What Is Climate Technology?

Eugene P.

Climate technology is new and emerging equipment aimed at reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating reliance on coal and other fossil fuels. This technology can take nearly any form but, in general, is designed to fit into a new type of carbon-neutral or carbon-free infrastructure. The largest areas of research and development into climate technology are power generation and transportation, because they are some of the largest producers of greenhouse gases. It is generally accepted that the process of integrating new climate technology so it is in daily widespread use is a process that will likely take several decades, if not longer.

Energy efficient CFL lights are one form of environmentally friendly technology.
Energy efficient CFL lights are one form of environmentally friendly technology.

One field of climate technology that has seen some great advances is energy production. The goal is to find a new way to generate power without using fossil fuels or other methods that could create environmentally harmful byproducts. Technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines have been refined to be very efficient and are used around the world to provide an alternate source of energy in some countries. New climate technology also is driving research into sources such as biomass, in which the heat from organic matter decomposing is harnessed, and hydrogen plants.

Wind turbines can help reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, making them an important climate technology.
Wind turbines can help reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, making them an important climate technology.

Another place where climate technologies are making a difference is in the transportation industry. Public transportation has started in the early 21st century to employ buses that run on electricity and trains that use solar or other alternate power sources. Automobiles have been developed that can run on fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen and used cooking oils. The engines also have been modified so they are more efficient, reducing the need for excessive amounts of fuel.

There are other fields in which climate technology is making a difference, sometimes in small ways that make a large difference when measuring carbon emissions as a whole. One example is the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). This bulb replaces traditional incandescent bulbs and uses nearly 90 percent less energy in some cases. The overall reduction in power consumption can have a massive effect when an entire nation switches to using them, because fossil-fuel-burning power plants will need to produce less electricity over time.

One challenge that comes with developing climate technology is that it needs to be part of an overall infrastructure to be truly effective. This can be seen with cars that use alternate fuels, because there is not always a network of fueling stations that carry the new fuel, so the cars cannot be used in all areas. Part of the climate technology that must still be implemented is a strong and open infrastructure that can accept the environmentally responsible changes needed to adopt the new technologies.

Solar panels provide clean sources of energy, making them an important climate technology.
Solar panels provide clean sources of energy, making them an important climate technology.

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