Technologies Impacting the Future of the Energy Sector (TechVision)

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The energy sector is currently undergoing a dramatic change, where the increasing adoption of renewables is changing the entire global energy landscape. The rise in distributed energy generation has reduced the influence of power utilities, and many energy stakeholders will likely have to refine their business models, so as to remain competitive and relevant in the future. Major trends such as the proliferation of digital solutions to improve performance and increase energy efficiency is also expected to continue for the long term.

Key technologies impacting the future of the energy sector include those categorized as power and transmission (solar energy, wind energy, biopower, natural gas, and grid energy storage), electronics (power electronics for grid, and energy-saving lighting), and communications (energy management systems, data analytics, and grid cybersecurity). Key factors driving the development of these technologies include concerns on climate change, and governments' energy policies.

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary1.1 Research Process and Methodology1.2 Future of Energy to be Influenced by Technologies in Power & Transmission, Electronics and Communications1.3 Economic Uncertainty and Climate Change Are Key Factors Influencing Decision Making1.4 Market and Technology Trends Are Driven by Economics 1.5 Return on Investment Is a Key Factor Determining 2.0 Technology 1: Solar Energy2.1 Solar Attracts Extensive Research and Related Funding2.2 China Leads with the Most Number of Patents in Solar2.3 Return on Investment Is a Key Factor Determining Market Performance2.4 High Efficiency Solar Cells Hold the Potential to Disrupt the Solar Market 3.0 Technology 2: Wind Energy3.1 Lack of Technical Expertise Limits Adoption of Wind Energy in Developing Countries 3.2 Wind Energy Backed by Strong Financial Institutions 3.3 Growth for Offshore Wind Turbine Is Imminent3.4 Improvement on Drivetrains and Blade Technology4.0 Technology 3: Natural Gas4.1 Cleaner Burning Fuel for Lower Carbon Emissions4.2 United States is Leading in Recent Natural Gas Patenting4.3 Natural Gas Contribution to Energy Mix to Increase Every Year4.4 Australia to Emerge as a Leader in Natural Gas Production5.0 Technology 4: Biopower5.1 Aggressive Policies Support Biopower 5.2 Biopower Backed Up by a Strong Funding System5.3 Slow But Steady Growth for Biopower5.4 Self-Sufficient Biopower Will Ensure Sustainability6.0 Technology 5: Grid Energy Storage6.1 Grid Energy Storage Can Improve Grid Reliability and Resiliency 6.2 APAC Has the Most Patent Filings in Grid Energy Storage6.3 Lithium-Ion Batteries Are Dominant in the Low-Capacity Segment6.4 Single Monopoly of One Technology Is Unlikely to Happen7.0 Technology 6: Power Electronics for Grid7.1 Adoption of Renewable Energy Bolstering Advancements in Power Electronics7.2 Energy Efficiency and Cost Are the Major Factors Influencing Technology Development7.3 China is an Emerging Destination for Power Electronics Development Accounting for Majority of Patent Filings7.4 Funds Focused on the Development of Technologies Enabling Utility Distribution Networks, Energy Sources, and Interface Modules 7.5 Enhancement of Performance and Improving Energy Efficiency Are the Key Focus Areas7.6 Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride Are Two Major Materials Emerging in the Industry to Enable Future Smart Grid Applications7.7 SiC and GaN Will Enable Advances in Future Smart Grids8.0 Technology 7: Energy Management Systems (EMS)8.1 EMS for Reduced Energy Consumption and Automated Homes8.2 The United States Leads in Patent Filings8.3 Emergence of Internet of Things (IoT)-based Solutions Aids the Market8.4 Interactive EMS Solutions Enable Complete Automation9.0 Technology 8: Energy-saving Lighting9.1 LED Plays a Vital Role in the Development of Energy Efficiency Lighting Solutions9.2 Strong Competition from Cheaper Technologies in the Lighting Industry9.3 China Leads the Patent Filing Trend9.4 Government Initiatives Propel Developments9.5 Consumer Electronics and Semiconductor Companies Play an Important Role in Developing Lighting Applications9.6 Development of Flexible LEDs and OLEDs Can Be Expected to Open Up New Applications in the Lighting Industry9.7 Trend Expected in Development of Lighting Solutions That Enable Connectivity10.0 Technology 9: Data Analytics10.1 Data Analytics Can Significantly Improve Utility Response to Outages10.2 Data Analytics Greatly Enhances Grid Reliability10.3 China Represents a Large Market Due to Rapid Industrialization10.4 Big Data Analytics and Visualization Will Enable Improved Forecasting11.0 Technology 10: Grid Cybersecurity11.1 The Rise in Smart Grids Will Increase the Importance of Cybersecurity11.2 Utilities, Software Developers and Government Agencies Are Collaborating to Securitize the Grid11.3 Transmission Is Considered the Most Vulnerable Part of the Energy Value Chain11.4 Smart Grids Will Evolve into Intuitive Networks That Self-diagnose and CorrectLegal Disclaimer12.0 The Frost & Sullivan Story12.1 The Frost & Sullivan Story12.2 Value Proposition: Future of Your Company & Career12.3 Global Perspective12.4 Industry Convergence12.5 360º Research Perspective12.6 Implementation Excellence12.7 Our Blue Ocean Strategy

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