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These 7 Sustainable Technology Implementations Will Reshape Our Future

Tech is powering a green future, no question about it.   According to Allied Market Research, the global green tech and sustainable technology market size was valued at around $9 billion in 2019, while it is projected to reach $48.36 billion by 2027, which is a growth rate of 24.3% from 2020 to 2027.  Greentech environmental solutions powered by AI, ML, IoT, Big Data, Natural Language Processing, Edge Computing, Robotic Process Automation, are currently protecting the very environment that made evolution possible in the first place.  For example, the use of AI is already a key component of complex data analysis and management with sustainable decision making in focus, especially within areas like climate change, air/water quality and security, disaster resilience, biodiversity conservation, etc.  We bring you 7 great examples of sustainable technology implementations that are already providing us with a vivid hint of what the world of tomorrow may look like. 

Electric Vehicles & Public Electric Transport

Electric vehicles are hardly breaking news. They’ve been around for quite a while, but it is their ongoing evolution that fascinates us the most. Modern car batteries are a great sustainable energy solution, especially now with prolonged lifespans. On the other hand, the advancement of self-driving technology and the growth of charging station infrastructures are an even better glimpse into the future of transportation. They enable more accurate, streamlined and increasingly safer electric vehicle ecosystems. Tesla, for example, already features a highly complex and reliable autopilot mode capable of taking its passengers to desired destinations with minimal human interference.  Public electric transport has also been improving rapidly as electric vehicles become more and more accessible, so numerous municipalities around the globe are implementing electric vehicles and smart navigation systems. In the streets of China, there are 421,000 electric buses currently in use, making them one of the leaders when it comes to the adoption of sustainable technology, thus enticing other nations to follow suit.  The main downside of implementing public electric transport is the seemingly high acquisition price of EVs, but this myopic challenge is mitigated when we take the long view and realize that the total cost of ownership (TCO) is actually lower as these vehicles are not fuel dependent. When we take into consideration that these eBuses eliminate local particulates like SOx, NOx, and CO2, the benefits are clearly multifaceted.

Accessible Solar Power 

Green tech solutions like solar-powered renewable energy continue to become more easily implemented, cheaper and thus more accessible. With the accessible solar power grid expanding across the globe, it is not only major cities in developed countries that are benefiting from solar power. Less developed countries with unelectrified populations are also increasingly adopting these renewable solutions, which enables underdeveloped municipalities to quickly and cheaply bring electricity to where it is needed the most.  This type of environmental technology, coupled with innovative financing plans, allows for more accessible and affordable smart solutions like Solar Home Systems (SHS) to be available within the communities that are physically too far from a reliable grid connection. It is estimated that SHS helped power well over 150 million households, and with the average cost of solar PV panels dropping more than 70% over the last 7 years, it is clear that SHSs are here to stay. 

Carbon Capture and Storage 

It is simply not enough to focus merely on decarbonizing the industries that create cement and plastics. We must also invest in capturing the carbon that is being emitted during production, and do it safely. This is where a sustainable energy solution like carbon capture and storage (CCS) comes into play. CCS enables industries to:
  • capture carbon at its source
  • compress the captured carbon 
  • move the captured carbon to a suitable permanent storage site
  This green tech solution has multiple benefits as it significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions while making room for more revenue if the captured CO2 is used for the creation of other products. Numerous industries are already implementing this method. Certain plastics manufacturers use captured carbon to make their products – polyurethane, for example. Also, some emerging technologies — like direct air capture — are now more cost-friendly to be done at scale. 

Hydrogen as a Big Part of Energy Transition

The use of hydrogen is playing an important role in meeting ambitious global warming benchmarks. Hydrogen is expected to power over 400 million cars by 2050, including 20 million buses and over 20% of passenger ships and locomotives. Even though battery-powered EVs currently feature higher fuel efficiency when compared to hydrogen, this ability of hydrogen-powered fuel cells to store more energy per weight metric is expected to make these batteries more suitable for heavy cargo vehicles that travel long distances. The vehicles powered by hydrogen-powered fuel cells are already being used in Japan, South Korea, California, and Germany. According to Wiki, as of December 2020, there were 31,225 passenger FCEVS powered with hydrogen on the world’s roads. South Korea is the country with the most passenger FCEVs (10,041 units), followed by the United States (9,135), China (5,546) and Japan (4,100). Greentech environmental prediction for hydrogen fuel is that it could play a crucial role in decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by 60%. 

LED Light Efficiency

Energy-efficient LED lighting is on its way to completely replace traditional incandescent light bulbs. This sustainable energy solution is expected to achieve an 84% market share across the US and reduce energy consumption by 40% by 2030. This translates to $26 billion in savings adjusted to today’s energy prices. These dramatic cost savings could rise even more as the Department of Energy claims that an additional 20% reduction could be reached with increased investment in LED lights.

The Rise of Green Tech Solutions in Healthcare 

When it comes to cost-efficiency and the use of sustainable technology, healthcare is the industry that is slowly but surely taking one of the leading roles. The use of healthcare facilities with solar rooftops is on the rise, and since they are among the biggest energy consumers today, it is critical that this industry implements as many greentech environmental and sustainable solutions as possible. Big hospitals are also increasingly introducing eco-friendly solutions for managing and minimizing medical waste, while smaller health facilities are also turning to scalable waste reduction solutions. Admittedly, with healthcare accounting for 4.4% of global emissions, there is still much room for improvement here. 

Plastic recycling

Currently 260 million tons of plastic waste is generated across the globe every year. However, only 16 percent gets recycled. To prevent enormous amounts of plastic waste, the plastics industry has started adopting circular models to eliminate this negative impact. One of such circular approaches is called pyrolysis which is a sustainable way to generate energy from waste. In essence, it uses heat and the absence of oxygen to reconvert plastic waste back into liquid feedstock.  Also, another  process called chemical recycling has been explored as an alternative to traditional recycling for years now. It is an attempt to recycle the unrecyclable. Instead of a traditional recycling system where some plastics are rejected because they are made of composites or are the wrong colour, chemical recycling could register all types of plastic that would the unmake plastics back into oil, which could then be used to make plastic again. This creates an infinite loop thus creating the world’s first infinite plastic.

Building Green Future Together 

Not only are Green tech solutions here to stay, but they are also our biggest asset for keeping our environment healthy without slowing down the evolution of tech.  However, successful and effective implementation of sustainable technology within a business’s existing infrastructure can be tricky and even counterproductive in terms of cost-effectiveness if not performed by experienced industry experts.  This is where HTEC Group’s expertise and know-how come into play.  Reach out to us to learn how we can help you build a greener future.