With the fossil fuel industry facing daunting global challenges and governments worldwide rethinking their carbon footprints, alternative and renewable energies have had an unexpected spotlight moment during the 2020 pandemic. On the one hand, many gas and oil conglomerates have seen their global market gains depleted by reduced economic activity worldwide, as well as international consumer pressure amid shelter-in-place orders. On the other hand, governments and industries are increasingly pivoting their policies and business operations towards combating greenhouse gases and reducing their reliance on crude oil – a focus now even for companies in the oil and gas industry itself. These pivots, dubbed as ‘green recoveries’, are seen as one solution to not only combat the effects of climate change but also to regain recent setbacks in the global economy, ultimately helping drive the growth of the renewables sector at a time when many industries are competing simply to remain profitable.
Vital to this shift, emerging technologies and innovations are enabling renewables to compete with traditional fuels as never before. One area that has led recent developments in this respect is battery technology, particularly with regards to the rapidly advancing electric vehicle market. With nanomaterials enabling battery manufacturers to push beyond the limitations of current lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, the scope of application for non-combustible power sources is likely to soon extend to a broader range of day-to-day uses, as well as incentivizing the broader adoption of existing applications such as vehicles.
Storage for renewable energy is also advancing at the grid-level, thanks to technologies like Highview Power’s CRYOBattery liquid air batteries. Departing from the much-stigmatized paradigm of a costly but necessary investment often associated with sustainability efforts, liquid air batteries reflect the power of these innovations to challenge markets on price and efficiency alone, as well as their ability to plug gaps in coverage. With governments increasingly working to optimize their policies to better support these initiatives – in some cases, simply through the easement of restrictions – it is increasingly likely that renewable solutions will simply make more business sense than traditional systems.
Further afield of vehicles and power grids, nanotechnology has the potential to turn even the bricks in people’s homes into a means of energy storage, while New Zealand startup Emrod has even announced its development of wireless electricity transmission technology with the potential to deliver power to entire localities where physical infrastructure is limited. While the market impact of these innovations remains to be seen, their ability to gain investment and even sponsorship from governments offers a strong signal that alternative energy is entering a period synergistic innovation.
Already a field defined by highly technical parameters, electricity and energy are set to enter a new period of technical innovation that will inevitably generate a massive demand for supporting communications. From technical documentation and training materials to support the roll-out of systems domestically, to multilingual localization for supply chains and solutions entering global markets, content services will be vital to the growth of renewable and alternative energy products. With a global network of more than 10,000 linguists and subject matter experts in over 250 languages, CSOFT can help companies in the energy sector develop the communication solutions they need to succeed worldwide, from product development support through to cross-border market entry.