How Advancements in Clean Energy Technology Will Change The World
A Positive View of the Future
If I were to choose a single defining characteristic of the technology industry, I would choose optimism. The assumptions that things that are broken can be fixed, things that are bad can be made better, and what is difficult now can be made easier in the future. All it takes is a little ingenuity and a lot of elbow grease. That’s why I’m excited about the technology industry expanding out of our realm of beige boxes and silver laptops and working to make the world smarter. Here are three clean energy technology trends that encourage confidence in a positive future.
1. The Sun: Power for Everyone
The sun is our most powerful source of renewable energy. Harnessing it has been a goal for decades, but in the past few years, technology has advanced sufficiently for several large companies to start using it in earnest. Apple is a leader in this area, powering data centers in Nevada, Arizona, and North Carolina entirely off solar power. Just last year, Apple announced that their new headquarters in Cupertino would be powered by solar energy. Also, other technology companies have been investing in wind as a renewable resource, according to an article in Bloomberg:
“But the sun is the future. The price of solar has been declining quicker than that of wind, and by 2050 solar could be the world’s biggest single source of electricity,” according to the International Energy Agency.
Good news for everyone. Of course, solar power in a large business is one thing, bringing it home is another. This brings us to our next topic…
2. Storing Massive Amounts of Power With Batteries
Being able to capture solar energy is only half the battle. The second half is being able to store it efficiently. To do that we need batteries, which is exactly what Tesla Motors introduced earlier this year with the Tesla Powerwall.
Tesla has been working on electric power for years, and bringing the Powerwall to the home is another step towards a clean, renewable energy future. The Powerwall lets you use solar power at night, or utility power only during off-peak hours when rates are the least expensive. Although the battery is not quite ready to power your entire home by itself, the fact that the product exists is a good indicator for future advancements in the technology. And we can’t mention both Apple and Tesla without talking about…
3. The Electric Car: From Research to Mainstream
Tesla’s luxury electric sedan and their success have influenced more of the traditional automotive manufacturers to follow suit with their own electric cars. For example, Google has been publicly working on self-driving electric cars, and many rumors have stated that Apple is working on an electric car in private, one that quite possibly could include self-driving capabilities.
Electric cars are more complex, in that each individual component is more advanced than their gas-powered counterparts. However, they also have fewer moving parts. As the adoption of clean energy alternatives becomes more mainstream, research and development will continue to advance at an even faster pace for solar, batteries, and electric cars.
The Takeaway: Clean Energy Technology for Everyone’s Benefits
Change is scary. That’s just human nature, but it is also in our nature to improve the things around us. Computers and renewable energy have been steadily improving for decades, and we are finally starting to see the fruits of that research come to market. In the years to come, we should see a significant increase in the adoption of clean energy. Hopefully, as technology advances, we’ll also see cleaner environments and more stable economies to benefit the good of all.