Technological Innovations Shaping Sustainability

Applied Tech Review | Wednesday, April 07, 2021

LED lights alone would cut energy demand by 40 percent by 2030, saving 26 billion dollars in today's energy prices.

FREMONT, CA: Technology is driving the change in sustainability at the right places and remains at the forefront of global discussions. Below are enlisted the top technological developments that will shape sustainability.

Public Electric Transport

Not only do individual car owners have more access to Electric Vehicles (EVs) than ever before—there are 160 electric and hybrid vehicle models available today—but municipalities are also taking note. Every day, 300,000 electric buses rumble along China's city streets. Their widespread use in China, which is both an economic and a policy win, will entice European cities to follow suit. Although the upfront battery costs for these eBuses are higher, their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is lower due to their independence from expensive diesel. Local particulates, such as SOx, NOx, and CO2, are also eliminated, both of which are major problems in most cities today.

The Quality of LED Lighting

LED lighting is rapidly replacing conventional incandescent bulbs in American homes, with an estimated market share of 84 percent by 2030.  LED lights alone would cut energy demand by 40 percent by 2030, saving 26 billion dollars in today's energy prices. These are significant cost savings, but the Department of Energy estimates that increased investment in LED lights will save the United States an additional 20 percent in energy.

Plastic Recycling

Every year, 260 million tons of plastic waste are generated worldwide, but only 16 percent of it is recycled. The plastics industry has the opportunity to transition away from a ‘take, make, and dispose’ business model and toward a circular model, which seeks to reduce waste across sectors while offering economic, social, and environmental benefits. Pyrolysis, which utilizes heat and the absence of oxygen to turn plastic waste back into liquid feedstock, is one promising circular method. The economic and environmental benefits are substantial, with a recycling-based profit pool projected to be worth 55 billion dollars by the next decade.

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