The term ‘ green technology ‘ has been used to describe a variety of innovative environmental technologies that enables a more sustainable approach to consumption and production. This can include solar power, wind power, hydrogen, biofuel, and geothermal heat along with carbon capture and storage. Many of these types of green technology are still in their early stages of development, but they all have the common goal of making energy from our world’s resources become cleaner and more efficient.
The following list presents some common forms of green technology:
1) Solar Energy –
This is one of the most popular types of green technology being developed today. Photovoltaic cells have been around for years now but they’re constantly being refined in order to be made cheaper while also taking up less space and requiring little to no maintenance. One of the leading companies in this field is First Solar which uses a unique thin-film design that enables it to generate power using 1/100th of the silicon used by its competitors. First Solar also claims that due to their technology, they’re one of the lowest-cost producers of solar energy.
Another company worth mentioning in this area is SunPower while they might not be as cheap as First Solar, SunPower makes some of the most efficient panels out there at 22% conversion efficiency. This has enabled them to land large contracts with top companies like Apple ( AAPL ), eBay ( EBAY ), HP ( HPQ ), Ikea, Macy’s ( M ), and Wal-Mart to name a few.
2) Wind Energy –
Being able to harness the power of wind is another type of green technology that has been around for years now. It was initially developed for use by large corporations so they could have their own source of energy that didn’t cost them anything, but it wasn’t long before smaller companies started getting into the game as well. Today there are dozens if not hundreds of publicly traded companies engaged in this field, although most are small-cap stocks.
3)Thermal Power –
While geothermal energy has been around since the 1800s, it’s only been in the last few decades that people have started to realize its potential as a major source of renewable energy. This is especially true given the current concerns over global warming and climate change. The problem with geothermal energy is that there aren’t many areas on earth where it can be easily tapped into, but those that tend to have a lot of potentials. One company that’s been at the forefront of developing this type of green technology is Ormat Technologies, a leading producer of geothermal power plants.
4) Hydrogen –
This is another type of green technology that’s still in its early developmental stages, but there’s a lot of promise there. Hydrogen can be used to power cars, which in turn would reduce our dependency on oil. So far the biggest challenge facing this form of green technology is how expensive it is, although some corporations are determined to figure out a way past that. One company working hard at making hydrogen more viable as an alternative source of energy is General Motors. They’ve partnered with Sunpower Corp. to develop a system that uses solar power to create the hydrogen needed for fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
5) Biofuels –
Another type of green technology being developed by many companies today is biofuel. It’s made from organic matter such as plants or vegetables. There are quite a few different types being developed but one example is ethanol, which is used to power cars and other types of vehicles. The problem with biofuels is that they can be quite costly and it’s unclear if the technology will ever take off big time, but companies like Corbion are doing their part to change that.
6) Green Architecture –
One of the areas where there has been a lot of development in green technology is in the field of architecture. One company leading this charge is Interface, which makes carpets from recycled materials such as plastic bottles and old tires. Another company worth mentioning here is Kohler Co, which manufactures toilets and other bathroom appliances using water conservation techniques such as dual-flush mechanisms.
7) Electric Cars –
Last but not least, one of the most popular forms of green technology today is electric cars. There are a number of different companies making these, but one of the leaders in this field is Tesla Motors. They make a high-end electric sports car that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. Other companies worth mentioning are Nissan and Ford, both of which have made a number of electric cars in recent years.
There’s no doubt that green technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and the companies mentioned above are just a few of the many that are leading the charge. So far most of these companies are small-cap stocks, but there’s no telling what might happen in the future. It’s possible that some of these could eventually become mainstream players in their respective fields, so it might be worth keeping an eye on them.