Towards a cleaner planet: Green technology takes precedence

Posted on January 25, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Science |

-The Borneo Post-

KUCHING: The utilisation of resources such as fossil fuels and raw materials to power our technological advancements and energy needs come at a price as by-products such as greenhouse gases (GHG), toxic run-off and solid waste are produced and channelled back to the natural world in alarming quantities.

In a concerted effort to curb the effects of our destructive doings, technological enterprises, regulatory bodies, environmental watchdogs and entire governments strive to practice cleaner and safer activities which enhance ecological efficiency while minimising adverse environmental impacts.

Green technology endeavours to develope products, equipment and systems to conserve the natural environment and resources, which minimise and reduce the negative impact of human activities.

According to a spokesman of the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation, the criteria of green technology products, equipments or systems were minimising the degradation of the environment, zero or low GHG emissions, safe for use and promoted healthy and improved environment.

The Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui stated, “In line with our new focus on green technology, the government has launched the RM1.5 billion Green Technology Financing Scheme.

“This move is intended to attract the private sector to participate in green technology entrepreneurship. This fund will be able to facilitate and fast track efforts by companies that are now pursuing green technology businesses.

“Having provided the catalyst for green businesses to grow in the country, we envisage the initiatives that the government has implemented so far will generate impressive economic multiplier effects.”

Malaysia embarked on a comprehensive palm oil bio-fuel programme in1982 and successfully established the use of palm methyl esters and the blend of processed palm oil (five per cent) with petroleum diesel (95 per cent) as a suitable fuel for the transport and industrial sectors.

The Malaysian Green Building Index (GBI) which was launched in early 2009, provided an opportunity for developers and building owners to design and construct green, sustainable buildings that could provide energy and water savings whilst providing a healthier indoor environment.

In the global scene, the research arm of conglomerate giant Samsung Group opined that the energy and environment industry had become vital due to the depletion of natural resources and environment changes.

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) stated, “Developments in materials science actually hold huge potentials that could lead to future innovations.

“Eco-friendly vehicles, distributed electricity generators and other green technologies will develop as new and important industries. In order to enhance battery performance, an innovative material featuring energy density, price, stability and long lifespan is essential.”

SAIT’s mobile rechargeable battery technology has become the foundation for expanding research to large capacity batteries for electric vehicles as well as renewable energies such as solar cells and fuel cells.

While aiming to increase the input energy efficiency of devices and systems, the concept of green technology also focused on minimising the resource waste or output losses; one such example was the heating and cooling industry.

The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) and Panasonic, two recognisable brands here, have taken leaps and bounds in materials engineering in the quest for shielding against thermal energy and efficient energy transfer.

With 3M’s automotive solar film, solar heat would be blocked from entering vehicles by filtering out 99.9 per cent of heat generating ultra-violet light, significantly reducing the work load of the air-conditioner and in turn reducing the amount of fuel used to operate the vehicle.

With regards to air-conditioners, Panasonic’s advanced variable speed compressors and brushless motors provide energy savings, with average consumption rates of about 40 per cent to that of conventional designs.

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