2018 showed that clean energy is becoming more the norm. We’re finally moving closer and closer to raising awareness and engage in the business of saving energy and helping to the environment.
From India to the US to businesses and cities in China, 2018 was a great year for energy efficiency, electric vehicles, solar and wind energy, and more. Here is Karsons’ top 6 clean energy developments of the year
1. Mayors from 22 cities around the world committed to having all their buildings be net-zero carbon by 2050 (the same goes for new buildings by 2030). And more than 100 cities around the world get more than 70 percent of the electricity from renewables. Most notable from a recent visit to Denmark, the entirety of Denmark was completely off the grid’s electricity for an entire day benefiting from renewable technology. Their wind farms are the largest in the world.
2. India, with some of the most polluted cities in the world, is getting serious about transforming its mobility sector. In September, the government of India hosted a global mobility summit, and in October, Pune (just outside of Mumbai) was selected as the first Lighthouse City for an urban mobility lab, a platform that supports a replicable process to transform the way goods and people move in Indian cities by identifying, integrating, implementing and scaling cost-effective and clean pilot projects. Very progressive for a developing country.
3. As the United States faced its fourth-hottest summer, over 200 buildings engaged in demand response actions through real-time energy management software. These grid-integrated buildings not only cut electricity use at critical moments, preventing blackouts, but also provided real savings for the building owners.
4. Corporate renewable energy procurement set a record for new capacity of announced wind and solar deals in 2018, reaching 6.43 gigawatts. Facebook, AT&T, Walmart, ExxonMobil and Microsoft led the clean energy acceleration with the top five highest volumes in deals. Facebook led the year with the highest capacity, signing several deals totalling 1,849.5 megawatts, while also breaking all cumulative annual procurement records for a single buyer since deals were tracked. Coincidently, Facebook will be moving part of their data centres to Denmark to benefit from lower energy from renewable technologies used there. That represents a saving of millions when considered against the cost of grid electricity and back-up / stand-by power generation.
5. Zero-energy homes — efficient homes that produce or procure as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year — quietly have passed cost thresholds that make them not only good for the environment but also cost-effective. CHP is becoming more widely used and it is surprising how many homes are benefiting from solar technology for supplementary electricity provision and hot water. Not so much in the UK at the moment, but hopefully with the lower capital costs of solar panels, this will feature into UK homes more prevalently.
6. In 2018, electric vehicle sales in China topped 1 million. And the market is only expected to grow as a new government regulation requires all major manufacturers operating in China to produce a minimum number of electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell cars, starting in 2019. China is also a leader in electric buses, and Shenzhen is the first city to electrify 100 percent (more than 16,000) of its buses. In the UK, you will struggle to find an UBER driver that does not drive a hybrid, and in Oslo, the same goes for Tesla. This will of course increase as the incentives for driving low emission vehicles becomes better supported by governments worldwide through tax incentives.
With such a great 2018 for energy efficiency initiatives around the world, and a great forecast for the going forward, we at Karsons can’t wait to see what other changes will be made in the near and distant future.
If you’re interested in helping you building become energy efficient, contact Karsons here and we’ll audit your building with a guarantee that we can help lower your EPC rating.