It can be safely said that a decade after the Kyoto Protocol, the labour of perseverance with a relatively un-established technology is now bearing fruit. Renewable energy in 2016 has prospered and flourished. It can now be safely said that the era of skepticism and half measures on this technology is over. Although there still are doubters, including most notably the president-elect Donald Trump, but they are far and few between and quickly losing ground. Research has progressed leaps and bound. Many countries that embraced the technology early, are reaping the rewards. Among them are Germany and China. The race for renewables has truly begun.
Even in the developing world, dozens of nations have successfully added more renewable energy in the mix. The teething problems both in Solar and Wind Energy technology are withering away. Solar panel efficiency has improved and the cost has come down considerably. In the wind energy sector, larger turbines (above 3.5 MW) are being deemed as the way forward. The insight from medium-sized blades (45 meters long) has also helped developing robust longer blades. Tidal farms are also coming online albeit gradually.
Renewable Energy in 2016 major headlines:
Here is a recap of some major headlines from the renewable energy sector in 2016.
- Las Vegas Is Now Powered Entirely by Renewable Energy (Popular Mechanics)
- On its way out, Obama administration moves to slam the door shut on Arctic drilling (Washington Post)
- Google to be powered 100% by renewable energy from 2017 (The Guardian)
- Cryogenic Storage offers Renewed hope for Renewable energy (BBC)
- Sweden to scrap taxes on solar energy in 2017 (Bizcommunity.com)
- Nikola’s Hydrogen Truck Fuel Network Could Jump-Start Fuel Cell Cars (trucks.com)
- Thermal power plants’ capacity utilisation to drop to 48% by 2022
- Scotland becomes 100% coal free
- Elon Musk Says Tesla’s New Solar Shingles Will Cost Less Than a Regular Roof (fortune.com)
- Australia Could Shift To A “Robust, Reliable And Stable” 100% Renewable Grid (Clean Technica)
- China on Pace to Become Global Leader in Renewable Energy (World Watch Institute)
- Emerging nations have taken the lead on renewable energy (Vox)
- When It Comes to Job Creation, Renewable Energy Outshines Fossil Fuels (The Real News Network)
- Iran, German firm plan $370m green energy park
- Nigeria set for five 100 MW solar plants
- Germany’s Aggressive Switch to Renewables Will Save €149 Billion (IEEE Spectrum)
- (WTE) Waste to Energy Market size to grow over 6.5% from 2016 to 2024 (Global Market Insights, Inc.)
- Africa Development Bank Makes USD 100 Million Investment on Energy (TechMoran)
- Taiwan to spend $56bn on renewable energy (Asia.Nikkei.com)
- Michigan Calls For 15% Renewable Electricity By 2021 (Clean Technica)
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk challenges Big Coal to go toe-to-toe with zero subsidies after being called a fraud (electrek.co)
- Solar Added 50% More American Jobs than Oil and Gas Drilling and Pipeline Construction in 2014 (theenergycollective.com)
Walmart, Nike, Starbucks commit to 100% clean energy (Fortune.com)
The most significant development in renewable energy was the interest shown by China. As large-scale renewable energy power plants come online (like Gansu wind farm), China’s emissions levels are dropping significantly.
It surely feels that those who are standing defiant against renewable energy will get trampled by the green revolution.
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