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2018 Predictions That Might Change the Energy Industry

2018 is going to be a year of technological discoveries and new energy saving opportunities for utility companies, energy storage, electric vehicles, and cryptocurrencies. Some of these changes will be revolutionary to how we live and do business, so the developments that unfold within the next twelve months are vital to the future of the energy consumption. 

We gathered some of the internet’s predictions on what 2018 might look like for the energy industry.

Utility Services

From 1975 to 2016, total electrical usage in the USA increased by 200%. With technological advancements evolving at a rapid rate, the adoption rate has equally risen, significantly increasing energy consumption. It’s no secret this has placed a strain on utility companies with how they distribute, monitor and price electricity usage.  

The Prediction

Utility companies are starting to use smart meters, which are designed to manage and monitor power usage across multiple locations. Like Naya’s energy management tool (Naya ESP®), these smart meters track how and when power is being used across residential and commercial sectors, allowing utility companies to meet increasing power demands with more control.

We don’t expect to see this initiative saving us money on our electricity bill by the end of the year, instead, we will probably see improvements made to the residential and commercial industry. Companies like Naya Energy are fighting to protect the purchasers of power against unexpected demand charges, and the technology is helping to win the fight. 

Energy Storage

As mentioned above, the aggressive increase of energy consumption is on the rise, with no plan on slowing down. Once it’s refined and improved, energy storage will be our efficiency energy savior.  

Prediction From the Naya Energy Team

Energy Storage is going to be a game changer in 2018, with the market penetration being led by Lithium-ion batteries.

The current state of energy storage: Lithium-ion batteries are an established technology; however, they tend to not like deep discharges and are best suited for energy storage applications with shorter time requirements of less than 8 hours.

A prediction for the energy storage industry which will greatly impact the energy industry overall: The adoption rate of flow batteries will gradually increase. They’re suited for long duration energy storage applications, that could last up to a couple of days depending on system configuration. Both technologies will allow commercial buildings to store energy instead of selling the excess energy back to the grid.

As a result, there will be a greater disruption in the utility industry, where the purchasers of power can store their own energy.

The Year of the Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicles (EV) have grown incredibly in the past few years, but they’re only adopted by 2% of the automotive market. With a small handful of EV drivers on the road, why are EV companies pushing to ramp up production?

The Prediction

Within the next 5 years, more than 120 different EV models are predicted to be released. 2018 could be a staple year in popularizing EVs while pushing development forward. However, there are some obstacles that could delay its growth. 

More and more states are now advocating for legislation that enforces a charging infrastructure for EVs, so as more people adopt them, the more charging stations are put in place. As challenging as this will be, the charging time of an EV is one of the biggest obstacles auto manufacturers are being faced with. 

Drivers don’t want to wait hours before driving because their car battery is charging.  Benjamin Park, founder of Enevate had a breakthrough when his company successfully charged an EV for a 240-mile drive in just 5 minutes.

Until the fast-charging technology is affordable and easily accessible, we don’t predict the adoption rate of EV’s will increase too much in 2018, but it will help drive new discoveries that will put EV on the fast track to success.

Energy Consumption and Cryptocurrency  

The cryptocurrency industry has exploded in the last few months, and it’s predicted to continue to grow and change rapidly. This means mining technologies, like Bitcoin mining, will draw more power than ever before.

In 2017, Bitcoin mining used about 36 terawatt hours of energy. To put it into perspective, that’s more energy being consumed than in Qatar. With all of the Tesla’s on the road, the combined power being only amounts to 1.3 terawatt hours.

There’s no indication that Bitcoin’s energy consumption is going to decline, instead, it will continue to escalate at astounding rates.

The Prediction

While cryptocurrency technologies like Bitcoin are putting a strain on global power grids, it could revolutionize how power is generated and shared in the future. By using a decentralized cryptocurrency or blockchain we could trade power between individuals or businesses without relying on utility companies. This would increase energy efficiency and alleviate stress from the power grid caused by high energy demands

Companies like Brooklyn Microgrid and Grid Singularity, are already exploring this technology and we hope to see some great improvements throughout 2018.

It’s encouraging to see how green initiatives and smart technology is paving a new path for how energy is consumed and managed. 

Written by Charlotte Oliva