Don’t Knock Green Technology – It Might Just Save Us Yet
If there’s one thing the anti-green lobby and the deep greens agree on, it’s that green technology will not make a significant difference to carbon emissions. They both add together performance of current technology and project it into the future to show it will never meet carbon reduction targets.
Of course what they’re both forgetting – conveniently – is that immature technology progresses in leaps and bounds as rising demand drives further innovation (the famous s-curves). Here’s just a selection of articles from the latest edition of Green Futures:
- Passive tracking system for solar panels increases efficiency by 10%;
- Artificial photosynthesis technology improves solar panel efficiency by a factor of 5 (that’s five times more electricity out for the same amount of sunlight);
- Robot PV panel fitters slashes cost of installation;
- Stirling engine development opens way to extract electricity from power station chimneys;
- New bladeless wind turbine is more than twice as efficient as a bladed turbine at about two thirds the price.
These announcements alone, if they come to the market at scale, could revolutionise the way we generate energy. Given the way renewables are taking chunks out of the fossil fuel share of the market already and that investment in renewable technology is at an all time high despite the economic stagnation, this revolution could happen sooner rather than later.
So I would advise against getting dragged along with the lazy, politically motivated techno-pessimists – many of whom either want to risk frying the planet for free market ideals, or sit on a pedestal in a hair shirt and blame others for ‘not listening.’ ‘Technology may be our only hope – and is now showing signs of delivering – so lets keep driving investment and demand forward.
The future is bright, let’s engineer it!