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As the world still faces the challenges of climate change, technology is expected to play a pivotal role in driving sustainable solutions. Reducing the carbon footprint mainly driven by human activities starts by helping our planet from the ground up to the food we eat and the transportation we take.
Here are the top 10 climate tech trends expected to take place in Europe in 2024.
With AI, we are starting to see the advent of smart mining, whereby intelligent systems help minimize the negative environmental and social impact of traditional mining operations.
For instance, the use of advanced machine learning algorithms allows for optimization of extraction processes, energy consumption, and waste creation. AI is not the only disruptive technology in the mining industry.
Advanced robots and remote-controlled equipment are further pushing the boundaries of underground mining.
Tech giants, startups, investors, and stakeholders are taking note of the potential to transform the mining industry. According to Mining Technology, mining firms are expected to spend $218M on AI platforms worldwide by 2024.
With the increasing intensity and frequency of heat-related weather, there is a skyrocketing interest in technologies enabling fire prevention, heat mitigation, and cooling technologies.
AI-driven predictive modeling, satellite-based monitoring, and advanced firefighting drones improve our ability to both prevent and respond to fire-related catastrophes.
This is done by analyzing massive sets of climate data and indicating high-risk areas for wildfires therefore enabling early interventions in threatened areas.
On the other hand, cooling technologies target the decrease in the energy consumption and cost of equipment, to avoid a counterproductive cycle of carbon emissions generation.
A digital twin is a virtual model designed to accurately reflect a physical object.
It can predict the resource and energy consumption of the entire product or system, down to the exact carbon emissions expected from its development and use.
This in turn enables real-time monitoring, analysis, and optimization of systems across various industries and sectors, from smart cities to renewable energy installations.
Urban planners, for instance, can use digital twins to model the effects of green mobility alternatives such as bike lanes, while energy companies can analyze how the placement and operation of renewable energy sources can reduce waste and boost efficiency.
CCUS refers to a suite of technologies that can capture, utilize, and store greenhouse gas emissions from energy-intensive manufacturing facilities, industrial facilities, and power plants.
However, according to The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal only 0.1% of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere is attributed to CCUS technologies, largely due to the lack of scalability of such projects.
The current tailwinds, however, are favoring further CCUS technology development and deployment.
Substantial financing has been unlocked for projects that can launch CCUS technologies into the mainstream, including governmental grants, VC bets, corporate funds, and startup programs.
Carbon accounting software is designed to help organizations manage and quantify their carbon emissions. Companies can accurately track emissions data and collect the necessary information to begin strategically regulating their output of greenhouse gasses.
In 2024, many software solutions are predicted to enter the market from both startups and the corporate world.
They will offer improved accuracy, real-time monitoring, and enhanced reporting features.
Forecasts show the global carbon accounting software market size growing from $15.31 billion in 2023 to $64.39 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 22.8%.
Climate FinTech refers to the use of financial technology (fintech) to address and adapt to climate change.
As the finance industry is seeking ways to embrace sustainable practices and investing in climate-friendly initiatives, climate fintech platforms emerge to facilitate the allocation of capital towards sustainable projects.
These often include renewable energy installations, green infrastructure development, and sustainable agriculture.
More players are expected to enter the market in 2024 essentially in Central and Eastern Europe with the old continent securing approx. $1 billion in climate tech funding, surpassing North America by 56%.
The global transition to clean energy sources will continue to accelerate in 2024 and beyond.
The IEA expects global investments in clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and nuclear, to rise faster than investment in fossil fuels between 2021 and 2023, with 24% vs. 15%.
Out of a total of $2.8 trillion investment expected in energy in 2023, $1.7 trillion would go to clean energy.
We expect to see more and more solutions leveraging big data, IoT, and artificial intelligence to help companies serve the increasing demand for clean energy.
One of the best courses of action to mitigate the impacts of climate change is to transition away from fossil fuel usage to sustainable energy in the transport and energy industries.
That, however, depends on the availability of energy storage solutions – such as advanced batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries, currently the predominant technology in portable electronics and electric vehicles, are being optimized for energy density, cost, and safety.
Precision agriculture is the science of improving crop yields and assisting management decisions using high-technology sensor and analysis tools powered by a mix of technologies including satellites, drones, IoT, and artificial intelligence.
By optimizing the use of water, chemicals, and energy, precision agriculture reduces the sector’s vulnerability to climate change.
Especially if we consider droughts, extreme weather events, and climate-related pests and diseases.
The global precision agriculture market is expected to reach $14.61 billion by 2027, growing at a 13.12% CAGR between 2022-2027 (Business Wire, May 2023).
Alternative protein solutions are an answer to a growing consumer awareness over greenhouse gas emissions by conventional animal agriculture and concern over animals’ welfare.
According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the global plant-based dairy and meat alternative market is expected to reach $166 billion by 2031 providing availability across retailers and lower price gap with animal products.
What’s more, with The US FDA approving “cell-cultivated meat” for the first time this year, the continued advancement in cellular agriculture is also expected to follow in Europe.
From smart mining to alternative proteins, climate tech is providing solutions for all areas affected by global warming.
With policy changes, behavioral shifts, and growing investment from stakeholders, technology is foreseen to address the scale and complexity of the challenges we face. Action is needed now more than ever.
As the UN said: “We can pay the bill now, or pay dearly in the future.”
The article was written by: Tamara Habensus