Power trends: Solar Twitter mentions lead in December 2019

10 January 2020 (Last Updated June 29th, 2020 17:03)

Power Technology lists the top five terms tweeted in power in December 2019, 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.

Power trends: Solar Twitter mentions lead in December 2019

1. Solar – 771 mentions

Solar Twitter mentions lead with new solar technologies. The implementation of various solar projects across the world were popular topics of discussions during the month. Solar panels that can generate power during the night, a liquid that can absorb and store sunlight, rooftop solar installations, and floating solar panels were some of the topics discussed under the term. China, India, Japan, and Germany are developing and investing in solar projects. For example, China, installs solar panels equivalent to the size of a football pitch every hour of every day. This was tweeted by Mike Hudema, a climate change campaigner. Even businesses, schools, and religious places are installing solar panels to generate electricity.

Interesting solar technologies trending during the month were the development of solar panels that can generate electricity during the night. The solar panels are equipped with a device that converts the motion generated by raindrops into energy. The technology can revolutionise the solar industry, whose main drawback is the inability to generate electricity round the clock.

The most mentioned terms in discussions related to solar were energy, climate, wind, renewables, and power.

‏2. Renewables – 407 mentions

The need to invest in renewable energy to tackle climate change were some of the most popular discussions on Twitter. Approximately 95% of technology to implement wind, solar and water-based renewable projects is available, tweeted Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor at Stanford University. The influencer noted that electrifying using renewable energy sources will reduce demand by 57%.

Leading multinational companies and countries across the world are already implementing plans to go 100% renewable. In 2014, just 13 companies turned 100% renewable. This increased to 217 in 2019 tweeted Assaad Razzouk, CEO at Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, a renewable energy company. New Zealand has already banned new oil and gas development and plans to go 100% renewable by 2035. In the US, renewables accounted for 100% of new energy installations in October 2019. The Fukushima prefecture in Japan has emerged as a major wind and solar hub projected to generate 100% renewable energy by 2040.

Solar emerged as the most mentioned term in discussions related to renewables. It was followed by climate change, clean energy, energy transition, and sustainability.

3. Coal – 361 mentions

The need to completely phase out coal usage was a trending discussion on Twitter. Several financial institutions are recognising the need to phase out coal to reduce carbon emissions. Goldman Sachs became the first international bank to rule out financing for oil and gas drilling as well as new thermal coal mines and coal-fired power projects tweeted Bill McKibben, an environmentalist.

Other institutions that have implemented similar plans are UniCredit, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays. In Africa, the Bargny coal plant in Senegal was cancelled. This after years of opposition and campaigning by locals to invest in renewables. Despite the positive developments the International Energy Agency forecasted that global coal consumption will grow until 2024 tweeted journalist Amy Harder.

The most mentioned terms in discussions related to coal were climate, climate change, gas, solar, and renewables.

4. Gas – 150 mentions

The replacement of coal by gas as the biggest contributor to carbon emissions and methane being one of these gases was a popular discussion during the month. Carbon emissions from coal decreased by 0.9% in 2019 but this decline was offset by a surge in emissions from oil and gas according to an article tweeted Mark Z. Jacobson.

Carbon emissions from gas increased by 3.5% in 2019 in the US compared to the previous year, which is attributed to the increase in natural gas production levels in the country, according to the article. The availability of cheap natural gas increased its adoption in place of coal but resulted in a higher percentage of carbon emissions. Influencers called for the need to disregard natural gas a bridge fuel for the transition towards renewable sources and phase out fossil fuels completely to address climate change.

Methane emerged as one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions. This was according to an article tweeted by Jason Bordoff, a professor at Columbia University. The article elaborated on how methane, which is loosely regulated, was being released in high amounts across various oil and gas sites in the US. Bordoff called for the need for regulation of methane release and the use of the right monitoring and equipment to curtail emissions.

5. Wind – 143 mentions

The advantages offered by wind energy and its increasing share in the renewable energy mix were popular topics discussed during the month. Wind energy contributes to 6% of the world’s electricity demand with floating wind farms accounting for two-thirds of global capacity, according to an article tweeted by Mark Z. Jacobson. In the UK, wind energy generated 44% of electricity in a day creating a new record.

Wind energy is being recognised for its stability, inexpensiveness and capability in fighting climate change tweeted Mark Z. Jacobson. This is because utility executives are able to predict wind patterns, and the transmission systems are able to handle the intermittency of the renewable source.

The most mentioned term in discussions related to wind were solar, energy, renewables, climate, and offshore wind.