For hundreds of years, humanity has used coal, oil, and natural gas to run civilizations and wage wars. Today, our centuries-long obsession with fossil fuels has proved to be more detrimental than beneficial, with global fossil fuel consumption soaring to unprecedented levels. As the world wakes up to the climate crisis, the issue of sustainability has begun dominating major conversations. World leaders and global institutions have set ambitious climate goals aimed at reducing emissions. Climate protection is a race against time.
Greentech: the key to unlocking the climate crisis
Today, the energy sector is witnessing the emergence of smart and renewable energy solutions — from building management systems, energy storage, solar etc, and more companies are conscious of the need to be energy efficient. Governments are also putting measures in place that either reward or encourage businesses to “go green” or adopt renewable energy sources.
Meaningful partnerships: the key to mainstream adoption
Several key establishments have also entered into partnerships with greentech, typically for research and development, or commercial deployment.
For example, greentech solutions provider Envision has signed a lucrative partnership with Energy Market Authority (EMA) to help develop local expertise in greentech solutions. Worth S$4 million, the agreement will see SMEs and greentech startups work with industry heavyweights to create deeper capabilities in renewable energy and urban energy efficiency solutions.
Universities are also working towards expertise in the energy efficiency space. The National University of Singapore has partnered with Singapore-based energy solutions provider Keppel Infrastructure on a Master Research Collaboration Agreement that will develop, test, and disseminate commercially viable energy efficiency and management solutions. Further, the agreement makes training and educational opportunities available to students, startups, and researchers who are looking to collaborate on sustainability-linked projects.
Focus areas for companies looking to conserve resources
Here are a few ways companies can get started:
- Low energy buildings and infrastructure:
It is no secret that offices, malls, and universities consume massive amounts of energy daily. Low-energy buildings, also known as smart buildings, use technology to manage energy consumption and can be powered by renewable energy. As these structures consume less energy, they represent potential cost savings and a smaller impact on the environment.
Many major developers are already building energy-efficient smart buildings, and in fact, the building automation industry is poised to be worth US$148.6 billion by 2027. Apart from established names like Schneider Electric and Siemens AG, emerging smart building players include Dutch startup PHYSEE, US–based Scanalytics, and UK-based Ventive.
- Energy monitoring systems:
These solutions rely on technology and data to help people understand their energy consumption patterns. They typically track the usage of resources like electricity, heat, and water, and provide energy-saving recommendations via apps or online platforms.
Players in this space include the likes of energy IoT Startup Smart Joules, whose proprietary platform uses sensors and controllers to track and control equipment usage, and Munich-based startup Tado°, which helps people ensure their homes are more affordable and sustainable with its “intelligent climate management” systems.
Though technological innovation has historically harmed the planet, the rise of greentech is working to course-correct for the future by reducing the use of fossil fuels and working toward climate goals by providing solutions that can be used by billions of people everyday.
CTA: Greentech solution providers interested to partner and pilot their solutions with corporates and SMEs can sign up for The Greentech Accelerator, a new programme by The FinLab.
The Greentech Accelerator is accepting applications until 12 July 2022. Interested parties with a Tech Readiness Level (TRL) of 6* and above can sign up here. Focus areas include energy efficiency, zero-waste supply chain, and carbon management and reporting.
*Tech Readiness Levels (TRL) measure the maturity of a technology throughout its research, development, and deployment phase progression. TRLs run on a scale of 1-9, with 9 being the most mature.