With environmental collapse at the top of today’s headlines, the potential of renewable energy has hardly been more relevant. And as the associated technology is refined and the generation and storage of power improves, we’ve reached a point where renewables are no longer just a nice alternative, but a serious and necessary replacement for traditional fossil fuels.
The challenges and pitfalls remain as we gradually shift to greener forms of energy: Panasonic was hit with falling profits as the costs of investing in automotive battery technology took hold. Yet, perhaps for the first time, renewables are being taken seriously by both governments and industry, who see huge opportunities in cleaner power. The European Investment Bank has invested the largest amount to date – €350 million – in a new battery plant in Sweden, and companies are coming up with ever more ingenious ways to squeeze more power out of wind, solar or hydro – and, just as importantly, to store that power for a rainy day.