We Must “Act Now” on Global Warming Says IPCC – Advanced Energy Storage Among Top Technologies Fighting Climate Change in 2023
With the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) urging nations to act now to avoid tipping points and climate change, several technologies will come to the forefront of fighting climate change this year.
Below are four areas that will lead the way.
Storing Energy More Efficiently
Energy storage solutions play a pivotal role in overcoming the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation. Energy storage technologies, such as batteries, pumped hydro, and thermal storage enable the efficient harnessing and utilization of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which are subject to fluctuations due to weather patterns and daylight hours.
For example, one startup, Qnetic has raised over $500,000 from retail investors for its powerful energy storage solution that can hold and distribute energy at scale. It uses a flywheel system to produce unparalleled energy capacity, which promotes faster adoption of renewable energy and diminished reliance on fossil fuels. With storage costs lower than for lithium-ion batteries, the Qnetic 2-megawatt hour capacity solution promises to provide customers with long energy discharges without fire hazard risks.
By providing a reliable and continuous supply of clean energy, these storage solutions address the challenge of grid stability and ensure that the demand for electricity is met consistently. Furthermore, advancements in energy storage facilitate the decentralization of energy systems, promoting the adoption of microgrids and empowering individuals to become prosumers who both generate and consume clean energy.
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Tracking emissions is crucial to slowing climate change because identifying the top emitting areas or facilities helps to prioritize change. Climate TRACE, an organization backed by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, monitors more than 70,000 sites to spot carbon emitters. It uses AI and machine learning to examine satellite data at sites such as power plants, oil refineries and shipping facilities that produce significant emissions.
The organization provides policymakers with improved emissions data instead of relying on information from countries that’s often underreported or missing. It relies on machine learning and AI to correlate activities, such as a power plant working at full capacity with the related emissions. Improvements in both technologies will further refine the accuracy and timeliness of emissions-tracking data, which can then improve efforts to make changes or to hold polluters accountable.
The biggest tech firms also offer carbon and weather-tracking tools. Google’s Carbon Footprint gives businesses data to measure and reduce cloud carbon emissions. IBM’s Environmental Intelligence Suite offers clients advanced AI-driven weather forecasting and predictive analytics for climate change’s impacts.
AI’s Role In Climate Change
With the capabilities OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool making waves, many in the climate field see it transforming how society understands climate change. Artificial intelligence (AI) can better predict climate change’s global, regional and local impacts and suggest the optimal mitigation strategies. It can improve weather forecasting so communities can prepare in advance and save lives. The potential is limitless, and AI solutions are becoming an integral part of every business.
Startups like GenesisAI are helping integrate these solutions into every business with their AI marketplace so that any business, especially those looking to make an impact on major issues like global warming, can help automate their businesses.
But because of the massive computing requirements and the amount of electricity needed to run AI, it also has an impact on the climate. AI can counteract this usage by pushing the economy and energy sector further toward renewables because it’s ideal for managing the complex energy grid. It can predict demand in real-time and manage a grid that’s pulling less power from traditional sources like coal and instead use more wind and solar energy that comes with mounds of real-time data. AI tools can also improve the efficiency of electric vehicles, ships and other vessels that use either traditional fossil fuels or electric power.
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Advanced Robotic Automation
An underreported but vital technology for climate change mitigation involves using robotics. For example, robots can perform various time-intensive and dangerous tasks for wind farm and solar installation projects. Robots can perform heavy lifting, operate in poor conditions, work through the night and provide operators with various data points to help them streamline operations.
Other applications include robotics-assisted cranes that can stay stable during windy conditions. These technologies could install offshore wind turbine blades during windy seasons, expanding the industry’s growth and protecting human workers from harm. Drones and robots are also ideal tools for maintenance inspections, especially for checking wind turbines that are hundreds of feet above the ground. Faced with a shortage of maintenance and inspection workers, renewable energy firms can use drones and robots to perform checks, relay instant data and keep operations running smoothly and at optimal cost efficiencies.
Technology alone cannot solve climate change without governmental and personal action. But getting to a solution will require a confluence of different tech that can offer a pathway to a greener future through reduced emissions and a renewable energy transition.
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