Tech for good: greentech in 2022
If you’re a Babel blog regular, you’ll have seen that at the end of last year I predicted 2022 will see a surge in technological innovations aimed at battling climate change, and more exploration into how existing technologies can achieve greener use cases.
The catalyst behind this investment is clear, with COP26 dominating the news for much of October and November and some frightening statistics already hitting the headlines this year, only two weeks in. On the day I’m writing this – Friday 14th January – Londoners have been told to avoid strenuous physical activity outside due to the highest levels of pollution for nearly three years.
As our collective consciousness evolves and we strive to curb our environmental impact as consumers, it’s important that the technology industry also does all it can to help hit climate targets. So, what are the top greentech developments that we should be keeping an eye on this year?
The electric vehicle evolution
You can’t talk about greentech without mentioning electric vehicles (EVs) and, if CES is anything to go by, this is set to be an exciting year for them. From Chevrolet’s Silverado EV announcement to Sony’s Vision-S 02 SUV Concept launch, this year’s event showed that we’re entering an exciting period for EV technology. With advancements in EV technology extending the achievable ranges from a single charge, the number of charge points growing around the country and – some – prices dropping, EVs should continue to become much more accessible over the next few years.
Harnessing hydrogen power
Other exciting developments will likely be seen within the use of hydrogen power. We are already taking steps in the right direction, with energy operators recently announcing that they will be able to blend 20% of hydrogen fuel into the regular gas grid from 2023. This would have an effect equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars off the UK’s roads.
The government recently announced a £5 million fund to support the development of new technologies that will generate hydrogen from biomass and waste. However, there is still appetite for more support, with energy operators pushing for the government to increase its target for the amount of hydrogen that should be produced in the UK this decade. At Babel we’ll be keeping a close eye on where this investment and appetite for new development takes us as we continue our work with hydrogen fuel cell company, GenCell.
5G connectivity use cases
Away from direct greentech developments, there are already rumblings about the potential impact of 5G on climate targets. Not only does 5G consume less energy than its predecessors, it is also more efficient, which is vital as mobile traffic continues to grow.
As well as enabling telecommunications operators to reduce their emissions by minimising power consumption, 5G can also facilitate green use cases. This includes the use of technologies such as AI, virtual and augmented reality and the IoT, which can enable the acceleration of applications like video conferencing, telemedicine and driverless vehicles. Use cases such as this will help to curb unnecessary travel and increase workplace efficiencies. The full impact of 5G on global climate goals will continue to become clearer as its roll-out continues.
To learn more about greentech initiatives, check out Babel’s webinar on the role of technology in fighting climate change and how greentech firms can raise their profile among potential customers and investors. Find out more about our greentech expertise here.