What Technologies Will Shape the Next Decade?

Advancements in technology over the last decade have paved the way for growing both the renewable energy and cleantech markets. Battery costs, for example, dropped by 80% from 2010 to 2020, which encouraged the spread of solar and storage in many countries around the world. This growth also led renewable energy to outpace coal in US energy consumption for the first time in 2019 according to the US Energy Information Administration. But what technologies will make the biggest impact on the energy or cleantech industries over the next decade? In my role at BCI Technology Investments, I encounter emerging technologies across multiple industry segments. Here are four high potential growth technologies that we anticipate being market leaders through 2030:

1- Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: As consumers continue shifting away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles towards electric vehicles, demand for charging infrastructure will continue to surge. To meet this demand, an expected $11B in investment will be needed to create 13 million charging points throughout the US by 2030. Based on current charging point data and anticipated electric vehicle demand, charging infrastructure will grow at an annual rate of 36% over this period.

2 – Microgrids: Traditionally, microgrids provide electricity in conjunction with diesel generator backup equipment to military bases, airports, hospitals, and other sites focused on resiliency. However, microgrid technology has become more widespread as many rural and remote communities around the world lack proper infrastructure and access to electricity. Microgrids can help these communities generate power through renewable resources and share electricity throughout a local network using various IoT sensors and devices. The International Energy Agency forecasts that 60% of the electrification required to meet 2030 global demand will be fulfilled by microgrids, which implies a 28% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for this technology.

3 – Industrial Robotics: Increasing labor costs and global competition combined with decreasing equipment costs continue to lead original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to move towards using robots in their supply chains. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning allow these robots to weld metals during manufacturing, apply automotive coating systems, move packages throughout distribution centers or even cook burgers at your local restaurant. For example, many electric vehicle companies switched to autonomous or semi-autonomous robotic lines for producing batteries, which previously created bottlenecks within these companies’ operations. Current production rates and the rapidly growing potential applications suggest that this market will grow at an annual rate of 29% over the next ten years.

4 – Autonomous Vehicles & Supporting Components: OEMs remain diligent in their testing of autonomous vehicles (AVs), and their systems have racked up millions of miles driving on public roads across the US. As many new AVs are also electric vehicles, the adoption of this technology could support decarbonization around the world. Companies in this space continue to improve hardware such as LIDAR and camera detection systems that work concurrently with AI-backed software packages to evaluate external objects and potential edge cases. The AV market is expected to reach $1.6T, implying a 36% CAGR, as manufacturers push to address public safety concerns, adopt industry standards, and develop Level 4 AVs ​over the next decade.

If you are an entrepreneur developing a new technology or someone who would like to have a discussion about the advancement of the energy and cleantech industries, please feel free to reach out to our team below:

Josh Beck | Managing Director & CIO | Josh.Beck@BCI-TI.com