Clean technologies are economically competitive solutions that reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources, produce less waste, and/or use less energy than traditional alternatives. Using clean technology improves the world’s ability to live, work, build, and manufacture sustainably.
New materials or enhancements to existing materials that improve performance and reduce environmental impact. Examples include green chemistry, sustainable materials for 3D printing, reflective thin film coatings, sensors, membranes that enable cleaner products, and replacements for rare earth materials.
Fuels, chemicals, and products made from renewable biological feedstocks (including plant materials, algae, and animal waste). Examples include bioplastics, biochar, efficiently produced transportation biofuels, and the synthesis of product ingredients from renewable feedstocks.
Information technologies that help individuals, businesses, or governments use resources more effectively to improve resiliency and productivity across the triple bottom line of environment, society, and economy. Cleanweb technologies drive changes in consumer patterns and increase adoption of sustainable management practices. Examples include web and mobile apps, social platforms, processors, data analytics, cloud-based planning tools, and geographic information systems.
Modifications to common products that reduce environmental impacts and/or create healthier alternatives for workers and consumers. Examples include alternative formulas for personal care products that reduce the use of potentially harmful substances, biodegradable alternatives to conventional products, and alternative ways of producing commodities that reduce material consumption and waste.
Technologies that efficiently harness heat from the earth as a source of renewable energy. Geothermal energy is used in many direct-use applications, such as space and district heating, process hot water heating, agricultural, industrial, aquaculture, and recreational applications. It is also converted into electricity and distributed to the grid through power plants. Examples include microchannel technology for optimized heat exchange.
Technologies and innovative practices used in the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings that optimize energy and water use, reduce waste and toxicity, and promote occupant health. Examples include high-performance windows, non-toxic interior finishes, and materials that minimize the consumption of raw materials.
Technologies that optimize the environmental, economic, and social performance of infrastructure (defined as facilities that provide communities with basic services such as water supply, transport and treatment, waste water transport and treatment, power distribution, shelter, roads and bridges.) Examples include high-performance concrete mixes with low-greenhouse gas emissions; water transport pipes made from materials that preserve water safety while providing durability; and technologies that enable longer-lasting infrastructure, such as sensors and modeling technologies to improve monitoring and planning.
Technologies and processes that make manufacturing more sustainable by conserving resources, minimizing waste, and protecting the safety of communities. Examples include improved performance additive manufacturing, reductions in process temperatures, waterless processes, and closed-loop systems.
Products or technologies that improve the ability to recycle and reuse used materials as new products. This prevents waste, reduces the consumption of raw materials, and reduces the lifecycle impacts of the materials being recycled or reused. Examples include processes for more effectively sorting and separating materials at recycling plants and innovative designs that allow for easier disassembly of composite products.
Technologies that modernize electrical grid infrastructure to monitor and control electric supply and demand through two-way communication. This increased intelligence improves energy efficiency, reduces cost, and maximizes grid resiliency and reliability. Examples include distribution network automation (DNA) systems, communications infrastructure, four-quadrant inverters, STATCOMS, solid-state transformers, and both consumer-facing and utility-facing technologies. Consumer-facing technologies include smart thermostats or other appliances, technologies for the aftermarket retrofit of appliances to make them smart grid ready, and data analytics to manage supply and demand decisions. Utility-facing technologies include phasor measurement units (PMUs), intelliruptors, Lindsey sensors, digital relays, and real-time automation controllers (RTACs).
Technologies that harness solar irradiance (light and heat from the sun) to generate electricity or thermal energy. Examples include enhanced performance photovoltaic modules, high-efficacy inverters, novel solar tracking systems, and new technologies, techniques, or materials that can lead to improved cost-effectiveness.
Technologies that optimize transportation while limiting emissions, waste, and the consumption of non-renewable resources. These technologies can either improve alternative means of transportation or increase adoption of existing alternatives (through consumer and community engagement). Examples include bike sharing program optimization, connected vehicle technologies, electric vehicles of all types and uses (including trucks and transit), and alternative fuels fleet vehicles (natural gas, hydrogen, etc).
Technologies and processes that effectively and efficiently manage, conserve, and ensure the safety of water (drinking water, stormwater, surface water, industrial process water, or wastewater) while reducing impact on the environment. Examples include water quality or flow sensors, water monitoring/management software technologies, water treatment, and microbial fuel cells.