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With substantial numbers in the present and more coming up in the future, current cleantech trends show continued growth that will bring innovative solutions to our daily lives. Expect to see changes and innovation in the field of transportation and energy that will affect nearly every facet of daily life.
According to a Bloomberg forecast, “by 2040, zero-emission energy sources will make up 60% of installed capacity. Wind and solar will account for 64% of the 8.6 TW of new power generating capacity added worldwide over the next 25 years, and for almost 60% of the %11.4 trillion invested.” That’s a substantial amount of growth, especially considering that the G-20 countries’ clean energy production has grown seventy-three percent in the past five years.
We have put together a list of some of the most recent trends in the fields.
Just a few weeks ago Mercedes unveiled the first fully-electric heavy-duty transport truck. It is the first electric vehicle of its kind with a hauling capacity of 26 tons and produces much less noise compared with its diesel counterparts. The project is still in its early stages; however, once the truck is ready for market, the Urban eTruck will have a 200 kilometer range, which is little more than 124 miles.
Potentially, this innovation can bring new opportunities and standards for clean transportation within cities, especially for companies and agencies working to lessen emissions in the urban environment. The project still has some years ahead of it, though. The truck is expected to start customer trials next year and according to Canadian Manufacturing, “Mercedes hopes to have the technology ready for city streets worldwide by early next decade.”
Within the United States, Tesla is also working on new electric transportation innovations. According to Canadian Manufacturing, Tesla is working on “multiple new vehicles including heavy trucks and buses that could be unveiled as early as next year.” In addition, Musk recently announced his second “master plan.”. In Elon’s own shortened version he says:
“Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it.”
In addition to moving beyond the original “low volume” market model, Tesla is ramping up production and innovation. He plans to expand electric energy infrastructures to “achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn.” Should Tesla succeed in bringing new widely available modes of transportation and energy use to the urban environment in a pervasive way, it will definitely change the urban landscape in the long term.
According to Next 10’s California Green Innovation Index, “solar generation and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption rates have increased 1,378 percent in just five years for solar generation, and 244 percent in two years for ZEV registrations.” While this demonstrates another set of significant numbers in sustainability, California is also the fourth-most energy productive economy in the world right now.
There are also energy innovations occurring all over the country. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have developed an artificial leaf that converts carbon dioxide directly into hydrocarbon fuel. By taking the sun’s energy, the artificial leaf mimics photosynthesis. If successful, this innovation could reduce carbon emissions. Scientist Salehi-Khojin “thinks a prototype could be ready in about five years” and “envisions putting it in solar farms next to power plants so it could recycle carbon dioxide from the plant, then the plant could use the power it generates.”
With all these new innovations, the future of cleantech will continue to surprise and excite. Should you have any other exciting news or would like more information about cleantech trends, please reach out.
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