Last year, the UN warned us that we’ve only got 12 years left to halt climate change. More than six million people took to the streets in September, demanding that our global leaders take action on the climate emergency. The thing is, just as humans are capable of destroying our planet, they hold the key to saving it too.
So, here are just five ways that developing technologies are helping to solve the climate crisis.
Soluna’s solution to the cryptocurrency crisis
Behind most cryptocurrencies is network of server farms – and it’s been estimated that mining just $1 of cryptocurrency takes more than three times the amount of energy required to mine gold. Bitcoin, for example, uses more energy than Switzerland each year. Renewable energy company Soluna have acquired a wind-farm which is said to have the potential to generate up to 900 megawatts of power, which will supply a high-density computing centre. While solar power is nothing new, if we are to continue mining Bitcoin and other currencies at this rate, we need to have a system in place in order to efficiently power its servers.
Could CCS cut our carbon emissions?
We already know that there’s far too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and global warming is a monumental threat to biodiversity. Unfortunately, the general public have begun to realise this after decades of damage has already been done. There’s no fix-all solution, but Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could be the lifeline that we so desperately need. In power plants and factories, carbon can be trapped and later transformed into useful chemicals to produce medicine and sodium bicarbonate.
It’s time to clean up our act – before it’s too late
We’ve all heard about the devastating impact of plastic in oceans, but what’s lesser considered is how it gets there – often via our rivers. The Ocean Cleanup’s innovative fleet of floating clean-up systems trap rogue plastics both at surface level and anything floating beneath in our rivers and oceans. Each system floats freely in the water, using natural oceanic currents to navigate across vast areas without human intervention. It’s been predicted that the technology will be able to remove 90 per cent of ocean plastic by 2040.
The rise of plant-based packaging
Plastic typically takes 1,000 years to biodegrade, and it’s polluting our land, filling our seas and harming our wildlife. Non-recyclable packaging is the biggest contributor to this issue – and as consumers aren’t usually willing to forego it completely, Evoware has a solution. By using seaweed to create a completely biodegradable product, they’ve created an eco-friendly packaging solution that’s printable, sealable and even edible.
Energy tariffs are set to go through the roof – literally
After three years of refining their concept, Tesla’s V3 Solar Roof is here. But don’t be fooled, this isn’t a just a set of solar panels – it’s an entirely new roof. At an average of £33,000, the Solar Roof is said to be cheaper than a new standard roof, plus the installation of solar panels. Plus, becoming self-sufficient and going off-grid means you won’t need to worry about fluctuating electricity prices and your energy is 100 per cent renewable, rather than derived from fossil fuels.