What’s Next? Energy Trends for 2024

The growth of renewables and artificial intelligence, as well as advances in energy storage are some of the most important energy industry trends to watch for in 2024.

When you’re forecasting your budget or developing an energy management plan, it would be nice to know the future. Because you may not have a crystal ball handy, here’s an update on some of the latest trends and technologies in the energy industry and how they may impact your organization.

Renewables are on the rise

Renewable energy sources accounted for 24% of total electricity generation in 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That number has doubled over the past decade. The EIA projects that renewables will grow to 26% of electricity generation by the end of 2024.

While the increase in clean, renewable electricity generation is good for the environment overall, it can also help reduce your environmental footprint, especially as your organization goes electric. By making the switch from fossil-fueled equipment and vehicles to electric-powered models, your organization can eliminate onsite emissions and reduce the overall emissions produced by the energy your organization uses.

Artificial intelligence gets real

Artificial intelligence (AI) really splashed across the headlines in 2023. However, AI has long been in use in a variety of applications and its growth and development are expected to continue. The U.S. AI market is projected to grow from around $123 billion in 2023 to $594 billion in 2032, according to Precedence Research.

You can use AI in your facility in a variety of ways, including improving your energy performance. AI can analyze energy consumption data, occupancy patterns and more to learn about your building’s energy use. Using this information, it can proactively adjust building systems to optimize energy usage. AI can detect inefficiencies and faults in energy-using equipment. It can then provide real-time diagnostics and recommendations for improvements, helping you increase system energy efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

These are just a few examples. With AI technology advancing rapidly, the possibilities are endless. Learn more about how AI can help you cut energy costs and meet your energy goals. 

Energy storage takes off

The U.S. added a record of more than 12 gigawatt-hours (gWh) of energy storage capacity in 2022, according to Wood McKenzie and was on track to break that record with 7.7 gWh installed through the first half of 2023. Experts expect the market to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Rapidly evolving battery technology is helping drive this market growth. Technology advances are improving system size, capacity and life cycle, while decreasing costs. Lithium-ion batteries account for the majority of installations, but promising non-battery storage technologies, such as compressed air and thermal energy storage, are also in development.

Your organization can take advantage of energy storage systems to integrate renewable energy installations, reduce peak demand charges and improve resiliency. While installing energy storage systems can be costly the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) expanded eligibility for federal tax incentives. Under the IRA, standalone energy storage systems and those coupled with renewable energy systems are eligible for federal tax credits of up to 30% of the total installation costs.

By staying on top of these and other industry trends, you can make more informed energy decisions for your organization, this year and beyond.