Technological development has improved the lifestyle of people but has endangered the very lives of living organisms, including humans. However, amidst the growing concern for climate change and exploitative development by humans, great effort is being put sustainable technology development. In fact, study of eco technology now and in the future reveals some appreciable attempts to combat negative impact of human advancement.
The total energy used by humans in a year is less than the total energy that surface of the Earth receives in just 1 hour. Besides, sun is the most consistent source of energy for Earth. Fortunately, research in this direction has been considerably fruitful as solar panels have become common equipment in several countries in the world. Solar panels provide Greenest energy as it does not involve any harmful by-product. In fact, solar power generation plants have been established in the United States and the Middle East to provide power to entire villages and towns.
The extensive debate on the harmful impact of automobiles has paid off positively, to some extent. Hybrid cars that can run on electricity or any kind of bio-fuel are very much reality. Such cars have opened avenues for even addicts of luxury to introduce eco technology now in their lifestyle.
Respectable advancement has been made towards making home appliances eco-friendly. The introduction of LED and CFL lamps is worth a mention in this connection as they reduce power consumption by up to 90% of the total. Though there is not significant advancement in other home appliances but the effort to reduce carbon footprint is on and the term ‘eco-friendly’ has become household word.
Studio Roosegaarde has ambitious ideas for the incorporation of eco technology in the future. Smart roads are one of the concepts that are in research & experiment phase. It involves photo-luminescent particles that glow in darkness for hours, temperature-sensitive paint that generates warning signs of ice-crystals, etc. Another concept is the road that can charge electric vehicles.
In an attempt to mimic the ability of plant leaves to absorb sunlight, scientists have developed artificial leaves from different materials that can perform the same function. The artificial leaves produce hydrogen and oxygen when they are placed immersed in water under the sunlight. Though the concept is in experiment stage, current bubbles of oxygen and hydrogen might be major eco technology in the future.
Similar to wind energy harvest, tidal energy harvest is the concept of obtaining energy from tidal currents. Research and experiment on the idea is underway as the project has attracted adequate investment. If realised, there will be underwater kites, in contrast to over head wind turbines, in coastal regions to generate power for entire villages and towns.