Listed here are 5 key examples of how organisations throughout the UK are utilizing tech for good, by decreasing environmental affect and bettering sustainability
As local weather change and environmental affect stand up the company agenda, organisations throughout the UK have been exploring how expertise can assist sustainability efforts. This has led to a surge in innovation devoted to measuring envionmental affect extra precisely, and mitigating that affect for the long-term, for enterprise and society.
On this article, we discover 5 of essentially the most distinguished examples of tech for good being carried out throughout the UK with sustainability in thoughts, and the important thing applied sciences and gamers delivering these initiatives.
Carbon seize and monitoring
Carbon seize applied sciences are a set of capabilities applied within the major intention of measuring CO2 emitted from energy or industrial services, earlier than storing the emissions deep underground. Identified as a “key methodology for combating local weather change” by the National Grid, the general apply dates back to the 1930’s, when the primary carbon seize plant was proposed.
At this time, widespread carbon seize applied sciences embrace carbon looping (utilizing an oxidiser and reducer), membrane fuel separation, and fuel hydration. The area is projected to be price $7bn by 2028.
Notable UK-based carbon seize and monitoring gamers energetic at present embrace:
- Aker Carbon Capture UK: A carbon seize pioneer within the nation, having begun working within the UK in 2009 with its cell check unit, Aker Carbon Seize UK presents full worth chain carbon seize as-a-service for extra centralised operations within the cloud.
- C-Capture: College of Leeds spinout C-Seize offers a patented post-combustion answer within the intention to scale back prices — a fundamental pitfall of carbon seize and storage (CCS).
- Shell: Gasoline supplier Shell is involved in three fundamental CCS initiatives nationally, within the intention to attain internet zero by 2050.
- UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre: a digital community of stakeholders from throughout academia and trade that’s repeatedly researching easy methods to proceed bettering practices.
Moreover, the UK Authorities has been supporting improvement of carbon seize, utilization and storage (CCUS), with initiatives repeatedly being shortlisted for additional improvement phases within the intention to assist the nation obtain internet zero.
>See additionally: How connected tech can help property developers reach net zero
Automobiles and different modes of transport contribute a big proportion of carbon emissions within the atmosphere. The truth is, it has been recognized because the biggest emitting sector within the UK financial system.
Offering a burgeoning answer to this problem is a rise in electrical automobile manufacturing. Electrical energy within the type of a battery powers autos instead of fossil fuels together with petrol and diesel, with charging ports popping up throughout the UK offered instead of petrol stations.
Companies reminiscent of Tesla are championing the worldwide market at present, and electrical autos have surpassed 20 per cent of the auto market share within the nation. Different notable producers prospering within the UK cell automobile area embrace extra conventional corporations like Audi, Kia and Volkswagen.
>See additionally: How digital twins can boost EV battery life
Renewable power storage
Like petrol and diesel-powered autos, information centres are one other key consider carbon emissions being generated globally, however the information centre area is beginning to set up extra sustainable alternate options. These embrace hydropower, battery energy, thermal power storage and mechanical storage. Solar energy crops have additionally been more and more helpful in serving to companies keep switched on whereas reducing environmental affect.
Notable gamers within the area embrace:
- gravitricity: an organization offering underground storage that mixes components from lithium batteries and pumped storage.
- Lina Energy: an engineering firm centered on sodium-nickel-chloride battery storage.
- OXTO Energy: a flywheel battery supplier for purchasers in sectors reminiscent of manufacturing, transportation and actual property.
- RheEnergise: An organization offering hydro-powered storage, utilising fluid with 2.5x the density of water.
- StoreElectric: A compressed air power supplier trying to give companies storage at grid scale.
Government investment has additionally gone in the direction of renewable power storage initiatives undertaken by startups and different stakeholders.
>See additionally: Renewable energy storage and the future of smart cities
There may be an array of waste administration applied sciences that may assist companies enhance their carbon footprint. Capabilities reminiscent of automation and the Web of Issues (IoT) are disrupting the broader tech for good area, permitting companies to higher measure and handle outgoing refuse.
Distinguished applied sciences on this space aiding enterprise and societal sustainability embrace:
- E-commerce apps for second-hand garments, aiming to scale back the disposal of clothes that will nonetheless be helpful elsewhere.
- Recycling robots: machines powered by AI can take pressure off of recycling centre employees, able to figuring out gadgets and figuring out the place they need to go, decreasing the quantity of garbage despatched to landfill websites.
- Photo voltaic-powered landfill operations, transferring away from fossil fuels.
- Waste-to-energy: electrical energy and warmth may be generated utilizing combusted waste that will in any other case be despatched to landfill.
- Waste degree sensors: information factors utilised by firms can predict how usually bins must be emptied, primarily based on how a lot waste enters bins every week.
It’s projected that the UK waste administration and recycling market will attain $42bn in revenue by 2027.
>See additionally: The 10-point green plan – what about e-waste management?
Local weather tech accelerator programmes
Enterprise capital and governmental our bodies are more and more eager to spend money on local weather tech firms aiming to assist the UK obtain its internet zero targets, and certainly improve sustainability globally. Funding within the area doubled in 2022, as mitigation of local weather change continues rising up the agenda.
For instance, the Net Zero programme from entrepreneur development community Tech Nation devotes a share of its annual funding in the direction of local weather tech. Launched in June 2020, the scheme helps early-stage scaleups working within the area as they appear to attain their long-term visions. Focuses held by entrants usually vary from electrical energy and power to manufacturing, transport and mobility.
One other distinguished accelerator is Subak, established in 2021 to fund and scale data-focused local weather tech organisations. Whereas international, its founding node is situated in London, with CEO Amali de Alwis MBE additionally being primarily based within the UK.
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