“Clean technology” is a term used to refer to processes, products, or services that either reduce the negative environmental impacts of traditional energy sources, namely fossil fuels, via substantial improvements in energy efficiency, the sustainable use of limited resources, or through environmental protection strategies. Examples of clean technologies include renewable energies, recycling, green transportation, green chemistry, use of greywater, and many more. According to the United Nations Environment Program, wind, solar, and biofuel companies received a whopping $148 billion in funding in 2007 in response to the rising oil prices and climate change policies as a way to encourage investment in renewable energy. Clean technologies can span a variety of fields, including manufacturing and industrial, the transportation sector, agricultures, water and wastewater, air and the environment, and materials and waste.
With origins in the venture capital investment community, clean technology has grown to define a sector in business that has more recently experienced significant growth for solar, wind, water purification, and biofuels. The U.S. Department of Energy has found that since 2008, wind power capacity has almost tripled in the U.S. to 60 gigawatts, which equivalent to the amount of energy required to power more than 15 million homes every year.
Investments in solar power research and development have resulted in rooftop solar panels that now cost one percent of what they cost 35 years ago. Lastly, it is projected that switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs. These are all examples of clean technologies that are a testament to the importance of a shift to a cleaner, more domestic, and more secure energy future.