Future of Sustainability

The first wave-produced electricity in the United States went online in Hawaii just over a week ago. Some estimate the ocean’s endless motion will create enough power to meet a quarter of America’s energy needs. Now that engineers are harnessing the ocean to create power, take a look at what else they are working on to help power the future.

Several engineering developments in nanotechnology, biofuel, solar power and wind efficiency show great promise in providing new, affordable and sustainable energy sources. One example of these recent energy developments is the artificial leaf being developed at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. This device will be able to convert energy from sunlight to electrical energy, or even fuel, imitating the photosynthetic process of plants. Scientists hope that this technology can provide cheap and efficient energy to help local energy production and developing countries around the world. A single leaf, a bottle of water, and sunlight could produce enough electricity to power a small house for 24 hours a day!

Sustainable energy has been slow to catch on, but in 2016, there are positive signs of progress in public knowledge, new technology, and government recognition. While green fuel is a global issue, it is important to recognize that the US consumes 18% of the world’s energy, making our role in the initiative all the more important. By implementing new technology and encouraging the switch to sustainable fuel, one day our cities can be green!

To learn more about the future of sustainable energy, check out the infographic created by Ohio University’s Master of Engineering Management program, below.

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