Innovative systems of collecting energy from the environment are pushing the boundaries of the current renewable energy landscape, fueling the growth of the market and overall acceptance of green energy as a form of energy production. From pocket-sized wind turbines to solar-paneled bike paths, the green energy movement is reaching new heights of innovative technologies to generate electricity.
In 2013 alone, renewable energy accounted for more than 56 percent of net additions to the global energy supply. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated in 2011 the total amount of global electricity generation from renewables was at 21 percent. Numbers are continuing to grow as nations from around the world begin to adopt renewable energy-friendly policies.
According to the Global Energy Initiative, the number of emerging economy States with policies in place to support the expansion of green energy has grown nearly six-fold in eight years, from 15 developing countries in 2005 to 95 in 2014. More developed countries make up the remaining 144 countries with pro renewable energy growth and development policies.
Several new energy technologies on the market include a new take on the traditional wind turbine. The product, called the Trinity 50, is a portable wind turbine power station that uses the same concept of a traditional wind turbine, but in a 1.4 pound package for easy transport. The Icelandic company is currently running a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their innovative technology. The turbine not only generates power, but also stores it for later usage and according to the company, is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who have little access to electricity while camping or hiking.
Another innovative solution to generating renewable energy is the SolaRoad, a bike path made from solar panels. The group’s goal is to create roadways out of solar panels to absorb larger quantities of sunlight and generate greater power reserves. Based in The Netherlands, SolaRoad has developed a prototype of their product and implemented it on a bike path for a local community to test the product and design. While the design is still being tested, the company hopes it will bring a new era of solar energy generation through these solar-paneled roadways.
The growing development of new technologies in the renewable energy sector points to the overall growth of the market for innovative products in the burgeoning industry. While questions linger as to the feasibility or practicality of these projects, they still highlight the continual use and improvement in innovative technologies.
Working together for a sustainable future is a goal all stakeholders should keep in mind when crafting new legislation or designing innovative products. Continuing to develop these capabilities will help push renewable energy production to greater heights.