What the future of energy means for the construction industry

With climate change at the top of the political agenda today, it’s no surprise that greener energy is much more widespread. New energy sources and technologies are a very necessary part of ensuring that the world is able to adapt to moving away from fossil fuels in the very near future. But what does this mean for an industry like construction?

What will shape the energy industry in the years to come?

  • Global decarbonisation. The momentum behind the drive towards global decarbonisation means that it is non-negotiable today. Scientists have calculated that there is just over a decade to reverse the damage that has been done since the Industrial Revolution, which means there is considerable focus on accelerating decarbonisation, with a determination to achieve net zero goals.
  • Decentralised structures. For centuries, centralised energy grids have been the way forward but these structures provide opportunities for disruption. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, decentralising structures – for example by using microgrids – could be a much more reliable option going forward.
  • Tech development. As technology advances when it comes to green energy it becomes much more accessible. For example, the cost of solar cells has dropped considerably in recent times, making this green energy tech available to a wider range of people and projects.
  • Efficiency and interconnection. A more interconnected and efficient energy world is going to become an increasingly high priority.

Where does this leave construction?

Energy has a very broad impact on the construction sector and is used widely, whether that’s in terms of maintaining roads or building bridges. Plus, the construction sector is vital to ensuring that the changes we need to make to energy infrastructure across the country can happen. Moving away from fossil fuels, and towards greener alternatives, such as renewable energy, is going to take a lot of effort in construction terms but will be a worthwhile commitment going forward. Construction businesses will have a big role to play in helping to achieve changes, such as decentralised energy grids, creating new solar energy fields, kinetic wave power collection plants and hydro electric dams to increase the reach that renewable energy infrastructure has.

Cooperation across construction

Decarbonisation is a key goal on an international level and achieving this is going to require the cooperation of the construction sector. Industrial construction will have a major role to play in helping to achieve decarbonisation and also with respect to creating the infrastructure necessary to make decentralisation happen. In fact, it’s difficult to underestimate the importance of construction when it comes to the changes that are happening in the energy industry – without the cooperation of the entire construction sector these shifts are unlikely to be successfully made.

There’s no doubt that construction is reliant on energy and changes in supply and availability will have an impact in the years to come. However, what’s perhaps more important to note is the way in which the construction sector is going to be so vital to achieving the future of the energy sector in line with the targets that have been set.

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