Energy Efficiency

5 Renewable Energy Trends to Watch

Every year, new trends emerge in renewable energy. However, five of the biggest have remained renewable energy trends for many years now: microgrids, energy storage, wind and solar, electric vehicles and blockchain.

Each, in their own way, are a source of optimism for those looking for ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some have been in development for many years while others have already seen a big movement among those who want to “live green.”

The following offers an overview of some of these major renewable energy trends.


Microgrids are networks that connect a small group of energy users. Power is drawn from local energy sources. While microgrids typically have a connection to the main power grid, the idea is that they function independently the majority of the time. The environmental impact is lessened, and customers also save costs. An example is the Fort Collins Zero Energy District in Colorado.

Energy Storage

Energy storage involves storing energy when more is created than currently needed. Hydroelectric dams and wind turbines are examples of this approach as they will create and store energy until it is needed to power electricity. A rechargeable battery is a small example of how energy storage works.

Wind and Solar

Because of the ability to store energy, both wind and solar have picked up in use in recent years. With solar, panels on the ground absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into power. These are primarily used in private residences, although some modern office buildings use solar to generate some of their electricity. They have even been used at the White House. With wind, giant turbines convert wind into energy. The power provided by wind turbines is primarily used in generating electricity, according to the U.S. government.

Electric Vehicles

Despite the latest flap over emissions standards between California and The White House, politics is not going to stand in the way long term when it comes to switching to more electric cars. The technology continues to improve, with better mileage per charge. Those who are seeking a way to greatly reduce their carbon emissions are finding that electric cars can provide the answer.


Blockchain is the electronic ledger that offers a way to have secure, transparent online transactions. In Estonia, it’s being used to create an online exchange where consumers can easily compare prices from energy producers. It could also open the door for more companies and consumers to have access to power generated by green energy.

These are some of the biggest renewable energy trends worth watching. While some will prove more successful than others, at least one or two of these areas is going to be among the biggest ways for consumers and companies to save both money and energy consumption in the near future.

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