Jan 6, 2016, 8:48:29 AM

Oil prices nearly halved last year, making it one of the biggest stories of 2015 and biggest breaks for Americans’ wallets.

WSJ reported per-barrel prices dropped to about $50 from more than $100, with U.S. oil prices falling 30 percent. Experts say prices may continue to lower in the new year, but what does that mean for the renewable energy sector?

In spite of bargains in coal, natural gas and oil, a growing number of customers still sought out energy solutions from wind and solar energy sources.

This was seen globally in Asia, as well as closer to home in Texas. Globally, the population saw a 17 percent increase in renewable energy investments, according to UNEP.

Steps closer to independence from fossil fuels started with small measures commercially and residentially, continued with the Paris Climate Agreement, and will continue to advance globally each year.

The California Solar Initiative, started in 2007, brought the state front-and-center in the movement toward using solar power as a main source of energy, with a total budget of $2.167 billion through 2016.

The UK has led the way in solar advancements, as well, with renewables producing more power than nuclear. A more affordable storage battery to pair with solar panels is just one reason for last year’s solar successes.

Lithium-ion batteries found in cell phones are only getting cheaper and finding homes in electric cars like Tesla. The company, paired with Panasonic, has goals to reduce a battery’s price by at least 30 percent.

In the U.S. alone, 4.3 GW in wind power and 1.4 GW in solar power have been installed in 2015, which is a 46 percent wind power increase. These and other initiatives have brought job growth with 7.7 million employed by renewable energy industries.

To further boost solar initiatives, the president signed and passed the Omnibus Budget Bill last year to extend the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit another three years for solar.

And, the biggest story of all is the Paris Agreement, which aims to hit four key points to decrease carbon emissions worldwide:

  • - Ultimately limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and, until then, keep them under 2 degrees Celsius in comparison to pre-industrial levels.
  • - Review emission reductions on a five-year basis in each country.
  • - Balance carbon sinks and carbon source in the next half of this century.
  • - Rich countries provide financial assistance to poor countries to adapt improvements.

Projects like this that use energy other than fossil fuels, quite frequently benefit from the use of custom fasteners.

Usually stainless steel, these fasteners come in a variety of styles that are suited for many unique projects both commercially and residentially.

A big reason these fasteners are found in energy conscious projects are the material used--stainless steel. It’s an iron alloy containing chromium and nickel as rust and corrosion protection.

Not only is it very strong and can resist high temperatures well, it is also completely recyclable. Most stainless steel applications are already of approximately 60 percent recycled material.

By recycling 1 ton of steel, it saves 1,100 kg of iron ore, 55 kg of limestone and 630 kg of coal. Find the full selection here or contact our experts about your renewable energy project requiring custom fasteners.

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