverse range of participants, including academia, government laboratories, industry professionals, business entrepreneurs, and specialists from around the globe. This conference will offer an exciting environment to share the latest findings, exchange ideas, and establish strategic alliances, all with the shared goal of securing a clean and sustainable environment. RENEWABLEENG 2023 focuses on addressing the current challenges associated with climate change, emphasizing the quest for sustainable development goals and the transition to a low-carbon future, in line with the objectives set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The conference will serve as a platform for identifying pressing issues and generating viable solutions to achieve a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world. Moreover, RENEWABLEENG 2023 will operate in a hybrid format to ensure inclusivity, allowing remote attendees to participate via Zoom.
8.Renewable Energy Markets (REM) 2023
September 18-20, 2023 | Washington D.C. (USA)
The annual Renewable Energy Markets conference serves as a gathering point for a diverse range of industry professionals driving the rapid transformation of the global clean energy marketplace. With a history spanning over 25 years, Renewable Energy Markets has earned a reputation as the premier conference series for professionals working in the clean energy sector. Thousands of renewable energy experts rely on REM conferences to equip them with the necessary tools to excel in the expanding retail renewable market. REM brings together corporate leaders, policymakers, and suppliers, fostering collaboration and providing guidance in navigating the dynamic and rapidly expanding renewable energy market. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore emerging trends in policy, exchange best practices in renewable energy procurement and marketing, review the latest technological advancements, and collectively shape the future of renewable energy. Organized by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Renewable Energy Markets offers a highly respected platform that will facilitate knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration among industry professionals.
9.5th International Conference on Renewable Energy, Resources and Sustainable Technologies (EnergyTech 2023)
November 13 - 14, 2023 | Paris (France)
The 5th International Conference on Renewable Energy, Resources & Sustainable Technologies (EnergyTech 2023) is a highly anticipated two-day event that brings together academics, researchers, professionals, administrators, educational leaders, industry representatives, and business leaders. It serves as a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, discussion, and networking among experts in the field. The conference will feature an array of engaging activities, including keynote speakers, presentations, oral talks, poster presentations, and an exhibition. The theme of EnergyTech 2023, 'Accelerating the Advancements in Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth,' will set the stage for in-depth discussions and exploration of various topics. Renewable energy, with its diverse range of resources, taking center stage, covering areas such as REN21, solar energy, bioenergy, ocean thermal energy conversion, 100% renewable energy, sustainable technologies, developments, advanced technology, and more. Participants can delve into advanced details and engage in interactive sessions that foster collaboration and knowledge exchange. The conference will offer a comprehensive program that addresses critical aspects of renewable energy, aiming to accelerate advancements in the field and drive sustainable growth.
10.Energy Trends 2023 (European Congress on Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development)
November 16 - 17, 2023 | Rome (Italy)
Energy Trends 2023 is a peer-reviewed European Congress on Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development. This prestigious event serves as a platform for researchers, professors, scientists, business delegates, entrepreneurs, practitioners, managers, and students from around the world to come together and strengthen their professional networks for the advancement of a sustainable future. The conference is dedicated to the theme of Developing and Securing Energy Technologies for a Sustainable Future. It aims to provide advanced, eco-friendly energy solutions that offer a competitive advantage and cost savings in various industrial and business sectors. Energy Trends 2023 will facilitate lively engagement and knowledge sharing among industry leaders and experts by focusing on cutting-edge presentations, special panel discussions, and interactive sessions. The conference will provide a platform to share new and exciting research findings and results. This exchange of knowledge and expertise contribute to the continuous development of renewable energy solutions and fosters the achievement of a sustainable future worldwide.
As the world increasingly recognizes the urgent need for sustainable and renewable energy solutions, attending top solar power conventions and events becomes crucial for professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts alike. These solar events will serve as catalysts for innovation, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, driving the advancement of solar power and renewable energy. By attending these top solar conventions and events in 2023, individuals can stay at the forefront of solar power and renewable energy developments, gain valuable insights, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to a sustainable future. These events offer unparalleled opportunities to engage with the brightest minds, discover groundbreaking technologies, and collaborate toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy landscape. Attending these top solar power events is not just an investment in personal and professional growth but also a commitment to driving the renewable energy revolution forward.