Reducing Climate Change Through Technology
A number of organizations are launching initiatives to reduce climate change through technological advances. The Electric Grid Research program at the California Institute for Energy and the Environment (CalENERGY) and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at the University of California, Berkeley, are two examples of organizations working to reduce emissions through innovative technologies.
Those technologies include electric cars, which reduce dependency on oil and gasoline. Batteries for electric cars are 50% cheaper than a decade ago. Other technologies include solar energy, which is 90% cheaper. There are also technologies that allow the efficient use of natural gas and coal to generate electricity. There are even technologies that can make self-driving electric cars more environmentally friendly.
Other technologies include alternative chemicals, which emit less GHG per unit of useful product. There are also technologies that make use of carbon capture and storage, which permanently sequester CO2 below the earth’s surface. In the United States, it is estimated that hundreds of millions of consumer appliances, electric power plants, and building systems must be upgraded to meet the country’s climate change goals.
It is also important to note that technology innovations do not always lead to widespread use of the product. For example, carbon capture and storage projects may not work as well as expected on the first try. They also have the potential to cause significant environmental impacts.