Engineering360 News Desk | July 14, 2022

Since demand for renewable energy sources is increasing worldwide, Tyler Kern, host of the TE Connectivity Our Connected World podcast, discussed the current and future state of renewable energy, barriers to adopting renewable energy sources, and more with Dr. Thomas Schoepf, VP and CTO of energy at TE Connectivity.

What is renewable energy actually? “When we say renewable energy sources, we mean mainly three available, primary energy sources – such as hydropower, wind and solar. Those are naturally replenished so day after day the river flows, the sun shines and the wind blows,” explained Dr. Schoepf.

These sources of energy are becoming more critical as climate change continues to negatively affect theSource: TE ConnectivitySource: TE Connectivity world. The increase in weather-related disasters alone illustrates the human cost of ignoring global warming. Additionally, the crisis in Ukraine has the potential to further accelerate renewable energy trends as countries seek to eliminate its reliance on Russian gas.

Yet, although the need and demand are clearly present, the world has a long way to go for full-scale implementation of renewables as the primary source of energy. One reason for this is that it took a while for the industry to get the costs of implementation down to a level where the return on investment became attractive to businesses.

As Dr. Schoepf mentioned, “another challenge is the volatility of wind and solar as energy sources, when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing, which can lead to a decrease in energy output.” As such, renewable energy plants need a backup source or need to be paired with supplemental energy sources.

Listen to this TE Connectivity podcast on Spotify, iTunes or Google.