We close 2017 on a positive note with a photo essay on sustainable technology. This visual journey illustrates some of the technical feats, which we now take for granted, that are present all around us to increase our quality of life and make our planet healthier. We examine solar and wind tech that increasingly powers our cities; hydrogen cars that quietly roam our streets; the ‘new normal’ electric cars; the super-efficient and quiet jet engines of modern planes; and the rise of green, smart buildings all around the globe. We hope you enjoy the short journey!
Wind and Solar: Working in Concert to Light our Lives
A common sight when we take road trips, wind turbines and solar panels now produce 10% of the electricity that powers American cities. This is sustainable electricity. Advancements in solar and wind technology enable utilities around the world to incorporate them with ease into their energy mix. Working together to supply clean power, the sun and wind will continue to play an increasing role in making our cities greener in the coming years by supplying clean power centrally to utilities and locally to homes and buildings.
Wind turbines and solar panels supply electricity to millions of people around the world every day.
Hydrogen: Nature’s Most Energetic Element Quietly Roams Our Streets
It has been a humble entry into the transportation industry for an element that is anything but humble. After all, hydrogen is the universe’s most abundant and most energetic element by a wide margin. Yet, most of us are unaware that sustainable zero-emissions cars powered by hydrogen, such as the Toyota Mirai, already roam the streets of cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. For decades, hydrogen transportation was the stuff of rocket science (left to power the space program), until technology made it possible to manufacture fuel cells for everyday cars. Hydrogen technologies, such as Hydrogen 2.0, promise to make the future of clean and abundant hydrogen even brighter.
The Toyota Mirai has been sold in California since 2015. Most automakers now have a hydrogen car in their product mix for the coming years.
Electric Cars: A New Normal Deemed Impossible Just a Decade Ago
Only a decade ago, it was widely believed that electric cars were destined to be a small niche. Popular opinion at the time was that the electric motor could not compete with the mighty petrol engine when it comes to the potency needed to move a big machine like a car. Fast forward to today where industry publication Electrek puts our new normal in automobiles into perspective, “Once seen as a fad by industry watchers and auto executives, most would now admit that the rise of electric cars seems inevitable. Countries like Norway, where electric cars recently reached 42% of total new car sales, show that it is the future.”
Electric cars are taking over an industry that once believed electric motors had no future.
The Jet Engine: Quiet Sustainability Taking You Places
Over the past seven years, planes have been getting more quiet and efficient thanks to technological breakthroughs in jet engines. The jet engines of nearly all new commercial aircraft from Boeing and Airbus are based on significant advancements in turbofan technology that make better use of the air around engines to significantly improve fuel efficiency. This technology also makes for quieter planes compared to previous generations of jet engines. Next time you board a plane, check out the fat engines under the wing of your aircraft that make your flight more quiet and sustainable than ever before.
Since the beginning of the decade, more efficient jet engines, which can easily be recognized for their ‘fat’ size, power commercial airplanes.
Smart Buildings: On the Rise Everywhere
New materials and design approaches also play a role when it comes to buildings. Our cities are becoming cleaner and more aesthetic with the rise of beautifully designed buildings that generate their own power using the elements that surround them. Designs that incorporate wind mills, solar panels, natural openings to let air in and smart technology that changes the shape of the building depending on local conditions are now commonplace. The glass box, power-hungry, high-rise designs of the past are being superseded by buildings that are sustainable, friendly to those inside, and adapt to the conditions around them. These new ‘smart’ buildings, sprouting around the world, are key to the rise of sustainable, livable cities that we need and love.
Sustainable urban designs make cities green and beautiful.
As the Hydrogen 2.0 ecosystem gains momentum, we’ll be sharing our views and insights on the new Hydrogen 2.0 Economy. We also update our blog every week with insightful and current knowledge in this growing energy field.