The crux of renewable energy isn’t in its retrospective, but rather in its future outlook. Sustainable practices have come a long, long way, but it’s not even a fraction of the distance they’re pegged to travel in order to really reinvent the worldwide energy supply chain. But hey – that’s something to be excited about; the best is yet to come. And here’s a little preview of what you can expect by 2030:
1. A wind turbine for every household. Or something like that. As recently as 2011, global investment in renewable energy reached an all-time high. Never before have so many homeowners and businesses been so receptive to the idea of developing, selling and purchasing renewables. That’s largely due in part to the fact that prices for sustainable essentials are dropping, as reported by the International Renewable Energy Agency. For example, the IRENA’s most recent report, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012, notes that the cost of crystalline silicon PV solar modules has dropped by more than 60% since 2010. It’s fair to assume that by 2030, alternative energy should be affordable to a huge segment of consumers. Provided modern society has the same willingness to reduce its carbon footprint that it exhibits today, renewable energy could become commonplace in communities that didn’t have the means to afford it five or ten years ago.
2. A healthy new respect for the moon. When it comes to renewables, solar power gets a lot of shine. But the sun isn’t the only celestial body that can be utilized for energy down here on earth. Many suspect that the moon’s tides are teeming with potential energy. While experts have already found ways to harness them, they’ve yet to do it on a scale that’s large enough to provide a significant contribution to the global energy supply. Still, that could change in the imminent future. Industry scientists and engineers have prepared the framework for massive tidal power collection and will deploying it in the coming years. Since tidal power is far more reliable than even wind power, it wouldn’t come as a total shock if 2030 saw a heavier reliance on that famous cratered rock.
3. International cohesion. Energy Policy, a scientific journal that specializes in environmental planning, indicated in a 2011 report that a complete, self-sustaining system of clean energy could be achieved worldwide by 2050. Moreover, the European Renewable Energy Council recently suggested that the EU could be operating on nearly 50% renewable energy by 2030. At any rate, it’s become evident that sustainability is an issue that extends far beyond the borders of the United States. Overseas collaboration will inherently increase the speed at which complete sustainability becomes a reality. By 2030, societies will be able to pick the best bits and pieces of renewable technology from every part of the world and in turn implement them across the globe.
If all goes according to plan, these three predictions should be pretty close to the mark by the time 2030 rolls around. With the advent of cheaper, more efficient green technology and faster, more efficient research surrounding green technology, things are looking pretty good. So do your part! Get educated and invested in the future of renewables. It won’t be long before they’re a ubiquitous part of the international power supply.
Mia Henderson is a freelancer and blogger at TexasElectricityProviders.com. Most of her writing centers on reducing our carbon footprint and improving the health of our planet. If she didn’t write for a living, she’d probably write as a fulltime hobby, and live in her parents’ basement.