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 must transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy solutions. Fortunately, we’re already heading rapidly in that direction, and keeping up with the latest clean energy updates can be tough. Let’s talk about some of the best renewable energy updates to know as we close out 2022! Well, we have you covered!
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 best, as it’s chemically similar to lithium but thousands of times more plentiful. It will be a while before these can market, but we wanted to start with this little-known fact, as it may solve many 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 portable battery demands!
Next on this list is heat pumps, which only improve yearly. President Biden is currently using war-time powers to ramp up the 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. Compared to electric resistance heat, which operates at 100% efficiency, heat pumps are still 3x more efficient. Compared to electric resistance heat, which operates at 100% efficiency, heat pumps are still 3x more efficient. Even though they are a newer technology, the cost of heat pumps per billion BTUs is even cheaper than wood or pellet stoves on average.
What makes them so different is that they don’t generate heat. Instead, they find warmth, even in frigid temperatures, isolate, condense, and blow it into your home. This allows them to operate with minimal energy. Heating and cooling alone account for 40% of global emissions, so this is a much-welcomed technology! Heating and cooling alone account for 40% of global emissions, so this is a much-welcomed technology! 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.
While there is a lot of hype over hydrogen energy, previous extraction methods were far from clean. The cheapest way to extract hydrogen was with heavy usage of fossil fuels, but that’s quickly changing. More affordable and sustainable methods are becoming available using water, 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 make it cleaner, we could see hydrogen-powered tools and energy grids within decades!
Thanks to high-level engineering, wind and hydroelectric power are becoming increasingly efficient and viable for the grid scale. While hydropower is older and receives less 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 come with their environmental problems, which are being addressed and improved upon yearly.
Residential, commercial, and community solar panels are becoming increasingly efficient and affordable yearly. Homeowners can save small fortunes on electricity bills and reduce their carbon footprints with solar panels.
You may feel satisfied with heat pumps, energy-efficient windows and appliances, electric yard appliances, and an electric vehicle at home. However, if you’re powering all of these with energy from the grid, achieving net zero emissions at home is impossible. Adding modern solar panels to your home can easily offset 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 40 and 500, and one model has now attained a 620-mile range (Mercedes-Benz EQXX). In many cases, EVs outperform combustion engines on every metric you associate with cars. 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!
We’re all in the fight against climate change and want to build a better, more modern life for ourselves. Fortunately, that’s easier than ever, thanks to these new improvements! Now that you know about some new waves in clean energy technology, try them yourself.
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