2 types of green energy projects growing in 2021: Wind and solar energy tech can help the planet

3 weeks ago 9

With all of the extreme weather and natural disasters increasing around the globe, these and other green initiatives are taking off in an effort to reduce harm to Earth.

Wind turbines and solar panels

Image: Jevanto Productions/Shutterstock

Many green initiatives have been launched this year in an effort to reduce and reverse damage to the environment. It's estimated that renewables account for 70% of new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2021

Green energy is any type of energy generated from a renewable, natural resource. Projects that include the use of sunlight, wind or water that comes from a renewable energy source can be considered green projects. 

SEE: IT Data Center Green Energy Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Wind turbines

The United States was a crucial player in the global world of wind power projects in 2020, the best year in history for the global wind industry, but it's still not enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In 2021 wind turbines are expected to account for 31% of new U.S. electricity generating capacity.

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"Moving from fossil fuels to renewables is the only way we can grant a future for the next generations and the planet overall. Now we have an incredible opportunity to use wind as a free and infinitely available source of energy without polluting emissions," said Taras Vodyanyy, CEO of Sirocco Energy. Vodyanyy said the costs of wind energy are low: "It's produced locally, the technology is constantly evolving. That makes it one of the fastest-growing sources of clean energy in the globe today." 

Meeting net-zero emissions by 2050—a goal that countries around the world are pledging—will require a 300% increase in wind power installation projects over the next ten years. More than 21GW of wind and 15GW of solar capacity is estimated to come online by the end of 2021, according to the 2021 U.S. Renewable Energy Outlook report from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

SEE: Google's hits green energy goals for 4 years straight and sets new target: Zero emissions (TechRepublic)

Solar panels

In 2021 solar power is expected to account for 39% of new U.S. electricity generating capacity and is becoming more affordable, primarily due to policies supporting its installation. Solar panels offer companies and homeowners benefits, including:

  • More control over electricity costs
  • Peace of mind, knowing it's clean, renewable energy
  • An increase in the value of homes and buildings
  • Tax breaks and cash incentives for the installation 

Not only will solar power help save the environment, but it's also said that widespread solar adoption can significantly reduce harmful health issues such as the effects of nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions, which can cause chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

SEE: Microsoft's Azure IoT platform helps make farming greener as well as smarter (TechRepublic)

Physical structures on land are not the only option for installing solar panels; there's also untapped potential for floating solar farms (floatovoltaics) constructed over ponds, lakes and waste-water treatment facilities. 

Once considered impossible, private and public companies in the U.S. and around the globe are initiating record amounts of wind and solar projects in 2021 and beyond to reduce and reverse the damage already done to the environment.  

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