The development of green technology has reached levels that were unimaginable a decade or two ago – but what lies in store for the sector in 2017? Here are some of the most important emerging trends.
Power storage, smart homes, and solar energy
Three broad categories of innovative green products are making their presence felt in the market this year, with clean energy solutions and fully-integrated smart homes leading the charge.
New-generation energy storage
From hydrogen fuel cells to fast-charging batteries, start-ups are setting trends in 2017.
While well-known companies like Tesla continue their dominance, low production costs and innovative online marketing are making it easier than ever for startups to build prototypes and take their sustainable energy products to market.
Smart homes for busy people
Smart homes are probably the most exciting trend this year, with fully-automated power saving devices that communicate with one another (and the humans they serve) becoming increasingly popular.
The demand for software and data analysis to support this new technology is also expected to remain high, as well as the need to protect our home devices from viruses and malware.
As smart homes become widespread, we may find ourselves paying lower utility bills and having more free time to spend as we choose.
Europe takes centre stage in green tech innovation
EU-based tech companies enjoyed a bumper year in 2016, with the majority of investors being American – and with uncertainties around the Trump administration’s funding of science and technology projects, the trend is set to continue.
African tech companies continue to innovate in the sustainability arena, with green tech specifically suited to conditions on the continent and lower price-points becoming more popular.
Sustainability becomes the new “cool”
As environmental consciousness becomes a part of mainstream culture, companies are finding their customers increasingly critical of wasteful and polluting behaviour.
“Going green” has become a sign of credibility with today’s consumers, prompting businesses to invest in sustainable solutions – from the carbon footprint of their headquarters to the packaging material and they use.
As green tech trends continue to dominate the headlines, VUT prides itself on its role as a developer of innovative products and an active partner to government and private sector projects.
If you’d like to pursue a career in green technology, visit our Faculty of Engineering & Technology today.