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What is Carbon Neutral Technology?

A lot of environmental jargon is making its way to public consciousness of late. One of these terms is “carbon neutral” and it can have varied definitions depending on who is explaining.

By and large, the term “carbon neutral” refers to energy that does not emit carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Case in point are solar cells, wind turbines, and hydroelectric turbines that are used to produce electricity minus CO2 emission. Pellet mills create wood pellets that do not contribute to climate change when burned because the carbon dioxide released was taken from the atmosphere when the wood was grown in the tree. The hot water used in households can be supplied through solar-thermal water heating which uses solar cells to heat water by taking advantage of the sun’s power.

The worldwide transition to carbon neutral technology is not a sci-fi concept, but is already under way. A large number of the population in cities, regions, countries, businesses and institutions have set, pulled off or went beyond carbon neutral energy targets in their electricity, cooling, heating and transportation needs.

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Many experts are in agreement that the biggest obstacle to having one hundred percent renewable energy sources is not lack of capital or technology but lack of political will. Facing down entrenched interests is the colossal challenge.

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Present-day carbon neutral technology needs to be upgraded. Presently, solar and wind power, electric vehicles, and effective end-use devices particularly for residential and office functions are accessible for widespread use.

Promoting and giving financial incentives for current users of carbon neutral technology while investing in research and development in the field is critical if the world will fully transition to carbon neutrality. What is happening today is relevant because the energy system of the future is being decided on now. It will be decided by the regulations, guidelines, and energy infrastructure that will affect investments and how the populace will get its energy needs for decades to come. A one hundred percent decentralized renewable energy source in twenty or thirty years will only be realized if the correct decisions get made in the next few years.

A hundred percent use of carbon neutral technology is not a game of ifs but of when, how and who will go ahead and gain from it. As defined, non-renewable energy sources cannot renew themselves. For future energy needs, turning to one hundred percent renewable sources is unavoidable. There isn’t a one formula fits all solution for reaching one hundred percent renewable energy. The only contentions are when will it happen, how will the transition take place, and who will move quickly enough to reap the greatest benefits.