What is Cleantech?

Technology that's good for the planet.

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. 

Clean Technology Areas

Advanced Materials

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.

Agriculture & Forestry

Technologies that make agriculture or forestry more productive while reducing the environmental impacts of conventional management practices. Examples include natural fertilizers, soil amendments, sensors, controls, smart machinery, environmental testing, and data analytics.

Air Quality Monitoring & Treatment

Technologies that help achieve cleaner air by reducing or treating emissions of greenhouse gases, pollutants, or particulates. Examples include pollutant sinks, filtration technology, and monitoring technology.

Biofuels, Biochemicals & Bioproducts

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.

Biomass Energy Generation

Technologies that efficiently harness biomass as an energy source through direct combustion or after conversion to biofuels. Examples include torrefied biomass, efficient and low-emission combustion technologies, and high-yield conversion technologies.

Cleanweb

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.

Consumer Products

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.

Energy Efficiency

Technologies that use less energy to deliver the same services as conventional technologies. Examples include LED lighting, high-performance appliances, and data center efficiency.

Energy Storage

Technologies capable of storing energy in any form for later use. Energy storage helps stabilize the electrical grid while increasing the use of renewable energy from resources such as solar and wind. Examples include high-performance battery technologies and components.

Fuel Cells & Hydrogen

Technologies that improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of fuel cell processes while significantly lowering emissions from the production of electricity. Examples include improved catalysts, electrolytes, and cost-effective components.

Geothermal

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.

Green Building

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.

Hydro & Marine Power

Technologies that harness the motion of waves, tides, or currents to generate electricity. Examples include wave energy buoys, connection infrastructure, and high-performance turbine, generator, and inverter technologies. 

Infrastructure

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.  

Manufacturing

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.

Recycling & Reuse

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.

Smart Grid

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).

Solar

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.

Transportation

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).

Water & Wastewater

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.

Wind

Technologies that harness wind power to generate electricity. Examples include novel materials or designs to improve turbine performance and airborne technologies to harness wind.