Power tech trends: Solar leads Twitter mentions in May 2020

12 June 2020 (Last Updated June 12th, 2020 08:30)

Power tech trends: Solar leads Twitter mentions in May 2020

Solar leads as Power Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on power in May 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Solar – 1,319 mentions

Solar innovations in agriculture, construction, retail, and more, together with increased spending on solar than coal by countries, were some widely discussed topics in May. According to an article shared by Mike Hudema, a climate campaigner, a farm turned sea water into irrigation water to produce tomatoes. And this amounts to 15% of Australia’s annual produce. A 377-foot-tall solar tower helps produces the energy to power the desalination plant. The farm does not use fossil fuels, fertile soil, pesticides, or even groundwater to grow these tomatoes.

Bill McKibben, an environmentalist, author and educator, shared an article on the oil industry is finally showing signs of weakening. This has been the result of the efforts of thousands of climate activists, and solar engineers, among others. The article further detailed that the global oil demand would drop nine per cent this year, according to the International Energy Agency numbers.

In other news, Dr Thomas Hillig, an energy consultant, discussed how the Abu Dhabi’s luxurious Zaya Nurai Island is championing sustainability by launching a floating solar grid that produces power for the resort. It is the first floating structure created in the region by a Dubai start-up, Enerwhere.

2. Renewable Energy – 721 mentions

The transition away from coal for electricity generation, what the second phase of renewable energy revolution looked like, countries ditching fossil fuels, and renewable energy being the only way forward in a post-pandemic world, were some of the popularly discussed topics during the month. For instance, Bill McKibben, an environmentalist, author and educator, shared an article on how renewable energy sources including solar, wind, and hydropower generated more electricity than coal plants every single day in April, reports suggested.

The shift from coal accelerated this year due to lower gas prices, warm weather, and greater renewable capacity, the report further revealed.

Dr Thomas Hillig, an energy consultant, further discussed how floating wind farms played a vital role in the second phase of the renewable energy revolution, with the best spots for offshore wind power being taken. For instance, the first floating wind farm generating energy goes into service off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland. The turbines are expected to power 20,000 homes, the article noted.

In other news, Mark Z Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, shared an article on how waging war against the coronavirus is not the only battle humanity has to fight but also climate emergency. With solar panels and batteries to store energy being more efficient and affordable, the shift to renewable sources rather from oil, gas or coal, has never made more sense to countries than today, the article noted.

3. Coal – 604 mentions

The gradual phasing out of coal, oil, and gas projects to cut emissions, leading to bigger efforts to support the fight against Covid-19, and countries vouching to become carbon-free, were popularly discussed topics during the month. Christiana Figueres, a world authority on global climate change, shared an article on Spain having unveiled a climate law banning all new coal, gas, and oil projects with immediate effect and cutting emissions to net zero by 2050.

The law is expected to shape and safeguard the Covid-19 recovery packages, with Spain having also joined hands with other countries to end global heating in the next 30 years.

Assaad Razzouk, a clean energy entrepreneur and investor, meanwhile, tweeted on it being a week of good climate news with UK having hit coal-free record for power, solar and wind power becoming the cheapest energy sources for two-thirds of the world, aviation focusing on reducing carbon emissions such as Air France, Portugal and China having launched new green hydrogen plants, HSBC exits from coal financing, and China announcing a three-year plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

In other news, Jigar Shah, a clean energy entrepreneur, author, and podcast host, discussed how most of the coal in 2009 was replaced with gas, and all of the coal replaced with renewables in 2019 and onwards. The chart shared further highlighted how coal had been crushed in the US since the past 15 years, falling by approximately 50% from the 2005 levels.

4. Clean Energy – 588 mentions

Clean energy efforts by countries, the impact of Covid-19 crisis on the global energy sector and clean energy transitions, increasing share of clean energy despite the virus crisis, and stimulus plans to create jobs, boost economies, and build more resilient clean energy systems, were popularly discussed topics during the month of May. For instance, Fatih Birol, an economist and energy expert, tweeted on the release of the World Energy Investment 2020 report, which is expected to analyse the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the global energy sector; investments and implications for clean energy transitions and energy security.

Mike Hudema, the climate campaigner, further tweeted on how South Korea was producing clean energy by building solar panels over bike lanes to protect cyclists from the sun and traffic and also produce energy at the same time.

In other news, Mark Z Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, discussed how the world’s largest concentrated solar plant progressed with construction despite the Covid-19 crisis. The $4.4bn project increases Dubai’s share of clean energy to 25% by 2030, saving 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the article noted.

5. Climate Action – 552 mentions

World’s most ambitious renewable projects aimed at climate action, strategies and funds set aside for direct climate action, and financial institutions exiting thermal coal plants, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Assaad Razzouk, a clean energy entrepreneur and investor, Denmark is going huge on climate action with its energy islands. Regarded as the world’s most ambitious renewables project, the €37bn offshore wind project is the country’s biggest infrastructure investment, the article noted.

Assaad also shared an article on the European Union’s €750 billion recovery fund, which comes with a lot of green strings attached. For instance, it includes clauses to stop environmentally damaging investments, with 25% of all funding set aside for direct climate action. It also includes a massive renovation wave for buildings, rollouts of renewable energy projects, and cleaner transport and logistics under the European Green Deal.

In other news, Chris Fox, a climate change activist, tweeted on how coal is losing its backing from big banks such as Westpac Banking Corp., which announced plans to exit a thermal coal project in Australia as part of its climate action strategy.