The field of technology is never stagnant. Everyday there is at least one invention somewhere in the world that can surprise you. This holds true in the area of sustainable solutions as well. With a growing emphasis on sustainable technology, the technology landscape is brimming with green inventions.
The World Economic Forum has recognised 10 emerging technologies that offer sustainable solutions. Each of these innovations not only work to save the planet but also helps in making our lives better. Take for example, the quantum computer that uses qubits to enable more processing power, while using a lot less energy compared to normal computers. Other inventions includes green cars that use hydrogen fuel cells to function. The result is zero carbon emissions and unlimited range.
The advent of such inventions will lead our progress. And, trends seem to be more than just a fad. The 2012 Global Green R&D report found that private investments in clean technology and green economic and commercial solutions reached $3.6tn for the period 2007-2012. Even the World Intellectual Property Organization states reports a rise in the number of patents filed in the area of clean technology.
Role of AI in creating a greener planet
Artificial intelligence is now gaining prominence in business communities in every country. And, it is certainly doing wonders in the area of sustainable technology. The AI-guided autonomous vehicle is touted to be the best solution to increasing vehicular emissions. This invention can substantially reduce greenhouse gases, promote eco-driving algorithms, and programmed platooning of cars.
AI can effectively be used in energy grids. It can enhance the predictability of demand and supply for renewables across a distributed grid, improve energy storage, assist in the reliability and integration of renewables, enable dynamic pricing and trading, and create market incentives.
AI-augmented agriculture involves automated data collection, decision-making and corrective actions via robotics to allow early detection of crop diseases and issues, to provide timed nutrition to livestock, and generally to optimise agricultural inputs and returns based on supply and demand.
Use of sustainable technology in agriculture
There have been many interesting green innovations in the field of agriculture. Certain companies are using sensors to detect moisture in the soil and help farmers create irrigation systems for crops. Practices such as vertical farming and precision farming work on the same principle of using minimum natural resources such as soil and water and growing as many crops as possible.
Israel’s irrigation system is considered to be one of the best practices for sustainable agriculture. Some of the key features are drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers, computer assisted irrigation management, soil and plant moisture sensors, and automatic operation of the system when needed.
A brief about best practices in green cities
Vancouver is counted in one of the most sustainable cities in the world. All of us can certainly learn a lesson or two from the way they go about prioritising sustainability. Vancouver has adopted the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan through which it aims to work on many sustainable solutions to improve the overall quality of life. Initiatives such as a ban on food waste have led to over 40 percent reduction in food waste disposal. They have also come up with an award-winning program called ‘Empower Me’ that promotes energy conservation to all Vancouverians. These are just few of the initiatives they have undertaken to fulfill their goals of zero carbon, zero-waste, and healthy ecosystems.
Technology is continuously shaping the world as we know it. And, we are still far away from creating a green planet. Creating innovative sustainable technology is no easy task (we know!), however, we need more such innovation if we all want to live in a greener planet. All of us want to breathe cleaner air and live in a cleaner environment. We will need consistent and persistent efforts in this direction to not just save the present but also the future from the harmful effects of global warming.