How the Future of the Cleantech Industry Look Like

StartUp City | Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal, as well as low-carbon fuels, are used in clean technology, as are water conservation and recycling technologies, waste management methods, and environmentally sustainable buildings and transportation.

Fremont, CA : Resources, both renewable and nonrenewable, are depleting at an alarming rate. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2025, approximately 1.8 billion people will lack access to safe drinking water. Peak coal extraction is expected to occur between 2025 and 2048, and our existing oil reserves will only be sufficient to satisfy global demand for the next 46.2 years, based on current consumption.

At the current pace, two Earths would be needed by 2030 to maintain our current way of life. Coal mining, offshore drilling, and other fossil fuel production schemes are causing exponential biodiversity destruction and habitat depletion, as well as overexploitation, deforestation, species extinction, and climate change, to name a few devastation-inducing effects.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution

 

However, there are several bright spots that shine through. People have entered a new era of a technological transition that is radically altering the way they live their lives; this revolution is known as Cleantech.

Although there is no single agreed definition, the term Cleantech refers to technologies that minimize pollution, improve the atmosphere, and reduce natural resource use, and it includes a variety of sectors such as the circular economy, renewable energy, and smart cities.

Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal, as well as low-carbon fuels, are used in clean technology, as are water conservation and recycling technologies, waste management methods, and environmentally sustainable buildings and transportation.

The Challenges

The Cleantech industry has experienced huge changes over the last decade, and the journey has not been without setbacks. Many Cleantech stock indices have underperformed in recent years, and many Cleantech companies have exited the market.

The Cleantech industry faces a range of challenges, ranging from the major capital investments that Cleantech projects often require to get off the ground (as they typically rely heavily on hardware to develop their products) to understand how to recycle and discard solar panels at the end of their existence.

According to the Energy Progress Report, modern renewable energy sources currently generate just 9.6 percent of energy. Approximately 1 billion people – or about 13 percent of the world's population – are without electricity, with nearly 87 percent of those without electricity living in rural areas. Nearly 4 million people die every year because they do not have any access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking.

The Positive Signs

This is where Cleantech enters the picture. Despite the uncertainties, Cleantech will be a $4 trillion (USD) market over the next two years. Innovative cleantech companies must work together with governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to solve the world's energy and environmental crises. Already, steps are being taken in that direction. The EU, for example, requires 55 percent of all plastic to be recycled by 2030 and member countries to reduce their use of plastic bags per person from 90 per year to 40 by 2026.

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