The Green Tech Revolution
Here is the undeniable truth: large companies are investing in green technologies because their image is improved, they save capital and their productivity improves. One such example is Anglo American, which invested $1.6 million in social projects and $4 million more in environmental protection projects. During the same period, the company was able to recycle and reuse 83% of water consumed in its production process.
Another example is the wood panel company, Masisa, whose goal is to produce more with less. Since implementing improvements in 2009, the use of resin per cubic meter of panels produced fell by 10.5%. The company also reduced its consumption of water by 16%. All of the money saved by “green” production practices is returned to the employees in the form of profit sharing.
Throughout 2009, Intel Corporation has invested $10 million into five companies with a focus on green tech: Powevation, Convey Computer, Grid Net, Icontrol and C Power. The investments director of Intel Capital, Steve Eichenlaub, stated that the company is interested in investing in Li-ion battery or even in hybrid electric cars.
Following this trend of investments is the automobile sector. Companies like Tesla Motors, Mercedes, Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford are already investing in hybrid electric cars and expressed their interest in the new trend that has been rapidly growing. They have already started building their own models with this hybrid technology.
According to the BCG (Boston Consulting Group), electrified vehicles will occupy half of the global auto market by 2030. There are three factors that will shape the changeover, which BCG expects to play out over three phases and about a dozen years: technology investments, regulatory mandates, and consumer cost of ownership. Currently, the top selling hybrid electric car is the Toyota Prius, which has sold 1.6 million cars, representing 40.08% of the market share of all hybrids sold in the U.S.
Tesla Motors also launched their new model, “Roadster,” which is able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds. Many enthusiasts have already shown interest in acquiring this model as it uses an electric battery and is faster than any street legal production car.
Besides hybrid cars, there are many burgeoning technologies that have the potential to help revolutionize our planet. Vertical farms grow plants hydroponically in large, multistory buildings under artificial light (without soil). Crops can be stacked on top of each other and grow faster than those using traditional farming methods.
Turbines located just off the coast can generate renewable energy. Cape Wind is the first company offshore wind array on the U.S. coast. Many countries have successful projects with this technology, including a wind farm in Scotland and floating turbines off the coast of Fukushima.
SpaceX has been trying to reuse rockets as they are very expensive, and is working on projects to achieve this goal. In March of 2017, SpaceX became the first to re-launch and successfully land the first stage of an orbital rocket.
The falling cost of solar power has made it far more economical for the average homeowner. The cost of the energy has fallen from around $150 per watt in 1970 to less than 0.55 cents a watt today.
According to The Solar Foundation, not only is energy less expensive but more than 35.000 solar jobs were created in 2015, bringing the U.S. solar workforce total to nearly 209.000. In fact, employment in solar has grown 123% since 2010, adding approximately 115,000 well-paying jobs. The Solar Foundation findings show that one out of every 83 new jobs created in the U.S. over the last 12 months was in the solar industry — 1.2% of all new jobs.
Along with the creation of jobs and stronger economies through technological advancement and innovation, in the near future, sustainable technology will solve most of the environmental problems that humans have created. It is time to choose whether we want to be part of this new revolution and be pioneers of our own revolution or simply bow to consumerism, influenced by social media and large masses of people.
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