Throughout history, there have been thinkers with remarkable foresight. Over a century ago, people were talking about globalization, space travel and digital technology. Now, some of our best minds are predicting a shift towards renewable energy, and an end to our dependence on fossil fuels. Here are a few of the most interesting predictions concerning renewable energy. I for one really hope they’re accurate!
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One popular prediction is that solar power will become far more prevalent. In fact, the International Energy Agency predicts that solar power will account for more than a third of the world’s energy by 2060. When you look into solar energy, it’s easy to see the logic. The sun’s rays are a flexible, inexhaustible and easily harvested source of energy. It’s also one of the easiest sources to industrialize when stacked up against other forms of renewable energy. The IEA’s predictions are spurring, but we might be looking at an even greater development. This particular agency has been known for its conservative forecasts in the past. If they say over a third, who knows how much solar energy will grow in the coming decades?
Another prediction circulated in energy journals is already pretty self-evident. This is that the EU will be at the forefront of the energy revolution. If we’re aiming to change the entire planet’s energy supply, then everyone’s involved. Gears are in motion all over the world, as seen at this Renewable Energy Conference. However, the EU and all its members have set their goals much
higher than other countries. The European Renewable Energy Council even released a prediction that the whole continent will be running on entirely renewable energy by 2050. Don’t get too excited just yet! This forecast hinges on increased investment, and cheaper materials. It also depends on better accessibility for the average consumer. With the size and influence of the fossil fuel industry, this prediction may sound a little hopeful. However, the renewable energy business is steadily growing. Keep your fingers crossed!
Image from Wikimedia
This final prediction is good news for most consumers. Oil and gas prices are expected to stay low for the time being. While this might be good news for the average driver, it’s bad news for the shale industry in North America, and the oil industry in Saudi Arabia. As the renewable market grows, these two industries are going to be pitted against each other. Many economists are wondering how long Saudi Arabia can keep exports high and prices low. If they can do this for long enough, it could bankrupt America’s entire shale industry. The fossil fuel industries are pretty unpredictable, so it’s hard to tell how this will develop. However, as these two giants are pitted against each other, the energy market at large is expected to see a large shift towards renewables.
With all the developments in the works, it’ll be exciting to see how renewable energy grows in the future. Some changes may be slower to manifest than others. However, all the current evidence points towards a greener, cheaper world in the next few decades.