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If last year’s Renewable Energy World headlines were any indication, 2017 is set to be a big year for new and interesting trends in renewable energy. These potential shifts in focus include prevailing forms of technology and major renewable energy involvement in certain countries.

Here are five renewable energy stories with potential to trend during 2017:

 

Drone involvement

Drones have been a recurring media focal point in recent years, with stories commonly focusing on their potentially negative presence in communities both local and abroad. However, these unusual flying contraptions present just as much positive potential for renewable energy practices. Considering they were used in solar cost reduction and in the aiding of offshore wind farms in 2016, the future of drone-related sustainability seems promising.

 

Offshore wind power

Last year saw major developments in the establishment and operation of the Block Island Wind Farm. As a result of coastal state involvement in supporting this farm, the general US offshore wind market saw a marked increase in activity. This entity will likely continue to gain momentum and subsequent media coverage throughout the year as it forges new partnerships and impacts policies at the state level.

 

India as a solar giant

As far as solar power activity, most major countries paled in comparison to India during 2016. The country dominated the solar sector, and according to Renewable Energy World, it is currently “mobilizing to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to boost solar capacity in the country to 100 GW by 2022, if not sooner.”

With Modi’s ambitions in mind, India will almost certainly be a beacon of national attention in 2017 energy media.

 

Corporate influence

Last year, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) formed and provided a chance for corporations to “purchase clean energy for their operations.” The group currently hopes to drive around 60 GW of US corporate renewable energy by 2025, with representatives of Facebook and Microsoft reportedly joining its initial announcement.

It would not be surprising to see REBA furthering the conversation on this prevailing approach to corporate renewable energy buying in 2017, potentially paving a path for similar groups to rise into the public eye.

 

Pay-as-you-go startups in Africa

Thanks to the implementation of pay-as-you-go solar startup companies, parts of Africa saw major advancements in their solar energy infrastructure in 2016. Renewable Energy World reported that one such developer, d.light, silenced the odds by raising close to $22.5 million in venture capital. This model merges solar PV, storage, and mobile pay technology, essentially making electricity more affordable for customers.
This hybrid method has potential to catch fire in 2017 as it moves to other regions and gains helpful investments along the way.