Green Technologies and Sustainability: Where do They Meet?
The present production and consumption model is taking its environmental toll on the planet. That’s why green technologies are ever more relevant.
In fact, it’s estimated that in 2030 we will need 60% more energy for our daily life than we need today (Lagos, n.d.).
This is an issue, especially because energy generation is closely related to climate change (Greenpeace, 2019).
In this scenario, the so-called Green IT offers a solution because it deals with the design of devices minimizing environmental impact (Lagos, n.d.). The goal is to produce more with less. Therefore, it must exhibit certain features:
– Consume less energy.
– Promote the reduction of toxic elements.
– Be linked to information resources to improve the work with environmental impact.
Below we will discuss the most relevant aspects of green technologies and will give examples of their uses.
How are green technologies used today?
USA, Canada, China and Germany have patented devices produced with the concept of green technologies (Green Tech BD, 2020).
Generation, transmission and distribution of energy are the most developed areas. For example, since 1990, Germany has promoted the generation of renewable energies. According to one of their projects, in 2050, 80% of their energy provision will come from renewable resources (Germany Today, n.d.).
At the same time, Iberdrola is installing a maritime aeolic park in the Baltic Sea. This park satisfies the energetic consumption of 350,000 homes (Monforte, 2018).
The challenges of green technologies
Globally, not many patents have been registered to capture, store, sequester or eliminate greenhouse gases (Green Tech DB, 2020).
Latin America might contribute greatly to the development of green technologies because it is the most important producer of ecosystem services and the number 1 net exporter of food in the world (Wellenstein, Rozenberg and Ijjasz, 2020).
Nonetheless, the region must find and promote new opportunities and markets for green growth and the technological development.
Real applications of green technologies in the public sector
States are important drivers and investors in green technologysolutions. These are three relevant initiatives in this field:
Mega green energy highway in the United Kingdom
Presently, onshore and offshore wind farms for the electricity generation are a reality in the United Kingdom (Iberdrola, n.d.). In this region of the world, however, they are ready to move a step forward.
Iberdrola will install a submarine cable that will operate as a renewable electric energy highway between Scotland and England (Ojea, 2020).
The highway will benefit close to 4 million homes and will provide hundreds of green jobs during its construction and operation.
Embassies monitoring the quality of the air
Around 300 US embassies in several countries are monitoring the quality of the air (AirNow, n.d.). They do this with a sensor called AirNow DOS that informs about the degree of environmental contamination.
This information is disseminated with a map, and citizens can make decisions based on it. For example, they can avoid outdoor exercise if the quality of the air is not good.
Smart traffic lights in Pittsburg
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg is making a green technology experiment. They have installed smart traffic lights in several city intersections. These lights detect the circulating traffic.
These devices reduce the time cars must wait at the red light by 40%. Gas emissions have also been reduced by 26%. This helps to combat global warming (Nadal, 2018).
Green technologies in daily life
The implementation of green technologies is not exclusive to the public sector. Some businesses offer solutions to people, making daily life more sustainable.
These are two relevant initiatives:
1. Drones to monitor wind farms
Turbines on these farms are always exposed to damaging effects due to the climate. Drones like the Arachnocopter (used by Iberdrola), however, can monitor big land extensions (We love Renewables, n.d.).
The drone processes and broadcasts digitize maps in real time. Technicians can verify flaws using their telephones.
2. Automation at home
Automation is one of the green technologies allowing homes to reach energy efficiency (Aparicio, 2020). It is easy to use. No complex installation is needed. Basically, you just have to download an application on your mobile phone and to place sensors in the house to connect the devices to the Internet.
Some functions and devices you can automate are:
- Heating and cooling systems.
- Movement sensors to turn lights on and off.
- Controls to light or turn off appliances.
- Rolling blinds up and down to take advantage of sunlight.
The future of green technologies
The better you can handle nature, the better you can handle human health. The green technologies has become even more relevant due to the crisis caused by Coronavirus.
UN (2020) recommended that social and economic recovery should be centered in harmless-for-the-climate policies and technologies.
UN stressed that clean technologies offer the possibility of creating more jobs and this has a positive impact on economy.
The generation of clean energy promotes local employment and democratizes access to the electric network.
Any initiative will have a stronger impact if it is supported by solid governmental policies.
The world at large has an opportunity for change. It is possible to rethink a future in which finances and sustainability work together, where sustainable employment, green growth and a more ecological life are fostered.
In order to reach this goal, all stakeholders must get involved. It’s time to make part of change.
Bibliography:AirNow (n.d). AirNow State Department. Retrieved from link/
Aparicio, L. (February 19, 2020). My House: A Smart Place? El País. Retrieved from
Greenpeace. (July 3, 2019). Why Changing Energy to Save Climate? Retrieved from link
Green Tech DB. (n.d.). [Green Technologies Patent Map]. (December 9, 2020) Retrieved from link
Iberdrola. (n.d). We are the First 100% Renewable Energy in the United Kingdom. Retrieved from link
Germany Today. (n.d.). The Energy Transition. Retrieved from link
Lagos, K. (n.d.). Green Technology. Universidad Ecotec. Retrieved from link
Monforte, C. (October 29, 2018). Iberdrola Gets Stronger in Germany with Investments of 2,500 Million in Offshore Wind Farms. El País. Retrieved from link
Nadal, V. (December 31, 2018). Good Bye to the Morning Jam: Smart Traffic Lights Watching and Learning from it. El País. Retrieved from: link
Ojea, L. (November 16, 2020). Iberdrola will Install a Large Submarine Cable to Connect Scotland and England. El Español. Retrieved from: link
UN. (June 22, 2020). Support to Green Recovery through Climate Technologies. Retrieved from: link