Recent pushes for an increase in environmental consciousness have resulted in increased demand for renewable energy. Along with the increased awareness, the Paris Climate Conference highlighted the importance and urgency behind the situation. All of the recent talk surrounding green energy is expected to significantly increase investment and production in the industry, but multiple factors are currently holding back it's success.
Last summer, initial investment was not an issue for emerging energy companies. However, since then, shares in certain companies have dropped from $32 to 34 cents. Many green companies have since left the market as a result of bankruptcy, and others are struggling to find a strategy that will succeed. The recent decrease in oil prices has also had a hand in these companies meeting their demise. Companies are becoming discouraged as they are see failure after failure, while no significant successes stand out. The Paris climate agreement is continuing to put pressure on the industry to succeed, as well as putting pressure on other companies to invest in the industry. Though overall development and investment in renewable energy has been increasing over past years, the industry itself is still in its early stages. The industry has immense demand and potential, it just needs to be properly established.
As far as establishment and improvement of current resources, power grids will pose the biggest challenge. Currently, grids are not capable of handling large capacities of energy brought in through solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable sources. Furthermore, grids are not interconnected. The excess energy produced from high-activity hours has no where to be stored or redirected to, so the generators then have to be turned off completely to avoid an overload. This inefficiency is not only wasting energy, but it is wasting money. Because renewable energy is powered by weather, we need to be prepared when it is unpredictable. In order to be the most efficient, energy produced in high-activity hours needs to be collected and saved for low-activity hours when energy production is minimal. The renewable energy industry is not short in potential, as wind moving across North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas alone could generate enough energy to power the entire nation. The problem is the transportation of this energy, as most renewable energy production occurs far from where the energy is needed most. Power grids are outdated and isolated leading future grid planners to focus on making the grids larger and more connected, so excess energy can be redirected or stored for a rainy day.