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Look around yourself - is it not obvious we should start using products and services that reduce waste and require using as few non-renewable resources as possible? Sustainability is a hot topic, and as Environment Day was celebrated this month, it again brings our focus on safeguarding the planet and nurturing it as it deserves.
But do you know what? The uproar for green technology is not new. The concepts of sustainability and better environmental practices have been around for decades.
However, the adoption of green technology is gaining precedence as municipalities worldwide seek to improve water and air quality for their residents. On the other hand, many businesses actively take measures to reduce costs and potential legal and reputational risk.
Technology advancements, including IoT, are helping revolutionise environmental practices that contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable Earth. So, what is green technology? What part is IoT playing in ecological sustainability? In this article, we will address these questions:
Defining green technology
In simple words, green technology refers to any measures taken to minimize, or preferably eliminate, negative environmental impacts - while encouraging social and economic development.
The all-encompassing term describes using technology and science to reduce the adverse impact of any human activity on the environment. Many techniques fall under the term, such as environmental monitoring and green chemistry.
Green technology aims to breathe life back into a rapidly-deteriorating ecosystem. It also goes by other names, such as "clean technology" and "environmental technology." Although in its nascent stage, green technology has garnered significant interest in the past decade.
The rise is accredited to the increasing awareness about climate change and the impact of depleting natural resources. The global green technology market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 20.6%, touching $51.09 billion by 2029 from $13.76 billion in 2022.
Green technology utilizes specific practices to reduce the impact of human activity on the environment. From restaurants banning plastic straws to manufacturers adopting cleaner energy sources, there is much focus on environmentalism in this day and age.
Importance of green technology
Human beings need Earth to stay alive. This technology ensures that our planet remains healthy for all life to continue existing. Green technology aims to protect the environment and restore the damage done in its past.
What do you think will happen when there are no natural resources for future generations? We move to Mars or one of the moons of Saturn? The scenario is straight out of a sci-fi movie and a completely terrifying one!
We must adopt green technology because the world is heading towards an environmental crisis. The increasing levels of pollution, extreme temperatures, and shortage of water and fossil fuels make humanity think about the planet's future.
Green technology helps reduce carbon emissions by limiting the use of non-renewable fuels. It allows us to use more sustainable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal wells - you name it.
Similarly, it helps purify dirty water into safe drinking water. Wildlife conservation is also necessary to maintain the ecological balance. Concepts such as bio-logging and bio-telemetry help safeguard endangered species and create a more favorable environment for them.
Examples of green technology
In the current scenario, businesses are actively trying to involve themselves in sustainable energy. Green technology is, after all, the future of human beings. There are many ways to achieve net zero carbon goals and keep the energy bills under control. Let us explore some of the popular green technology examples:
1. Solar power
Solar panels are a great way to harness the power of sunlight. The cost of buying photovoltaic cells used in solar panels has dropped in recent years, enabling more people on the planet to enjoy this benefit.
Solar technology has both commercial and residential applications. On the one hand, it helps combat climate change, and on the other, it saves money on electric bills.
2. Smart cities
Reducing carbon emissions is extremely important to control climate change. Using technology, smart cities help optimize essential services such as electricity, water quality treatment, wastewater management, and CO/CO2 monitoring. Investing in low-carbon technologies such as biofuels helps smart cities become cleaner, more liveable, and sustainable.
Hydroelectric dams have been one of the most stable sources of clean electricity. Hydropower is undoubtedly the oldest form of clean energy; it helps provide a consistent, sustainable flow of electricity - wherever deployed.
4. Wind power
This is one of the most sustainable renewable sources for generating electricity. Wind turbines and windmills are among the widely used techniques across the globe that are capable of generating clean energy. It is not hard to think of the Netherlands when you think of windmills.
5. Sustainable infrastructure
The term refers to designing, building, and operating structural elements in ways that do not diminish the economic, social, and ecological processes required for maintaining human equity and the functionality of natural systems.
Sustainable infrastructure is not only good for the environment, but also it can help businesses save money. From smart electrical meter monitoring to smart traffic management, sustainable infrastructure projects are significantly advancing in reducing environmental impact.
6. Electric vehicles (EVs)
Electric vehicles (EVs)
With motor vehicles being the largest producers of greenhouse gasses worldwide, electric vehicles and charging systems have become a popular way to reduce our carbon footprint. Elon Musk's Tesla, for instance, is building cars for the future.
