2023 looks to be a new comeback for solar power, wind power, and other forms of renewable energy and resources. It’s especially promising in the US with the country’s enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into federal law. Today, we’ll briefly cover these renewable energy trends for 2023, starting with an overview of what is renewable energy, the four major challenges facing the industry including IRA, and what computers are best for the clean energy market.

An Overview of Renewable Energy Trends for 2023

Renewable energy is defined as energy collected from natural phenomena that are replenished constantly. Sunlight is renewable energy for example. Also referred to as clean energy, renewable energy is often converted into electricity for power grids, HVAC, as well as stand-alone power sources like batteries.

Nonrenewable resources of energy, as the name implies, do not replenish. They are only available in limited amounts. Nicknamed “dirty” energy, sources of nonrenewable energy primarily come from fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal.  

Sources for this renewable energy sources in 2023 include:

  • Solar power –  Sunlight and heat from the Sun are converted into electricity through technologies like photovoltaic (PV) panels or through mirrors (solar water heating).
  • Wind power  – Wind (moving air) turns large wind turbines which convert the motion into electricity.
  • Geothermal power – The heat deep under the Earth’s crust is harnessed for power using dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle power plants.
  • Hydroelectric power – Similar to wind power except moving water like rivers and streams is the source of energy.

Lesser known renewable resources include ocean and bioenergy power:

  • Ocean power – The motion of sea waves or currents provide the power to turn turbines which generate electricity.
  • Bioenergy power  – Organic materials called biomass are converted into liquid biofuels. Examples include wood, charcoal, manure, and various organic waste products from agriculture and forestry. The biofuels are then burned for energy in a similar fashion like coal, oil, or gas. 

Renewable Energy Trends in 2023

There’s a global push to renewable energy. Reasons range from environmental concerns like pollution and climate change, to increasing costs of nonrenewable energy. Four major renewable energy trends to watch for in 2023 include:

Inflation Reduction Act and Renewable Resources

Signed last year, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) aims to deal with the United States’ current high inflation. Among the federal law’s provisions are $500 billion in new spending and tax breaks aimed not only to reduce healthcare costs and increase tax revenues, but boost clean energy production domestically.

US Turns On First Major Wind Farms 

Ocean power represents major renewable energy along US coastlines. Yet the country lags behind other developed nations in tapping it. 

That looks to change in 2023 as two offshore wind farms, one in Rhode Island and the other in Virginia, go into operation. While capacity totals 42 megawatts – a drop in the bucket compared to the nation’s 4 trillion kilowatts of power generated yearly – it’s a start. Other plants, like the Vineyard Wind 1 off of Massachusetts and the South Fork Wind off of New York, are under construction. Goal is to get them and others online by year’s end. By 2030, the hope is to source 30 gigawatts from ocean power from various plants. That’s more than enough to power 10 million homes for a year. 

More Domestic Manufacturing of Renewable Energy Equipment

The manufacture of renewable energy components in the US took a hit in 2022 due to supply chain disruption, trade policy uncertainty, inflation, increasing interest rates, rising costs, and project delays. As renewable energy continues to trend in 2023, the market may see increased  interest thanks to funds from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Renewable Energy’s Increasing Need for Cybersecurity

The energy sector saw increased cyberattacks in 2022 and it’s expected to continue in 2023. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, which are responsible for managing industrial networks, are especially vulnerable with many based on legacy systems. Again, incentives from the IRA may help in the form of funds to patch systems, upgrade equipment, and / or the hiring of qualified cybersecurity talent. 

Globally, the renewable energy market was valued at 910.5 billion in 2021. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 8.8 percent until 2028 with an expected value of 1510.0 billion that year. China, the United States, and India are the top three investors in the segment.  

The Industrial Computers Advantage 

Renewable energy demands to power cities and countries in the modern world require a lot of technology. Power generator manufacturers, utility companies, and other industries within the segment should make sure their computers have the necessary features to handle the work as as renewable energy trends in 2023. Features for such computers should include:

  • Industrial grade – Built to withstand harsh environments like the oceans or deal with vibrations like within a wind turbine.
  • Fanless – Keeps the industrial mini PC cool without fans, which are one of the first components to break down due to moving parts. 
  • Small form factor – Allows computers like industrial panel PCs  to fit in the tight spaces found in many renewable energy plants and facilities.
  • IP65 rated – Sealed against water and other liquids which protects the interior’s circuitry.
  • Reliable – Renewable energy plants are expected to run 24/7 for weeks, if not months, at a time. 
  • Legacy compatible – Allow modern computers to work with renewable energy facilities like dams which may use older equipment.   
  • Cybersecurity – Protect computer networks and systems by verifying authorized personnel with Single sign on (SSO) authentication methods like built-in RFID scanner.

Closing Comment

The industry for solar, wind, and other renewable energy trends may be seeing increased interest – and challenges – in 2023. Equipping their facilities with the right computer and industrial tablets with features like fanless design can help overcome those challenges. 

Contact an expert at Cybernet if your company is in the renewable energy industry and is looking for industrial grade computers as part of your solutions.