A post over at Twilight Earth highlighted ten technologies that will shape the future of human civilization, that is, if we letthem.
We live here at the dawn of a new era of responsibility forhumanity. People are waking up to the fact that their daily lives have a significant impact on the planet, and collectively, that impact iscausing life-sustaining ecosystems to fail threatening futuregenerations of our children. The way forward is to accept that our wayof life needs to change toward a path of sustainability.
Here are the ten technologies highlighted in the post:
A recent survey, co-authored byGreenpeace, found that by 2050 nearly one quarter of the world’s energycould be generated by Concentrated Solar Power. CSP uses mirrors tofocus sunlight onto water, producing steam that turns giant turbines,generating energy.
Cross Wind Bridge
The Cross Wind Bridge generates energy by harnessing wind power frompassing cars. The natural wind velocity inside the tunnel is amplifiedby the movement of passing cars, which helps to rotate 2,188 lightweight panels, generating energy that is then passed through anelectromagnetic band.
The World Community Grid
IBM has come up with a small idea that pertains to grand designs:what if we hooked up every computer in the world to a single grid andused the spare power in the background to collaboratively tacklescientific research projects that benefit humanity? Nearly half amillion people have already signed up at worldcommunitygrid.org andturned their computers over for the benefit of humanity.
These elegant streetlights mimic theearth’s natural process of photosynthesis to create a sustainable source of lighting that works hand-in-hand with the environment itilluminates. Modeled after tree branches, they sit inconspicuouslyamongst the leaves soaking up sunlight during the day with their solarpanels, and emitting light at night.
Nanosolar has reduced the cost of producing the Power Sheet solarpanels from $3.00 to $0.30 per watt. They’ve achieved this using aninnovative technology which coats metal sheets, as thin as aluminiumfoil, with a microscopic layer of printer ink containing minuscule solar cells.
Solar Curtain Walls
PowerPlastic are sheets of extremely flexible, very thin solar panels whichcan be quickly and easily attached to virtually any surface, mostobviously the roofs and even walls of urban office buildings. Imaginethousands of miles of urban wall-space draped with unobtrusive,paper-thin solar paneling and producing thousands of megawatts ofsustainable, eco-friendly energy.
This innovative product is a combination of a blind and a light thatstores light during the day, and illuminates your interiors at night.Making use of flexible solar panels, fitting over the surface ofstandard Venetian blinds, Blights handily function as both regularblinds and lights.
Specially designed porous concrete allows 90% of rainwater to dissipate back into the surrounding soil, dramatically reducing the negative effectstorm-water runoff can have on surrounding water systems. Theflexibility and strength of the porous pavements also minimizesfreeze-thaw effects and requires less road salt in winter conditions.
Sonic Water Purifier
There are nearly 1.2billion people around the world without regular access to clean water.The Sonic Water purifier uses ultrasound waves that are beamed into theliquid, blowing up the cellular walls and carbon bonds of contaminants,leaving fresh, clean water suitable for drinking.
Enhanced Geothermal Systems
Geothermal power usually requiresnaturally occurring water and rock porosity to channel heat. EnhancedGeothermal Systems encourage geothermal energy from rock that is dry and non-porous, creating an energy resource where there was nonepreviously. Enhanced geothermal injects cold water into the rock athigh pressure, increasing the fluid pressure in the rock and enhancingits permeability. (Source)