Before the year 2020 ravelled a pandemic over us, the world was already battling an environmental crisis that manifested years ago. The Paris Agreement pushed for setting a goal of reducing carbon emissions as an effort to save the environment.
There have been big conglomerates and organisations that have set carbon-negative goals that are achievable in the next 10 years, Microsoft is one of them. One key factor to achieve this goal is technology- clean energy technology.
Amazon has also pledged to go carbon neutral by 2040. Very recently, the e-commerce giant has launched a $2 billion venture capital fund that is aimed at developing technology which helps in sustainable development and lowers the impact of climate change.
Being an e-commerce company, Amazon records heavy usage of manufacturing and transportation which are not very environmentally friendly services. With this Climate Pledge fund, the company plans to discover and invest in green technology companies especially for transportation and logistics, energy, storage and utilisation, manufacturing and materials, and food and agriculture.
Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos announced a fund of a whopping amount of $10 billion for activists, scientists, and other parties that are trying to save the environment. Amazon CEO took to Instagram to share his reason behind doing so.
What is clean energy technology?
Cleantech is a way of extracting energy from natural resources and reducing environmental damage when developing a product or giving service. The energy produced is extracted from renewable sources such as wind, solar, rain, waves, etc.
Clean technology is how these sustainable energies help in giving efficient results without harming the environment. Recycling, information technology, green transportation, green chemistry are examples of clean technology.
Electric mobility or electric vehicles have proven to be extremely effective in terms of carbon reduction and also usability. For the transportation industry, EVs or a hybrid update would work wonders in meeting carbon-negative goals.
Research on such technologies is still ongoing and there can be more innovations expected in the future. The pandemic, however, has further pressed on the need to move to renewable technologies.
What effect will the pandemic have on the future of clean technology?
Quite a few stories floated around how the ‘world is healing’ now that humans are in a lockdown. The air seemed cleaner, sea animals made it close to the shore, more green patches grew, and so on. While these may not be credible stories, the rationale behind them is true. With humans at home, there are no factories emitting harmful gases and liquids and there are no vehicles on the road. While the pandemic has proven to be great for the environment, it might also be a big push for the clean technology industry.
In the short term, like all other industries, cleantech will also see a major loss. A lot of expansion projects of wind and solar panels have been halted in 2020 which will impact the growth of the industry. Even small project orders have been stopped for solar panels due to social distancing measures not allowing anyone on-premises. Sales will also take a hit as the investment will be slow and in small amounts. The renewable energy industry is definitely going to take a hit due to the pandemic as it is on the expensive side.
However, the industries that are going to pull through after the pandemic are the ones that give essential products or services. A lot of businesses have changed the offerings to suit the new demands that the pandemic has brought in. For clean technology, the core reasons for its existence are very strong and cater to the survival of the world. Hence, it will not be a problem for this industry to continue being relevant even after the pandemic. In fact, it might see a bigger surge in demand in the long term as businesses will want to invest in greener options.
Green technology already contributes significantly to the economy of a country and the market has grown more competitive in the past few years. Despite a pandemic cutting down funds, this is one sector that will emerge victorious as it continues to remain relevant and much needed.
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