5 Technological Innovations to Drive Sustainability
The planet faces significant environmental threats such as severe climate change due to many harmful practices over the years. This includes excessive energy consumption and improper waste disposal. Fortunately, humans are working to mitigate these risks through green technological innovations. The World Economic Forum reports that these can reduce global emissions mainly caused by energy production (27%), agriculture (19%), and transportation (16%). Here are some technological innovations contributing to this movement to check out:
Solar energy-powered homes
Households get their energy from the power grid, an interconnected network where producers deliver electricity to consumers. The grid receives electricity from various sources, including oil and fossil fuels, which aren’t sustainable. Reliance on the power grid means continuous use of these sources, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily, microinverter company Hoymiles is making it more convenient for homeowners to access renewable energy—specifically solar energy. They provide solar panels and installation services, so there’s less hassle for people wanting to convert to renewable energy. They also have an app called S-Miles Installer that guides users through installing solar panels and their corresponding parts, should they wish to learn to do so. The app even allows users to monitor power generation data and alert them if any parts need repair, so they can continue using renewable energy. Ultimately, more solar energy-powered homes mean less dependence on unsustainable power grids—reducing harmful emissions.
Green data centres
Our article ‘What is the Balance Between Digitalisation and Sustainability?’ notes that data centres account for 1% of global electricity consumption. These centres consume large amounts of electricity to power servers and systems that store, process, and distribute organisations’ data. In response, several companies—including the major technology company Google—are switching to green data centres. These energy-efficient centres use recycled materials for their structure and renewable energy to power their machines, reducing a company’s carbon footprint and electricity consumption. By investing in green technological innovations, companies contribute to sustainability efforts.
Vehicle-to-home power generation
An energy crisis currently affects the UK because nearly half its electricity supply comes from gas-fired power stations. The rising price and lack of gas due to conflicts in Europe like the Russo-Ukrainian war have left some stations without gas. As a result, many households and establishments are left without power for extended periods of time. Electronic vehicle charger company Indra is helping formulate a long-term solution to this crisis by providing bidirectional or vehicle-to-home chargers. This allows electric vehicles (EVs) to power houses and buildings. In times of energy crises, EV owners can charge their cars in another location and use them to power their homes. Even those without EVs can benefit if an organisation utilises these to deliver electricity to deprived areas. While solar and wind power are options, there are instances when sun and wind are lacking. This way, bidirectional charging can serve as a sustainable, alternative energy source amid shortages.
Pumped hydroelectric plants
While power from solar, wind, and EV sources is helping the energy crisis in the UK, another sustainable source is in the works: pumped hydroelectric plants. These pump water uphill to a reservoir and then release it downhill to pass through turbines to generate electricity. Power generation company Drax Group is pushing to build more of these hydro plants to meet the high demand for energy. With this innovation, more people can access sustainable energy and lower their dependence on fossil fuels.
The International Air Transport Association reports that millions of flights occur every year, with 22.2 million flights estimated to have taken place in 2021 alone. Each flight contributes to greenhouse gas emissions because jet fuel uses fossil fuels that release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. British Airways’ partnership with renewable fuels company Velocys aims to decrease emissions by using waste fuel to power their planes. Waste fuel comes from household rubbish, which is then processed and converted into low-carbon fuel. This solution hits two birds with one stone by reducing waste in rubbish dumps and making flights more sustainable. The airline industry could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions if more planes are powered with waste fuel.
Here at CauliBox, we value sustainable solutions and we are innovating continuously to make reusable packaging accessible to all. By utilising and developing technological innovations, individuals and businesses alleviate the effects of environmental threats and contribute to making the world a better place. Written by Alyson Shien Clarkson Exclusive for wearecauli.com