The global energy landscape is dramatically changing due to the increased adoption of renewables, a shift toward distributed energy generation, and proliferation of digital solutions to improve energy efficiency. Economic uncertainty and climate change are driving this shift and choice of technology; stakeholders must manage high demand for energy from fast-developing countries such as China and India, a desperate need for improved operational efficiencies in the oil & gas sector, as well as evolving government policies and mandates.
“Energy efficiency and cost are the major factors influencing technology development, hence renewables such as solar, wind and biopower are attracting extensive research, patents and related funding,” said TechVision research analyst Guhan Sriram R V. “Energy storagetechnologies will be a disruptive factor in the power & transmission sector, attracting strong investment.”
As discussed in Technologies Impacting the Future of Energy, new analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision (Sustainable Energy) subscription, key technologies impacting the future of the energy sector include:
• Power & transmission (solar energy, wind energy, biopower, natural gas, and grid energy storage);
• Electronics (power electronics for grid and energy-saving lighting);
• Communications (energy management systems, data analytics, and grid cybersecurity).
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Enhancing performance and improving energy efficiency are the key focus areas for innovative companies such as STMicroelectronics,Texas Instruments Inc., Fuji Electronic Co and ABB.
“Various power and automation companies are investing heavily in the development of power electronics, which could transform the smart grid sector,” noted Sriram. “Highly efficient and reliable energy-efficient electronic delivery systems are needed to accommodate the growing energy demand.”
Currently, China leads in patents for renewables and electronics, while the US is the leader in software technologies for the energy sector.