The climate change emergency is high on everyone’s agenda at the moment, with rising sea levels, global warming and natural disasters capturing headlines across the world.
From robotics and electric vehicle charging stations to solar energy and smart meters, it seems like new technologies are providing answers to climate problems around the world. We take a look at exciting new technologies which are going one step further in tackling climate change and creating a greener future.
One of the most critical issues facing the planet is reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and switching to cleaner energy. Breakthroughs in wind, solar and thermal power have seen a considerable increase in the amount of clean energy produced and consumed.
By switching to clean energy providers, both individuals and businesses can drive demand for cheaper, sustainable clean energy around the world. Electric vehicles are another critical part of the fight against fossil fuels, with reducing transportation emissions a high priority in reducing global warming.
Another huge problem when it comes to climate change is the incredible amount of wasted resources that are common in our modern world. Smart technology companies are looking at ways to reuse recycled materials and reduce the amount of waste generated from industrial processes.
Better recycling technology can allow businesses to use more elements of recycled goods, reducing the number of new resources needed and reducing waste too.
Technologies like biodegradable packaging for food products, landfill mining and building materials made out of recycled waste are all providing hopeful solutions for tackling waste.
Data and innovation
One area where new technologies are tackling climate change in a subtler way is the increasing amount of data gathering and information which can be used to improve habits and seek out new solutions. Better monitoring resource and power usage with AI and automation can also allow businesses to make savings and reduce wasteful practices.
As we learn more about the environment and the impact our behaviour is having on the planet, we can use this information to change harmful practices.
How can smart meters help?
Smart meter technology is an energy management system that monitors energy consumption and provides real time data on the energy consumed by each device. Smart meters can be connected to each device to monitor the energy it consumes.
Advantages of smart meters
A smart meter shows exactly how much energy the devices connected to it consume, thereby eliminating the need to estimate energy bills. Estimating energy bills has been challenging to both energy suppliers and consumers due to inaccuracies in the estimates.
Usually, energy consumers end up paying more or less than they should have. When using smart meters, energy consumers will only pay for what they consume due to the accuracy of the smart meters. The meters will also greatly benefit energy supplies because they will not lose income due to underestimated bills.
Another benefit is that smart meters promote the idea of smart buildings. Once households, offices, and factories are certain about consumption, it will be easier to save money on energy costs. Smart meters will help users make informed choices on which devices to replace or limit their usage to conserve energy.
In the near future, the meters could be connected to Smartphone Apps so that users can monitor energy consumption away from their homes, offices, and factories. In short, smart meters are a plus for managing energy costs.
Disadvantages of smart meters
Just like any other technology, smart meters are not faultless. There is a concern that smart meters could be used to breach users’ privacy. Smart meter suppliers could unethically install programmes in them that transmit consumption data to third parties. Such data could be used for inappropriate purposes such as marketing energy products based on accurate knowledge of the energy needs of millions of consumers. In addition to privacy breaches, installation costs are expensive and the installers are likely to transfer the costs to customers to protect their profits.
The way forward
Energy-efficient smart homes are playing a role in reducing the amount of power used, as energy usage can be conveniently monitored and controlled.
In the long run, all energy consumers should give smart meters a try. It will be helpful due to the promise to improve the management of energy use and save on energy expenses.