Green technology in 2021: What UK businesses should know

Green technology is an umbrella term that refers to the use of science and technology to create products or services which are environmentally friendly. Many techniques fall under this term, such as environmental monitoring, green chemistry, and clean energy production.

Examples of green technology include:

1. Clean water

Green technologies can be employed to remove salt from seawater or purify dirty water to increase the availability of clean drinking water.

2. Recycling and food waste management

Recycled materials can be used for producing fuel and plastics. Wasted food can be valorised and be converted into fertilisers or power.

3. Clean air

Green-tech is used to purify the air by minimising carbon emissions released into the air by manufacturing units.

4. Clean energy

Green technologies can be used in processes that help conserve energy—wind, solar, and hydroelectric dams. They do not produce fossil fuel waste by-products and can power a utility power plant or home.

In simple words, green technology includes all alternative fuels and technologies which are less harmful to the environment than fossil fuels. While the concept has only become increasingly popular now, its existence dates back to the early 19th century.

Back then, food manufacturers sought to reduce the negative environmental externalities resulting from their production processes and create fewer waste by-products. As we advance, green technology will play a crucial part in tackling climate change.

Green innovators have long been petitioning for more support in this regard, and the UK government has finally listened.

Turning green ideas into "clean, green technologies" to eliminate carbon emissions

Under the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, the government will provide over £90 million in funding for next-generation green technology ventures.

Focusing on energy storage, biomass production and floating offshore wind, these ventures will create significant demand for highly skilled employees across the UK while reducing the costs of deploying green technology at scale.

The UK’s goal is to eradicate its contribution to climate change by 2050, and becoming a leader in green technology is a big part of that, which this £92 million investment will power.

Energy storage

£68 million out of the total allocated amount will go towards developing energy storage technologies—specifically, into commercialising a unique storage facility with the capability of storing the energy from solar panels and wind turbines for up to months or even years until it is required.

Given that renewable energy supply depends on the weather and is thus not always reliable, storage systems are vital in promoting the more widespread adoption of renewable energy.

In addition, the storage facility, when developed, will be an essential component of the plan to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.

Biomass production

£4 million will be allocated to the production of sustainably sourced biomass. Biomass, derived from organic materials, is a good substitute for fossil fuels and can also be applied to green energy production.

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The UK’s Climate Change Committee, in fact, has identified sustainable biomass as a critical component of achieving long-term climate goals.

The investment will be used to procure more sustainably sourced feedstocks and cultivate more low-cost, low-maintenance feed crops devoted to green energy production. This will also increase yields and profitability, help local economies and open up new jobs in rural areas.

Floating offshore turbines

The remaining £20 million will be used to unlock the potential of floating offshore wind technology around the coast of the UK.

Floating turbines allow for a much broader scope than turbines that need to be embedded in the seafloor, as they can harness the power of wind further out to see where the wind is much stronger and more consistent.

In this regard, possibilities for technological innovation include more substantial moorings and foundations to hold the turbine in place when the waters are choppy, as well as dynamic cable systems that support high voltage.

Investment in offshore turbines is a significant step forward in the government’s mission to power every home in the UK with wind power by 2030.

Plan your green technology investment strategy

If you are an entrepreneur with ideas for any of these three initiatives, you can apply to receive government funding. While strategising your green tech investment, please make sure the opportunity aligns with your personal and environmental interests.

Also, make sure you do not fall into a trap known as greenwashing, where a company or service claims to be green but, in reality, is not. Take the time to do your research and discuss within your network in case of any doubts regarding a technology.

Speaking of food waste management

As the UK is committed to cutting down food waste by 50% by 2030, what steps we take to achieve this goal is important. First, of course, every entrepreneur in various industries will have to make a conscious effort to reduce food waste.

Fortunately, with the help of the right technology or equipment, they can do their bit to curb unnecessary wastage, minimise food waste going to landfill and even reduce cost savings.

If your business is looking to implement a process to combat food waste, get in touch with us to help you.

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Turning food waste into reliable sources of revenue generation.

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