We look at the various was to create a sustainable future with tech
Sustainable technology is at the forefront of fighting against climate change, so what is it exactly? Sustainable technology is the overall term for innovation that considers natural resources and encourages economic and social development. The main goal behind this technology is to reduce the environmental and ecological consequences and create a sustainable product.
Sustainability in technology can be defined in a few ways:
- Substitution. The technology fosters a shift from non-biodegradable to biodegradable materials in its production. It also replaces non-renewable with renewable resources.
- Prevention. Sustainable technology prevents deterioration, contamination, and other negative environmental impacts through its use or production.
- Efficiency. The technology is efficient in terms of its use of energy and resources. Throughout the world, there has been 1,000’s of amazing innovations that are helping with creating a more sustainable future and getting countries to their net zero goals.
The automotive industry
The automotive industry is pushing forward the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and is experiencing a rise in popularity due to the decline in costs and increased charging opportunities. The UK government has planned to ban the sales of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030 in order to reach their goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Ron Nersesian, chairman and CEO of Keysight Technologies, explained that governments worldwide are offering incentives and establishing regulations to encourage businesses and consumers to invest in EVs. In fact, the EV market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of more than 21% between 2019 and 2030. While this growth is promising, scaling the EV market brings new design and manufacturing challenges.
The first challenge facing the EV industry is the management of interoperability between different car manufacturers and charging providers. In order to decrease this challenge, there needs to be a global standard setup that all automakers, charging providers and energy suppliers need to adhere to. By doing this, it will make EVs more accessible and affordable for the majority of the population.
The second challenge facing the EV industry is access to high-powered batteries. Going from low to high voltages bring additional costs and risks. However, as mentioned by FI group, battery costs have started to decline and are making it possible for electric vehicles’ prices to decrease. With battery costs dropping, it will be possible for EVs to become more cost-effective and dominate the automobile industry, proving to be a viable alternative to traditional ICE vehicles. According to research conducted by BloombergNEF, battery prices have seen a decline of 89% over the past 10 years.
5G enabled IoT
While Covid-19 caused uncertainty, service providers continued to drive forward with switching on 5G, and more than 160 have launched commercial 5G services. 5G will play an important role in addressing environmental challenges through faster data speeds, lower latency, and increased connectivity. Ericsson has predicted that by the end of 2021, there will be around 580 million 5G subscriptions. 5G can be used to accelerate the Internet of Things (IoT) and power innovations to conserve natural resources.
With many countries working towards creating smart cities, 5G-enabled IoT networks will help monitor and manage public service systems, helping save water, massively decrease pollution, and reduce energy consumption. Smart cities will also drive traffic management and public transport systems which will reduce traffic congestion and pollution. On top of this, 5G can assist smart buildings and homes in monitoring their energy use while helping them reduce their energy consumption by adjusting the use of lights, heating and cooling.
Maximizing renewable energy: Solar and Wind
The renewable energy market has grown in recent years thanks to the increased accessibility and affordability of alternative energy sources. In addition, renewables do not produce any greenhouse gases during the energy production processes, making them the cleanest, most viable solution to prevent environmental disasters.
Currently, the most popular renewable energies that countries are resorting to are solar and wind. In 2021 renewables, specifically wind and solar, are more affordable than traditional energies in much of the world. As mentioned by ACCIONA, the main renewable technologies – such as wind and solar – are drastically reducing their costs, such that they are fully competitive with conventional sources in a growing number of locations. Economies of scale and innovation are already resulting in renewable energies becoming the most sustainable solution, both environmentally and economically, for powering the world.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, traditional energy companies continue to diversify into solar and other renewable energy sources. They’ll see improvements in conserving our planet’s natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering our collective carbon footprint, and getting closer to carbon neutrality.
- Investing in clean technology
- How is Technology Stopping Climate Change
- The future of carbon credits and carbon offsets
- Reduce, reuse, remanufacture: becoming a sustainable business
While the above are among some of the best-known ways of creating a sustainable future. Many small companies are creating new and exciting tech that can make a massive impact on the environment. To create a more sustainable future, governments need to invest more into innovation and the creation of new tech. It is essential to prioritize environmental issues and design, test and create new technologies that can help in the drive to net zero. One country cannot change the world’s position, so it’s important to develop partnerships with various industry leaders and invest in new technologies. By doing this, we can create the groundwork for a more sustainable future together.