In the 21st Century, man has innumerable reasons to be proud of their unique achievements. Mankind has achieved a series of advancements in varied fields such as nuclear energy, social media, transportation, communication, space science etc. However, with all the advancements and achievements come an equal number of issues and disasters inter alia overpopulation, poverty and water crisis, which pose a vicissitude to the economies of the world. Among the present day issues, there is one that is perpetual: the issue of protecting our degrading environment.
World economies are trying their level best to ‘go green’. The act of ‘going green’ brings with it a bounteous amount of new concepts such as sustainable development, green consumerism, green business and eco-friendliness. As governments adopt the concept of sustainable development, consumers are becoming more aware of the need of conservation which ultimately gives rise to the emergence of green consumerism. As consumers begin to demand for eco-friendly goods and services, businesses are burdened to satisfy the consumers’ demands. This, in turn, has led to the adoption of green technology by enterprises.
Green technology describes those technologies which are applied to environmental problems i.e. technologies that are more environmentally benign than conventional ones. The term by itself is very vast, describing an array of technology from those dealing with water treatment and purification to renewable energy generation and storage. Green technologies are also often termed as clean technologies which aim at eliminating toxic materials and waste materials in the production process.
Green technology has been most successful in the area of renewable energy generation; its storage and its transmission. Some of the green technologies which are highly popular today include Solar Photovoltaic cells, wind power technologies and solar thermal technologies – to name a few. Green energy storage technologies include batteries and fuel cells which highly advantageous due to its low cost, higher capacity and light weight. Bio-fuels and bio-energy – derived from living organisms or waste materials, are also being explored as green technologies to fuel transportation.
As the global economy confronts issues ranging from climate change, water scarcity and other environmental threats, green technology will continue to grow in the short term especially if used in synergy with infrastructural projects.
IKEA and Herman Miller, two giants of the furniture world, use green technology extensively in their production process.
Glimpsing into the future, green technology has bright prospects. Some of which include:
- Bolt-on Turbines: Wind turbines that work only on your home’s ceiling.
- Subway Power: Harnessing the power of the wind of passing trains to charge your gadgets.
- Solar Leaves: Tiny affordable solar leaves that cover the surface of a building to convert sun rays to power.
These aren’t just ideas, but actual projects that are in the making. A solar powered plane, named the Solar Impulse, is one of the many green innovations that are yet to come.
The path of a greener, brighter and a sustained future can be achieved if the usage of green technology, conservation and various other environmental concepts are in an efficient synergy.
But one thing is for sure, future technology is looking a lot greener.
– Erwin Rodrigues.
(Research, Writing & Photography)