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Clean and renewable energy is more important than ever before. With research indicating that man’s negative impact on the environment is becoming an existential threat to the world, now is the time to make the transition. Unfortunately, things are not always that simple.

Modern renewable energy is heavily reliant on the weather. Whether one is talking about solar power, wind power, or even hydroelectric, the power source is at the mercy of the elements. This is especially true of solar power which is one of the most popular and affordable options for people looking to downsize their carbon footprint.

This needs to be taken into account when trying to create a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. There is simply too much on the line for energy blackouts in times of shade and low wind. Thankfully European companies are taking the steps to account for this glaring weakness.

Virtual power plants are a new and efficient way to monitor the progress of multiple energy production facilities under a single system software. There are multiple benefits to this big-picture approach.

Under ordinary circumstances, when a renewable power source fails to produce enough energy to provide for those who rely on it, a backup stream of energy is used. This backup energy source is almost always from conventional energy plants. The problem is that most conventional energy plants burn coal in order to produce electricity. If it is not already obvious, coal burning is one of the dirtiest methods of creating energy in the world. It could be said that those who burn the coal pay the toll.

The virtual power plant is an attempt to cut out this dirty third party. By monitoring multiple clean energy plants at once, the virtual power plant is able to see which ones are running light on production and which ones might have a surplus. In the case of low energy output due to bad weather conditions, the virtual system transfers energy from one of the other clean producers to the consumers of the out of commission plant.

This technology is still in its developmental phase. However, it is poised to become integral to the way people receive their energy. Virtual power plants are the best hope of leaving dirty fossil fuels behind forever.