Even before Musk made it cool to drive Tesla cars, electric vehicle production is on the rise to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The new technology aims to make it easier for us to travel short distances on clean energy.
7. Smart electrical grids
Smart electrical grids
The electric power industry is always looking to cut down on spikes in consumption. There are several ways to keep global consumption in check, from implementing financial incentives for end customers to using tools that reduce energy use during peak hours.
Renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind power, and biomass from plants, are also being regularly used to support the growing demand.
Advantages of green technology
The critical requirement for sustainable technology to preserve our resources and planet earth cannot be overstated. We have to do everything we can to support a greener planet! These are the top critical benefits of green technology:
- Innovative green technology allows you to easily track precipitation levels and compare them with your water consumption. You can use the information to make decisions about rainwater harvesting and consider other effective methods such as laser leveling, rotational grazing, and sub-surface irrigation to conserve water.
- With the help of solar lighting, you can reduce your electricity consumption and dependence on non-renewable resources. You can switch to rechargeable solar batteries to fulfill the electricity demand of the premises without any additional cost.
- By switching to a green energy company for your energy supply, you can use renewable energy from their solar and wind turbine farms.
- LEDs now replace both fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. The option is eco-friendly and helps in cutting energy costs by 70%.
- Green technology can also help recycle waste into helpful stuff such as plant fertilizer, biofuel, sculptures, and daily-use products such as furniture (yes, that is true!).
- Composting biodegradable products involves modern technology and old composting practices. Using a weather-resistant bin, many items, including coffee grounds, old newspapers, eggshells, paper filters, hair, matches, peels, toothpicks, and tea bags, can be composted to replenish the topsoil with nutrients.
- Replacing the HVAC units with a geothermal heat pump will help conserve electricity without compromising the facilities required by human beings.
- Clean technology helps the Earth heal and restore ecological balance. Projects such as reforestation, waste recycling, and sustainable resource management ensure that our planet can continue nurturing life for generations to come.
How does green technology help humans?
We human beings have overexploited Earth's natural resources, but green technology offers a way to save us from the looming crisis. By applying the new methods and practices, we can help conserve nature to enjoy a cleaner and greener lifestyle through:
How does green technology help humans
Green technology helps manage and recycle large volumes of waste generated each day. It enables efficient and cost-effective waste management and waste incineration and helps keep the environment clean and hygienic.
2. Water conservation
In addition, green technology helps fulfill the scarcity of pure drinking water. Water can be purified to fit human consumption while keeping wastage minimal.
3. Air pollution reduction
Another primary concern faced by the human race is air pollution. Automobiles, factories, and other industrial activities emit a lot of carbon which adversely impacts the atmosphere. However, green technology can reduce these emissions while also purifying the air.
4. Carbon footprint calculation
You can determine if your habits help or hurt the environment by calculating your carbon footprint. Electric vehicles, solar panels, and low energy consuming devices, for instance, are initially expensive. Still, they offer cost benefits in the long run leading to higher adoption rates among human beings.
5. Employment opportunities
The green energy sector offers a host of employment options for people with expertise who want to contribute to preserving nature. Crucial roles include environmental health engineers, energy-efficient lighting experts, and solar energy specialists.
6. Tax incentives
Buildings that have satisfactorily implemented green solutions are eligible for government tax rewards. Most residential and commercial buildings can benefit from tax incentives by adopting green solutions such as solar power systems, geothermal temperature systems, or small wind turbines for daily operations.
Green technology and IoT: A match made in heaven
Without a doubt - technology plays a crucial role in establishing environmentally sustainable practices. IoT, more specifically, is doing an excellent job in helping resolve different types of environmental issues such as climate change, energy consumption, air pollution, and carbon dioxide emission through automation and innovative monitoring processes.
Embracing renewable and eco-friendly sources and techniques such as wastewater treatment, recycling, self-sufficient buildings, electric vehicle technology, solar power, waste-to-energy, solar power, natural gas boilers, and wind energy are slowly becoming the norm.
IoT solutions gather data, allowing us to analyze the information and fetch actionable insights into what difference green energy technology is making. IoT technology is instrumental in making our world more innovative and better by optimally utilizing natural resources.
As you know, IoT supports the development of clean energy as human beings become better informed and more aware of the environment. In addition to data collection and monitoring devices, IoT helps individuals analyze their energy consumption in real-time.
