Clean technology is a term used to describe technologies designed to reduce negative environmental impacts, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions with renewable energy sources like wind and solar. It is an umbrella term that covers anything that protects the environment, reduces carbon footprint or conserves natural resources in the production of goods and services. With only 50 years of oil left, the next 30 years will see a massive shift to cleaner and more efficient technologies.
The Difference Between Renewable Energy and Green Technology
Clean technology includes the use of renewable energy and green technology. Renewable technologies convert natural substances like air, water and sunlight into usable forms of energy (like electricity) with little to no harm to the environment. Examples include solar cells used in photovoltaic systems, wind power, hydropower and biomass.
What is Green Technology?
Green technology, on the other hand, uses processes and components that have a reduced impact on the environment when compared to traditional manufacturing techniques. This can include recycled materials being used for production or in some cases alternative procedures with a lesser impact to the planet’s ecosystem. Some examples of green technology are electric cars, recycled paper and ethanol.
Clean Technology Trends
Some recent trends in clean technology include more efficient use of electricity, better batteries for electric cars and improved recycling techniques. For example, the advent of electric cars has necessitated improvements to battery life and charging capabilities. Researchers are studying the best ways to recycle lithium ion batteries that power today’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), so batteries can be reused in future electric vehicles.
Clean Technology in the Future
Because clean technology is designed to protect or restore the environment, it’s gaining more attention throughout the world. New technologies are being created to reduce energy consumption and allow people to live healthier lifestyles. Fossil fuels are being replaced with renewable resources that have little to no environmental impact, and new ways to reuse waste materials are being discovered.
What is Clean Technology in Industry?
In industry, Clean Technology is a way of producing goods or providing services that have a reduced impact on the environment, as opposed to traditional techniques involving lead, carbon emissions, waste production and non-renewable raw materials. Clean technology examples include renewable energy sources such as wind power facilities and solar panels. Clean Technology examples also include the use of alternative energy sources for transportation, power generation or heating like hydrogen fuel cells, biofuels (agro-fuel) or biomass gasification technologies.
Cleantech and Sustainability
As the world’s population continues to rise, large cities become more accommodating and global travel becomes easier, our demand for food, water and energy is only going to increase. Without changes in how we provide these things, our planet will begin to run out of natural resources needed to sustain life as we know it. Cleantech provides us with ways to continue to live life the way we are used to, while also protecting our environment for future generations.
Billion Dollar Weather Events and Global Warming
It doesn’t take a scientist to see that the effects of global warming are already affecting our planet. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we can expect more coastal flooding (caused by melting ice caps and rising sea levels), extreme droughts (which will cause famine or water wars) and natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. Clean technologies provide alternatives to fossil fuel use that can minimize and eventually negate these effects.
Clean Technology and Sustainability in Developing Countries
Developing countries have their own set of problems. With populations rising, more people are migrating to cities, where clean water is becoming scarce and resources are being consumed faster than they can renew themselves. These countries also need energy to power homes, hospitals and schools. But the burning of fossil fuels in these countries is leading to more pollution than they can handle, causing health problems for millions of people. Clean technologies can help save water as well as power, which can be especially helpful in places where access to clean drinking water is limited.
Alternative Energy Sources
Clean technology has had success stories around the world that are continuing to inspire research into alternative forms of energy. For example, wind and hydro provide 34 % of gross electricity consumption in the EU-27. Portugal and Spain both get at least 20% of their power from the wind.
Successful Clean Technologies
Other successful technologies like solar panels and smart grids are slowly becoming more integrated into our society as well. People who use them can either cut their utility bills by half or earn money by selling power back to the grid.
How Cleantech Can Help
Another example of how cleantech can help is by designing safer, stronger homes and buildings; smarter infrastructure; advanced warning systems; etc.. This way we can survive the wrath of mother nature while we fix the damage that we done to cause it.
ESG and Clean Technology
ESG refers to the social and environmental policies or behaviors of companies. The term “Sustainability” is often referred to as an umbrella term which encompasses all of the ESG issues (environmental, social, governance). As you can probably guess, ESG has a lot to do with things like energy efficiency, how efficiently resources are used, waste management, treatment of animals and workers, etc.. This means that companies who are committed to ESG principles will also be interested in clean technology. Forward-thinking companies will be interested in incorporating green technologies into their business practices.
Clean, Sustainable and Equitable Investment
ESG companies are inherently invested in promoting corporate social responsibility, which often means that they will take on initiatives that benefit society as a whole (like clean technology), but also provide equity to the people and communities that they serve. If you want to save the world, and by all accounts many of us do, it only makes sense that ESG investors will want to invest in companies that are doing something good for the environment. You can invest in clean technology companies by buying shares of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and green mutual funds which focus on the development of sustainable businesses or renewable energy.
Who Makes Clean Technology?
A variety of companies are involved in creating clean technology. Some of these include Tesla Motors (electric cars), First Solar (solar panels and other equipment), and Recurrent Energy (renewable energy). Several universities also participate in research, like Stanford University (whose students created Solar City). Governments might also be part of this field (like the US Department of Energy).
Which Countries Are Involved?
Canada, Japan and Germany are at the forefront of clean technology development. The United States is also involved in this field, even though it does not currently have as strong of an industry or economy compared to other developed countries, even though it has one of the largest GDPs.
Clean Technology and Regulation
With the exponential development of clean technologies in the race to reduce the greenhouse effect, regulation has become more important. Many countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol which sets forth international standards for emissions reduction. There are also numerous other agreements that set out targets, timetables and rules to follow relating to this issue.
Clean Technology In Conclusion
When it comes to clean technology, the future is bright. The companies that are involved in this sector of business are investing in research and development to find new ways of reducing our carbon footprint without harming our environment. They’re creating products that will help people live more sustainable lifestyles so natural resources aren’t exhausted as quickly. This transition won’t happen overnight, but it is happening. By investing in companies involved in this sector of the economy, you can be a part of driving these technological advancements forward and not letting them fall to the wayside.
Caveats and Disclaimers
Although emerging technologies may include the venture capital investment community, solutions, projects, reduce, renewable, cleantech, companies, sustainable, solar, development, use of natural resources, development, climate, energy space, business sector, turbines, wastewater treatment, high growth industries, green or greenhouse outcomes, methane improve, line industries, low carbon, job creation, operational performance, ghg emissions, consumer products, date modified, reducing costs, technologies and superior performance the content of this article is purely for informational purposes and not to be misconstrued with investment advice. Thank you for reading.