Sustainable Technologies

This entry is in response to an Article by Vivek Wadhwa for the American Society of Engineering Education’s Publication “PRISM.”

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Innovation is the product of creativity, strategy, and forward thinking.  With an abundance of innovative technology, the future seems to be coming at us exponentially faster; and the predictions are incredible.  This article by Vivek Wadhwa outlines his vision of our planet, thanks to sustainable energies.

There is little doubt that we are heading into an era of unlimited and almost free clean energy, and this has profound implications.

By observing trends in solar energy technologies in the past decade, it is clear that consumers are shifting towards solar energy.  The products being engineered today are becoming dramatically less costly to produce and more available as interest rises.  Solar energy is on track to surpass its alternatives, including that sourced in fossil fuel.  Because of this prediction, Wadhwa gives us a preview of a world running on clean, free energy:

Electric cars will become cheaper to operate than fossil-fuel-burning ones, for example. We will be able to create unlimited clean water — by boiling ocean water and condensing it. With inexpensive energy, our farmers can also grow hydroponic fruits and vegetables in vertical farms located near consumers. Imagine skyscrapers located in cities that grow food in glass buildings without the need for pesticides, and that recycle nutrients and materials to ensure there is no ecological impact.

Wadhwa foresees this all happening, with solar-powers price competition starting in 2020.

This shift is inevitable.  Activists still have to fight policy makers who are being urged to put restrictions on the production and funding on sustainable energy projects, but far less than before.  The evidence stands, inarguably suggesting that our society wants to make a change: institutions and organizations in support of renewable energy resources have become popular.  Big names are leading the brigade, like The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which encourages people to consider diverting from fossil fuels as their moral duty.

While the technology is becoming more available, cost effective, and optimal for consumer use, the actual results yielded are too unpredictable.  Wadhwa remains hopeful, however, giving us a vision of sky-scraping gardens that can feed millions.  I too hope that this technology overhaul leads to a transformed society sharing an abundance of quality resources. It is important to move the conversation in this direction to emphasize the importance of sustainable technology funding.

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