Because of the increased awareness about energy consumption, it is natural for humans to become more concerned about seeking clean energy sources.
How are industries leveraging IoT-enabled green technology?
IoT technology is helping industries manage their resources and reduce operational costs. For instance, utility companies and other energy providers benefit from IoT application development to expand their services.
They reduce the strain on conventional power sources by linking them with decentralized devices and energy sources such as solar power panels and microgrids.
Many sectors are using green technology to improve connectivity and reduce energy wastage. IoT-based green technology collects energy data and analyzes it to enhance delivery and efficiency. It means greater convenience and control over energy costs for their end customers.
Industries are banking on IoT capabilities for the following applications:
- Performing circuit-level electricity monitoring by plugging into breaker panels is possible. Businesses get access to real-time data helpful in generating energy consumption reports. Smart alerts and remote energy controls ensure desired savings.
- Sensor and analytics platforms can help optimize energy consumption while maintaining comfort. Commercial buildings use smart lighting or demand-driven heating and cooling to improve employee comfort at the workplace.
- ENERGY STAR-certified thermostats that are programmable and Wi-Fi-enabled help save energy costs on heating and cooling of residential and commercial properties. These devices learn the user's temperature preference and schedule temperature settings accordingly.
- IoT software helps optimize the world's food supply chain by tracking the performance of irrigation pumps and even solar set-ups. It alerts for preventive maintenance or essential repairs. The software gathers energy and water data, allowing easy monitoring and cost savings.
- Industrial IoT applications help with sustainable analytics. They mine different data silos and information sources to reveal intra-asset or intra-process relationships. The information is then analyzed to identify the options for process optimization, which is especially useful for oil and gas companies.
- IoT-enabled technology is also helpful in improving measurement, control, and analytics for cities and utilities. The systems can ensure the safe delivery of cooking gas, efficient lighting, extended grid coverage, and water cycle optimization.
- Car sharing services can utilize IoT and green technology to reduce traffic on the roads, thereby controlling the adverse impact on the environment.
- Smart water communication modules and leak sensors help industrial facilities measure their energy and water use. They can analyze the data to control their usage.
- Industries such as healthcare, educational institutions, government organizations, military establishments, and research labs use IoT power and energy management services. These help them better understand their energy needs and prepare for a potential grid outage.
- The agriculture industry applies smart water management practices enabled by IoT devices. The devices help farmers with irrigation using real-time weather updates and processing sensor data analytics.
- IoT air panels use photosynthetic algae cells to remove carbon dioxide from closed spaces to offer efficient building ventilation. These panels help maintain fresher air in homes and offices, ensuring optimal health.
Challenges of adopting green technology
Every day, people decide to change their lifestyles to become more sustainable. They may want to reduce their carbon footprint but may not be able to do so because they do not have the right tools or information to go about it.
Challenges of adopting green technology
Green technology is on a mission to help us achieve our sustainability goals. However, there are some challenges along the way that you should know about:
1. Hefty initial investments
Procuring and deploying green technology-enabled equipment in industrial properties or residential buildings might be slightly more expensive initially. But in the long run, it helps with cost control and energy savings.
2. Lack of awareness
Many people and businesses are still not familiar with the different green technologies, so it may take a while to adopt them for a larger population.
3. Budding stage
Green technology is still evolving, and many products are at the R&D stage. Plus, there is a lack of skilled workforce to install or implement the green tech-enabled systems or products. Therefore, it may not be easy to calculate the performance results properly.
4. Country-specific support
In many countries, policies for green technology-based equipment have not been finalized. So, achieving a global green approach is still a dream in the works.
Over to you
We must take care of the Earth, and green technology can help us do it effectively. It is helping us bring back sustainable practices, such as clean energy, recycling, and using renewable energy sources instead of non-renewable resources such as coal and oil.
If we join the green technology bandwagon, we can reduce the negative impacts of human activities on our ecosystem and even reverse some of the damage already done over time.
Deploying green technology will result in extended-run benefits, quickly surpassing the costs of implementing new solutions. Backed by IoT, green tech-enabled products can help keep us informed about cost savings and highlight improvement areas.
Rethink energy conservation and waste management with innovative IoT development. Unlock the full potential of IoT and use data to drive success for your environment with Intuz. Need help with IoT app development? Get started with us!