Not since the invention of the steam engine have we seen the pace of change occurring in energy systems around the world. In Australia our electricity system is changing rapidly, from new technologies and business models to changes in policy and perhaps even regulation. As the year begins, here are five energy trends you should expect to see in 2019.

1. More action towards 100% renewable energy

Last year was a boom year for renewables. Despite rhetoric from some political quarters talking up coal and talking down renewable energy, we installed more solar panels and wind turbines than ever before. There are at least 40 large-scale wind and solar projects in construction in Australia, totalling over 6000MWs of new generation capacity. This means renewables will continue on a steep growth curve as analysis by the Melbourne University Climate and Energy College shows.

This rapid growth in renewables and soon battery storage is at least in part driven by a corresponding reduction in cost. Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis reveals a compound annual reduction in cost of battery storage of 21% over eight years. Facts such as these are the engine driving us towards 100% renewables at a pace much faster than most pundits think.

At a political level California has just legislated a move to 100% renewables, while at home South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT are on track to be net 100% renewables in the next few years. With everyone from tech billionaires to school students demanding 100% renewables, pressure for a more rapid shift to renewables is likely to continue to build.

Read more at The Guardian