Did you know that global temperatures are expected to rise by around 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next two decades? [1] What’s even more bizarre is that the last seven years have been the warmest years on record according to NASA [2].

As much as we may want to shrug it off, it is time to accept that climate change is real and we ought to do something about it. The swelling level of emission, rising temperatures, and unexpected weather patterns are gradually opening up new avenues in the cleantech space. Today, many companies across the world are embracing cleaner energy, fuels, technologies, and resources. 

Such innovations are expected to be the torchbearer of new cleantech trends in 2022 and beyond. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most anticipated clean tech trends that we are likely to see in 2022. 

Continue reading to learn about how companies, startups, technopreneurs, and governments are leveraging state-of-the-art technology to pave the way for cleantech trends. 

SEE ALSO: The Need for Climate Tech

Innovations Pave the Way for Promising Cleantech Trends

Innovations coupled with advancements in technology are giving birth to new cleantech trends. Now, we will discuss a few emerging technologies, startups, and new tech trends. 

But before that, let us understand what clean technology is. 

What is clean technology?

Before we take a look at a few cleantech trends, let’s understand what clean technology means. 

In simple terms, clean technology means any steps taken to cut down, reduce, or minimize the negative effects of technology on the environment. Besides, these measures are also taken to promote social and economic development. 

There has been a considerable amount of push to promote the use of cleaner technologies and the preservation of natural resources. A lot of emphasis is being placed on using renewable energy resources and leaning away from using non-renewable resources. 

Cleantech primarily aims to reduce pollution and waste while improving efficiency and productivity at the same time. These changes are implemented at every step of a product life cycle. 

Cleantech trends in 2022

1. Renewable energy

Fossil fuels are depleting fast and looking at the current rate of depletion, we will soon need to find alternative sources of energy. These alternatives should be sustainable and cause no harm to the environment. 

A lot of renewable energy sources such as geothermal, wave, wind, and solar have emerged as popular alternatives. 

A lot of industries are making use of renewable fuels to make their operations more sustainable and clean. Besides that, there has been a considerable rise in the number of startups that are driving sustainable development by using renewable energy to optimize highly-demanding carbon operations. 

2. Low-carbon construction projects

Construction workers at sunset.

The construction industry has earned a bad reputation due to its contribution toward damaging the environment. Millions of tons of harmful pollutants which are made of wasteful material are released into the environment. This is why the construction sector has come under the gun quite a few times.

However, that narrative is gradually changing, as the construction sector is slowly transitioning into adopting circular and sustainable practices. Today, low-carbon construction projects primarily cater to creating processes that are less harmful and more in line with the nature surrounding them. 

A lot of promising startups are turning to cleaner materials in homes and public spaces to keep energy consumption in check without hampering the quality of important parameters. Besides, they are also making use of alternatives such as bamboo flooring, green insulation, and hemp-based concrete to minimize their dependence on polluting materials. 

3. Carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS)

Carbon capture, use, and storage is the entire process of collecting carbon emissions and thus minimizing their negative impacts on the environment. Such techniques ensure that industrial carbon dioxide is disposed of effectively, which could have harmed or polluted the environment otherwise. 

Some of the innovations in this area include artificial photosynthesis by utilizing phytoplankton-based solutions and bi solar leaves that more or less mimic the entire process of photosynthesis. 

Advancements in CCUS are also handling bovine methane emissions, which also happens to be one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases. 

4. Circular waste management

waste management system at Doug Jernigan Farms

It is very evident that sustainable and safe waste management decreases the impact on the environment. Although waste management is not a fresh concept, more and more startups are introducing new technologies and concepts to either recycle waste effectively or dispose of garbage efficiently. 

Besides, a lot of companies are trying to harness energy from waste. Some of the popular processes that convert waste into energy include pyrolysis, gasification, incineration, and anaerobic digestion.

In addition, even wastewater treatment techniques such as rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, and electro-coagulation are increasingly being deployed – a trend that is expected to continue in the future. 

5. Energy consumption management

One of the major problem areas cleantech addresses is optimization and management of energy consumption to minimize energy waste. For instance, interest in decentralized internet due to the increasing popularity of NFTs, cryptocurrencies have increased over the years. However, the decentralization of the internet is powered by energy-intensive systems. Similarly, data centers also consume greater amounts of energy. 

The good news is that infrastructural innovations are slowly playing an important role in decreasing energy consumption. Some of the examples include modular data centers and liquid cooling systems. 

Liquid cooling prevents machines from overheating. On a similar note, energy monitoring systems control the indoor environment in commercial and residential buildings to minimize energy load. 

A lot of startups are leveraging the advantages of big data and artificial intelligence to develop improved energy monitoring systems. 

Standing at the gates of the cleantech era

These cleantech trends show how far we have come with consistent research and development. Thanks to reluctant efforts to find sustainable solutions, we can see a host of cleantech trends. 

Renewable energy, green mobility, building automation, and sustainable manufacturing will remain the focal point moving forward in the cleantech space. 

Cleantech has tremendous potential to make a difference across every stage of the value chain. Thus, it is likely that it will become a core component of a sustainable and safer economy. 

These cleantech trends have given us a clear indication of what we can expect in the coming years. Besides, a lot of promising startups have emerged in the cleantech space that is looking to make a difference and make our planet safer, greener, and more sustainable. 

SEE ALSO: Is environmental sustainability with AI a possibility?

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[1][2] (2021) “5 CLIMATE CHANGE FACTS TO SCARE YOU INTO ACTION THIS HALLOWEEN” Climate Action [online] Available from: https://www.earthday.org/5-terrifying-climate-change-facts-scare-halloween/ [accessed in January 2022]