The Power and Water Industries are one of the biggest industries in our world today, and as we move forward this 2018, we can expect many advances in technology that are being utilized by these industries. In this data and energy driven world, we can watch out for an increased demand and reliance on data centers, electric vehicles, smart consumer electronics, as well as renewable energy. With the continuous increase in computing and electronics, the demand for more efficient power increases as well. As for the water industry which has been around forever, we can expect an improvement in the sector towards utilizing smarter, Internet of Things solutions for old infrastructure issues.
Looking ahead here are the key trends to consider in the Power and Water Industries:
Acceleration in Development and Demand of Electric Vehicles
The automobile industry is slowly evolving thanks to electrification and autonomy technology. In 2017, electric transport had a huge start, as many major global businesses began to announce commitments for electrical vehicle (EV) fleets as well as investments in the electric car charging sector. We can expect that there will be an acceleration in the development, demand, as well as improvement of electric vehicles this 2018.
Improvement on Solar Energy
While the energy storage industry is still in its early stages, it shows great potential in both commercial and residential areas. Energy storage systems are very beneficial in our technological world, since it helps manage peak demand, provide backup power, as well as work as a part of an off-grid system when it is combined with renewable sources of energy. Soon, we may be able to expect entire communities that can operate off the grid. There are already some home energy storage projects that are being developed in some cities around the world. Energy storage systems are still quite pricey, but we can expect the pricing as well as the efficiency to improve as new power technologies and techniques will be developed.
More Efficient Data Centers
Nowadays, data is everywhere. It is continuously created and stored every day. We can see them in social networks, IoT devices, videos, security systems, and even autonomous cars. While we are still some years away from fully autonomous vehicles taking over the highways, many automobile companies are already planning on how to manage and power their data centers for data flood. Data centers are already consuming 2% of global power usage, and may reach 5%. We can expect that maximizing power utilization through renewable energy use will be done to improve power systems.
Wireless Charging Will Be Everywhere
As consumers get more gadgets and wearables such as laptops, smartphones, fitness trackers and smartwatches, there will soon be a need to remove extra weight in the form for extra wires and chargers. We can expect wireless chargeable devices to be more popular, and we may be able to even gain public access to them in convenience stores, coffee shops, as well as other public venues.
However, some of the current charging solutions needs the charger and the device to be in an almost perfectly placed alignment. Also, it takes a very long time to fully charge a gadget, especially when charging multiple devices at the same time. We can expect that companies will be finding a way to eliminate these limitations to pave the way for easier wireless charging.
In the past year, several natural calamities have struck countries all over the world. This highlights the need to improve the resiliency of the water and wastewater infrastructure. There is a growing need for utilites to be able to manage extreme water flow and to be able to resume normal operations after a calamity.
We can expect improvements in water solutions like upgrading to more efficient pumps, as well as incorporating smart water solutions. They are pricey, but will be able to provide greater operational savings in the long term.
The demand for clean water all over the world is dramatically growing, and many companies are looking for ways to solve this problem. One of the solutions that is gaining popularity is water reuse. From craft brewers to utilities, to industrial companies. Many more companies are investing in recycled wastewater.
Smart Water for Agriculture
The agriculture sector’s demand for water is increasing as well. Smarter irrigation can be expected and is anticipated. In places around the world which are experiencing drought, they are currently reshaping the water landscape, which drives smarter irrigation solutions as well as water reuse applications and groundwater management.