It’s no secret that we need more clean energy technology to fight climate change. For the first time, 69% of Americans now agree that we need to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy solutions.
Fortunately, we’re already heading rapidly in that direction, and it can be tough to keep up with all of the latest clean energy updates. Well, we have you covered! Let’s talk about some of the best renewable energy updates to know as we close out 2022!
I’m sorry, what? What do salt and sand have to do with clean energy? Well, a lot.
Believe it or not, researchers are finding promising results in using sodium and other compounds found in sand as batteries. Sodium is the most promising, as it’s chemically similar to lithium but thousands of times more plentiful.
It will be a while before these are able to hit the market, but we wanted to start off with this little-known fact, as it may solve a lot of our energy concerns as we transition to renewables. Solar and wind are only as good as their energy storage for the grid, and salt and sand may be the cheapest way to achieve this high storage demand!
While it is heavier than lithium per kWh, this won’t matter for stationary batteries for the grid. This will also free up more lithium and other battery technology for electric vehicles and other portable battery demands!
Next on this list is heat pumps, which are only improving every year. President Biden is currently using war-time powers to ramp up production of heat pumps at a massive scale, as they are a much-needed technology to combat climate change. So, what makes heat pumps so special?
Heat pumps run on electricity, but they are extraordinarily efficient. Even though they are a newer technology, the cost to run heat pumps per billion BTUs is even cheaper than wood or pellet stoves on average. Compared to electric resistance heat, which operates at 100% efficiency, heat pumps are still 3x more efficient.
What makes them so different is that they don’t generate heat at all. Instead, they find heat, even in frigid temperatures, isolate it, condense it, and blow it into your home. This allows them to operate with minimal energy.
However, that’s not even the best part. The best part is that they work year-round, acting as cooling systems in the summer by taking hot air out of your home the same way it blows it in. Heating and cooling alone account for 40% of global emissions, so this is a much-welcomed technology!
While there is a lot of hype over hydrogen energy, previous methods of extraction were far from clean. The cheapest way to extract hydrogen was with heavy usage of fossil fuels, but that’s quickly changing. Now, cheaper and more sustainable methods are becoming available using water, which is a renewable resource for the scale we need.
The future of hydrogen as a fuel source is unclear, but this may lead to a more sustainable and clean fuel source that won’t trap heat in our atmosphere. If we continue to take steps to make it cleaner, then we could see hydrogen-powered tools and even energy grids within decades!
Wind and hydroelectric power are becoming increasingly efficient and viable for grid-scale thanks to high-level engineering. While hydropower is older and, therefore, doesn’t receive as much attention, it is far more predictable and sustainable than wind or solar.
Believe it or not, hydroelectric dams create fewer emissions than wind turbines or solar panels throughout their lifespans. They do come with their own environmental problems, which are being addressed and improved upon year after year.
Residential, commercial, and community solar panels are becoming increasingly efficient and affordable every year. Homeowners can now save small fortunes on their electricity bills and reduce their carbon footprints with solar panels.
When you have heat pumps, energy-efficient windows and appliances, electric yard appliances, and an electric vehicle at home, you may feel satisfied. However, if you’re powering all of these with energy from the grid, it’s impossible to achieve net zero emissions at home. By adding modern solar panels to your home, you can easily offset your fossil fuel reliance and save money!
While electric vehicles (EVs) are not emissions-free, they are the most environmentally-friendly option. This is especially true if you use clean energy to power them.
EVs have come a long way in the last few years. While the major players in the industry were racing to beat the 300-mile mark for their battery range, some are now achieving over 400, 500, and one model has now achieved a 620-mile range (Mercedes-Benz EQXX). In many cases, EVs are outperforming combustion engines on every metric you associate with cars.
For example, Tesla’s Model S can hit 0 to 60 in under 2 seconds. The Ford F-150 Lightning has a 7,700lb towing capacity. There are plenty of other examples to choose from, and they’re all promising!
Now that you know about some of the new waves being made in clean energy technology, try them for yourself. We’re all in the fight against climate change, and we all want to build a better, more modern life for ourselves. Fortunately, that’s easier than ever, thanks to these new improvements!
Go green today, and stay up to date with our blog for our latest lifestyle tips!