Clean technology lies where science, innovation, and business meet.
Although at first glance you might think that we are talking about advancements in the soap industry, clean technology or “cleantech” is instead one of the most important things happening on this planet right now, helping to reduce the effects of climate change and build a more sustainable future.
What is clean technology?
Clean technology is any innovation or business that is making the world a little bit greener. By “greener” we are referring to efforts that take care of the planet we live on so that it is more inhabitable both today and for future generations.
While there are many different players in cleantech, the goals of clean technology as a whole can be narrowed down into a handful of specific categories. These include improved air and water quality, reduced pollution levels, and better use of resources through recycling, energy-efficiency improvements, and waste reduction.
Types of Clean Technologies
Although some products and services that specifically reduce greenhouse gasses may be referred to as “climate” technologies (such as carbon capture and reforestation), “clean technologies” is a broader umbrella term that can describe any innovation to build a more sustainable future.
While the possibilities are infinite, below, we’ll look at some of the most prevalent and important new clean technology examples that can be seen in modern homes, downtown office buildings, America’s farmlands, and everywhere else around the globe.
Cleantech is driven by innovations in green, clean, and renewable energies such as solar, hydropower, wind, tidal, geothermal, and more to power the world of tomorrow. In addition to developing more efficient ways to harness natural resources, clean tech improvements are helping to make green power manufacturing, adoption, and generation more sustainable and affordable for end users.
At Palmetto, we are incredibly passionate about solar energy's health and environmental benefits, which is why we have been in the cleantech industry since 2011. Even with many years of experience helping homeowners and solar businesses create a greener future together, we are still well aware that our work is only getting started.
As transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, implementing clean technology into how people and things move around is a high-priority endeavor that has gained significant momentum in the early 2020s.
There are many reasons why electric vehicles are greener than gas-powered cars and trucks, including a direct reduction in tailpipe emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels. When combined with renewable energy, EV charging with solar power (or another emission-free source of electricity) can be considered a match made in cleantech heaven.
With the typical gas-powered vehicle sending 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, the switch to electric transportation can represent one of modern society's most significant clean technology shifts.
In addition to the wide range of new EV models hitting the road in recent years, electric transportation innovations are also improving the efficiency of vehicular battery storage, prolonging driving range, and helping to develop an international network of convenient and reliable EV charging stations.
Water and Energy Efficiency Improvements
For many cleantech innovations, using less is the key to saving more. When looking at the demand for water and energy resources next to dwindling supplies, a continued increase in global consumption is only sustainable with thoughtful changes being developed and implemented.
Thankfully, water use reduction and energy efficiency improvements are constantly tested at scale, and many people can implement such changes in nearly every room of a home or building. From your low-flow toilet to the light bulbs in your ceiling and the water heating system in your basement, energy efficiency improvements are among the best “selling points” for today's latest appliances and home products.
By choosing to create an energy-efficient home, you can simultaneously reduce your environmental impact while also saving money on your monthly utility bills. To find and track opportunities for energy efficiency improvements on your property, you can start by installing a home energy monitor and/or a smart thermostat for more centralized control of your efforts.
Recycling, Waste Reduction, and Environmental Remediation
Finally, recycling, waste reduction, and environmental remediation are three pillars of clean technology that can prevent more problems from developing later in the future.
Spanning many different industries, recycling can be performed both by individuals and organizations to reduce the necessity of landfill space and replace the consumption of new resources. Even in a greener world, solar panel recycling and the strategic reuse of other renewable resources and energy materials (like wind turbines) are necessary to keep clean technology as sustainable as possible.
While attempting to address damages that have already been done, environmental remediation products and services can improve air, water, and soil quality by removing harmful chemicals, pollutants, and other toxic materials. Although remediation efforts require significant research and funding, these cleantech products are vital in helping lessen the effects of oil spills, contaminated soil, and other damaged environmental sites.
Solar Energy & Clean Technology
With average project costs plummeting over the past 15 years, going solar is one of the most effective ways to adopt cleantech in your everyday life. Today, there are hundreds of products, services, and incentives, such as the solar investment tax credit, designed to make solar energy more affordable and easy to access – including continuous improvements that make the industry incredibly exciting to be a part of.
Beyond your average, everyday solar panel efficiency improvement, many other related cleantech innovations drive solar energy forward. Here are a few of our favorite examples:
- Tracking software - Digital interfaces like the Palmetto App allow you to see your solar production, consumption, and energy cost savings all on your smartphone in real-time.
- Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) - BIPVs are “half building materials and half solar panels,” including thin-film solar shingles, solar siding, or solar carports, which are perfect for charging your EV.
- Solar panel cleaning robots - Bringing a whole new meaning to the term “cleantech,” a few companies have developed smart robots that essentially act as Roombas for solar panels, helping to keep large installations running as efficiently as possible.
Experience the benefits of cleantech with a solar energy system from Palmetto.
Whether you are in it for the money or the environmental benefits, going solar is one of the best ways that you can ride the cleantech wave into a more sustainable future. To get started, Palmetto is here to help you find out how much you can save with solar.