The industry of renewable energy in the world is seeing a rapid pace of progress. For the past few years, there have been several remarkable developments that were seen in the sector of international renewable energy. Innovations in the sectors like biomass, geothermal, wind, and solar all help improve efficiencies.

This notable rapid innovation is especially prominent in today’s solar sector. The industry of solar energy in the world progresses rapidly and there are record-breaking efficiencies being noted every month in this specific sector.

But, even amidst such a rapid growth, this industry faces the challenge of scaling all its operations and maintaining profits. To address this problem on scaling, IoT or Internet of Things has become the winning technology at this day and age.

A Future with IoT

IoT is promising a future wherein every single device can be connected. As far as the renewable energy grid is concerned, this means that every wind turbine, home meter, and solar panel will have a remote monitoring and analysis. This kind of system will result to more exact home monitoring, more predictive repairs for the major equipment that can lead to lesser downtime, and definitely more efficient use of energy as a whole.

Color photo of a pinwheel on a meadow, with flowers in front and white clouds in a background - used to illustrate the connection of IoT and renewable energy.

Downsides

 

However, there is a downside to renewable energy. Since renewable energy often depends on inputs from the environment, this inherits the natural variability of the environment. Such variability can cause problems in distribution of energy once the energy created by a wind or solar farm is relatively low or high. Excessive energy placed on the grid can result to wasted energy while little energy will result to the need of periodical powering up of more stable sources of fossil fuel power. Such practices of powering up the fossil fuel plants and wasting energy are the most ideal solutions right now. However, a more ideal system is with the use of IoT-enabled technologies.

How does this kind of idyllic system look like? This will first require that there will be no energy wasted. Energy should be stored somewhere if there are high power times in which there is an excessive production of energy.

Second, this will require that fossil fuel plants that produce pollution are not going to be used any time. During times when there is low power, there should be energy stores with the ability to keep the lights on. Fulfilling either of the two requirements can be done when there are extensive amounts of energy stored somewhere.

 

Storage issues

 

Sadly, the storage of this amount of energy goes beyond what the current technology can do. Expense of systems of this scale is just too much to justify. This is where the best opportunity for using IoT comes in handy. If IoT has something in particular that it can do go, this is none other than distributed systems. This can allow for the disparate things which exist in the remote places to communicate with one another and perform as one. While a single centralized energy storage system could be too pricy for just one entity, a distributed and efficient system could become collectively feasible for a bigger group of individuals.

 

IoT and Its Infinite Possibilities in the Industry of Renewable Energy

Below are some of the ways as to how IoT or the Internet of Things will be able to spearhead the next revolution in the world’s renewable energy industry:

  • The Internet of Things will be able to help in managing the energy distribution according to real-time and not based on historical data as what is being practiced in the present.
  • Predictive analytics will also be able to alert the operators ahead of time if a certain component requires repairs, is due for an inspection, or needs attention right away.
  • The forecasts in relation to the system’s output will give the providers a chance to offer data to their resellers in real time while helping sell power on an open market.
  • The adaptive analytics can let systems automatically balance the loads of energy and reduce stress on equipment and avoid cases of overheating.
  • The predictive analytics can help the providers in driving output and delivering services to the market that are more affordable.
  • The availability of data in real time can improve the transparency in the industry of renewable energy.
Color photo of a green city with the symbol of tree in front - used to illustrate the meaning of renewable energy and IoT.
IoT will be able to spearhead the next revolution in the renewable energy industry. | Photo credit: Pixabay
A notable and rapid increase in the use of smart meters
  • But, the smart meter programs used in residences can be quite complicated. There is a serious challenge in the deployment of millions of meters. With the help of IoT, data from smart meter readings will help providers in gathering data. This will offer more appealing rates to the consumers as well as valuable recommendations for saving energy as well as other forms of value-added services.

 

  • The Internet of Things will work on both micro level and macro level. This helps manage the national smart grids and even help consumers when it comes to rooftop PV installation for better management of their system.
  • IoT helps access data from the remote solar farms, hydro stations, or wind farms in real time. Such advantage of IoT boosts worker safety because they will be able to monitor equipment like large wind turbines even from a safe distance.
  • With renewable energies’ accelerating capacities to generate power, the power should be stored and accounted for in a more efficient manner. The stored energy will then be used during peak demand period. For better management of the growing capacity of power, smart grid management powered by IoT can help.
IOT & RENEWABLE ENERGY
Conclusion

The early adopters of the Internet of Things in the sector of renewable energy can experience these benefits and so much more. In this modern world, data is considered as a strategic asset. Through leveraging adaptive and predictive analytics, these adopters can fuel their return on investment and establish a better relationship with consumers through providing transparency.

There is no doubt that IoT and renewable energy is a match made in heaven. But for now, only time will tell if this integration will be a successful one.

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IoT and Renewable Energy: Connections for the Future

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