Prof. Jaclyn Minor
Green Technology, sustainability for future energy.
We live in a world that’s becoming more urbanized. There are more cars, factories, housing, etc. that requires energy. The current ways we generate energy can eventually hurt our environment. Natural resources for energy surround us, but we need the technology to harvest it. Green technology is that answer. This paper will discuss what it is, how it works and the future it holds.
What is green technology or cleantech?
“Definition: Any technology that is environmentally friendlier than a comparable existing technology; also called green technology. Example: Solar power is an example of cleantech.” (Cleantech, dictionary.com)
Why is this technology important?
“Sustainability is the capacity to endure, and the capacity for humanity to endure is being tested at a global scale. Population is exploding and becoming increasingly urbanized. It took more than 10,000 generations for the planet to reach two billion humans in the middle of the last century.
But someone born at the end of World War II has already seen the population grow to 6.6 billion. If that person lives to be 100 and the pace of urbanization continues, the population is expected to be 9 billion at that person's death.” (Malin, C, 2010) We need to find a better way to sustain life without doing permanent damage to the environment around us.
How is “green technology” in regards to sustainable energy helping?
“Solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy, tidal energy, sustainable bioenergy, and other renewable resources will define sustainable places in the future.” (Malin, C, 2010)
Without technology, we wouldn’t know how to harness these natural resources we have available to us. It’s not enough to know that it’s available, we have to know how to use it to benefit us. There are many companies out there focused on obtaining this information to better our communities and ultimately, the world around us. Some examples of how technology has assisted in this is solar panels, windmills in Palm Springs, CA and bioenergy. Bioenergy can be classified according to either the fuel or the type of technology used to generate the electricity. Examples of this from an Australian NSW Energy website are:
Bioenergy type | Examples |
Methane gas | Landfills and sewage treatment plants |
Wet wastes | Abattoirs, feedlots and food processing |
Dry agricultural by-products | Sugar cane waste |
Municipal mixed wastes | Household garbage and prunings with recyclables removed |
Forestry by-products | Remnant material from existing sawmills and managed forestry operation |
This website http://www.trade.nsw.gov.au/energy/sustainable/renewable/bioenergy goes on to explain how with bioenergy technology, “every unit of energy sourced from biomass replaces one that would otherwise be derived from coal-fired power (producing harmful greenhouse gas emissions). All managed sources of bioenergy will result in a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, if they replace coal-fired generation. In the case of plantation timbers or crops (like sugar cane), the cycle of growing, harvesting and energy production does not produce or absorb any additional carbon. Carbon stored in the crop is released at harvest, then reabsorbed by the next crop