For a long time, one of the main issues of clean energy, however, was the relatively high cost of (storing) it. Recently, we see more and more examples of companies using innovative technologies and methods to produce and store clean energy while dramatically reducing the costs.
You may remember our top trending financial Tweets
from a few weeks ago in which we mentioned an all-source utility solicitation by the Public Service Company of Colorado. The solicitation led to a large number of developers coming forward, all of them eager to build renewable energy and storage at unprecedented low prices.
It seems were finally heading towards an era in which renewables become a viable alternative, business-wise, for oil, gas, and coal. In todays article, well take a closer look at the rise of the renewables: history, development, global investments in renewable energy and (tech) companies active in this field.History
There are many memorable moments in the history of renewable energy, well highlight a few of them.
The first examples of human beings using renewable energy go back all the way to 200 B.C. when Europeans were working with waterwheels to produce energy used in mills. Fast forward in time to the 1590s when the Dutch build their world-famous windmills to generate power for virtually everything.
In 1860 it was the Frenchman Augustine Mouchet who developed the first solar power system and in 1981 the worlds first large-scale solar-thermal plant started operating in California. The first wind farm in the world was built in 1986 in New Hampshire.
More recently, the worlds largest concentrated solar power generation plant, Ivanpah, went into production in 2014 in California. The park is soon to be overtaken by the solar energy park
thats currently being built by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority though. Investments & Developments in Renewable Energy
As awareness about the future of our planet grows, so does the importance (most) world leaders attach to finding alternative ways of generating energy. Initiatives to boost the use of renewables are plenty. A few examples:
Above, we mentioned the solar energy park theyre building in Dubai. The idea is for Dubai to be using 75% of renewable energy by 2050.
As you probably know by now, electric car sales are on the rise, often stimulated by governments through financial incentives like tax deductions - or benefits.
In the Netherlands, theyve got an interesting solar power regulation. Homeowners who decide to install solar panels on their roof to generate energy can return a potential surplus to the network of their provider. When they need that extra energy again, they get it back for free from their energy provider and hence lower their electricity bill.
In terms of countries that have invested most in renewables, China takes the lead, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Just Getting Started
By 2040, renewable energy is expected to account for at least 40% of the worlds power. In November last year, Thomson Reuters issued a list of top companies in the energy industry that have among other things developed groundbreaking technologies and advanced sustainability programs.
The company also issued a list of 25 smaller and younger renewable energy companies, 8 of which are based in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Among them were Canadian Solar Inc.
, CropEnergies AG
, and GCL Poly Energy Holdings Limited
Exciting times ahead thus, not just for the renewables industry and the companies in it, but for investors and the future of our planet too.