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Technologies Impacting the Future of the Energy Sector

Technologies Impacting the Future of the Energy Sector

The energy sector is currently undergoing a dramatic change, where the increasing adoption of renewables is changing the entire global energy landscape. The rise in distributed energy generation has reduced the influence of power utilities, and many energy stakeholders will likely have to refine their business models, so as to remain competitive and relevant in the future. Major trends such as the proliferation of digital solutions to improve performance and increase energy efficiency is also expected to continue for the long term.

Key technologies impacting the future of the energy sector include those categorized as power and transmission (solar energy, wind energy, biopower, natural gas, and grid energy storage), electronics (power electronics for grid, and energy-saving lighting), and communications (energy management systems, data analytics, and grid cybersecurity). Key factors driving the development of these technologies include concerns on climate change, and governments' energy policies.


  • Executive Summary
    • Research Process and Methodology
    • Future of Energy to be Influenced by Technologies in Power & Transmission, Electronics and Communications
    • Economic Uncertainty and Climate Change Are Key Factors Influencing Decision Making
    • Market and Technology Trends Are Driven by Economics
    • Return on Investment Is a Key Factor Determining
  • Solar Energy
    • Solar Attracts Extensive Research and Related Funding
    • China Leads with the Most Number of Patents in Solar
    • Return on Investment Is a Key Factor Determining Market Performance
    • High Efficiency Solar Cells Hold the Potential to Disrupt the Solar Market
  • Wind Energy
    • Lack of Technical Expertise Limits Adoption of Wind Energy in Developing Countries
    • Wind Energy Backed by Strong Financial Institutions
    • Growth for Offshore Wind Turbine Is Imminent
    • Improvement on Drivetrains and Blade Technology
  • Natural Gas
    • Cleaner Burning Fuel for Lower Carbon Emissions
    • United States is Leading in Recent Natural Gas Patenting
    • Natural Gas Contribution to Energy Mix to Increase Every Year
    • Australia to Emerge as a Leader in Natural Gas Production
  • Biopower
    • Aggressive Policies Support Biopower
    • Biopower Backed Up by a Strong Funding System
    • Slow But Steady Growth for Biopower
    • Self-Sufficient Biopower Will Ensure Sustainability
  • Grid Energy Storage
    • Grid Energy Storage Can Improve Grid Reliability and Resiliency
    • APAC Has the Most Patent Filings in Grid Energy Storage
    • Lithium-Ion Batteries Are Dominant in the Low-Capacity Segment
    • Single Monopoly of One Technology Is Unlikely to Happen
  • Power Electronics for Grid
    • Adoption of Renewable Energy Bolstering Advancements in Power Electronics
    • Energy Efficiency and Cost Are the Major Factors Influencing Technology Development
    • China is an Emerging Destination for Power Electronics Development Accounting for Majority of Patent Filings
    • Funds Focused on the Development of Technologies Enabling Utility Distribution Networks, Energy Sources, and Interface Modules
    • Enhancement of Performance and Improving Energy Efficiency Are the Key Focus Areas
    • Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride Are Two Major Materials Emerging in the Industry to Enable Future Smart Grid Applications
    • SiC and GaN Will Enable Advances in Future Smart Grids
  • Energy Management Systems (EMS)
    • EMS for Reduced Energy Consumption and Automated Homes
    • The United States Leads in Patent Filings
    • Emergence of Internet of Things (IoT)-based Solutions Aids the Market
    • Interactive EMS Solutions Enable Complete Automation
  • Energy-saving Lighting
    • LED Plays a Vital Role in the Development of Energy Efficiency Lighting Solutions
    • Strong Competition from Cheaper Technologies in the Lighting Industry
    • China Leads the Patent Filing Trend
    • Government Initiatives Propel Developments
    • Consumer Electronics and Semiconductor Companies Play an Important Role in Developing Lighting Applications
    • Development of Flexible LEDs and OLEDs Can Be Expected to Open Up New Applications in the Lighting Industry
    • Trend Expected in Development of Lighting Solutions That Enable Connectivity
  • Data Analytics
    • Data Analytics Can Significantly Improve Utility Response toOutages
    • Data Analytics Greatly Enhances Grid Reliability
    • China Represents a Large Market Due to Rapid Industrialization
    • Big Data Analytics and Visualization Will Enable Improved Forecasting
  • Grid Cybersecurity
    • The Rise in Smart Grids Will Increase the Importance of Cybersecurity
    • Utilities, Software Developers and Government Agencies Are Collaborating to Securitize the Grid
    • Transmission Is Considered the Most Vulnerable Part of the Energy Value Chain
    • Smart Grids Will Evolve into Intuitive Networks That Self-diagnose and Correct

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