Thursday, Oct 7, 10:00-12:00 am CEST
Impact of Technology and Energy Innovation on the Development of Society
The history of technology and energy innovation dates back to early human civilization. People of stone age didn’t have the luxury of tuning TV, air conditioners, preserving food for long days, ease of access to other parts of world etc. Rather, they had to invent tools and harness the power of fire. Their experiments of tool cutting and making has led to invention of TVs, mobiles, air planes etc. The invention of wheel conceptualize techno-energy innovation i.e. goods and services, migration, transport system etc. The earliest human being were terrified of fire. Yet, they used the fire for variety of energy intensive process like burning the woods, hunting, cooking, making tools and several other innovative things . Advancement in tool making led to their working in farm , growing crops , harvesting and eating them. The technological intervention has made human society life more comfortable, luxurious, effective communication , ease of access to information.
During industrialization, many technologies such as development of electricity, weaving machine , first steam locomotive , invention of ICs, development of Morse code etc changed the lives of people. Some of these technologies gave rise to manufacturing and production industries such as Silk industry. Over the period countries have improved its relative productivity performance, but there remains a significant gap in market sector productivity between Developed and developing countries. Much of the gap between them is due to lower levels of capital intensity and skills.
Meaning Of Word technology And Innovation
Technical Innovation means developing new ideas, products, services, and processes which uses technology. It may be driven by a new technology or by needs . At its best, technovation creates valuable products and services no one has think of. Every year technology challenges all over the world to build a mobile application that will address a community problem. Since 2010, over 28 countries have submitted to Technology and Innovation, this makes global changes around the world. Technology (from two Greek words: techne and logos) means the ability of humans to create things using hands and/or machines . It is the application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human environment . Technology includes the use of materials, tools, techniques, and sources of power to make life bearable or more pleasant and work more productive. Whereas science is concerned with how and why things happen, technology focuses on making things happen. Technology can be internal or external. In the external view, technology means the systematic discourse about practical art. Technology is the science about practical art just as entomology is the science about insects and geology about planet Earth. Here “logos” belongs to scholars who take practical art and artists as their topics of investigation but is foreign to and not a part of the art or artists. It neglects the cognitive ability of the artists and concentrates on their products and social status. The internal view inherits the Greek notion of containing its own logos, so that technology means the systematic reasoning of practical art itself. In this view, art and reasoning are inseparable entities that later enter into a marriage. They are intertwined cognitive potentials inherent in every human being, because living in, coping with, and modifying the real world is primordial to all human life.
Modern Examples and Effect
Technology and human life cannot be separated. Society has cyclical dependence on technology. Technologies may one day offer us the opportunity to live healthily well beyond 100 years, enhance our intellectual and physical abilities and control our emotions. Technology may also enable us to become producers of our own products, track what we think and guide our decision-making.
The coming of computer has revolutionize the digital world. The world of Information Technology is the technology used to store, manipulate, distribute and create information. Multimedia and internet technology have given access to unlock every little bit of information from any part of world. Internet technology have allowed people to get more improved learning videos and study material than printed media. Electronic Mail, WhatsApp, Messenger have allowed people to stay connected, updated of latest things going around the world. We could be able to work on jobs being thousands of miles away through electromagnetic wave. That way the problem of skills shortage in some countries could be reduced and efficient people would be available to do the job.
Virtual reality, probably is more advanced and more seamlessly integrated devices (e.g. one could think of a device projecting images (perhaps from glasses) directly onto the lens of a human’s eye), allowing people to disregard their surroundings. This will allow people to travel virtually, e.g. one could go on holidays just by playing a certain program, relax there, walk around, take it easy.
These days one can attend business meetings without having to be there physically. The business partners in such a virtual meeting are able to see and hear each other as if they are real. Mobility may be very important these days, however, in the new century, the need to travel physically is decreasing significantly, instead of flying to a meeting in New York one can just attend the meeting virtually and save a lot of time and money (and protect the environment).
Treating harmfull disease like cancer would be much easier as the DNA structure could be defined accurately to guide the kind of cell-based treatment required for a particular patient.
But, for every technology information technology too has negative impact on society. Information Technology has limited the language proficiency. Modern day students, groups communicate with their families and associates by using whatsapp. This make them to ignore on spellings , ignorance towards punctuation marks. Most of the consumers rely on smart phones, i-pad, i-pod to communicate or listen to music, these devices make their life congested. People could not spend quality time with their families and close relatives. Students are also busy in playing games in laptop or mobile. Too much internet can make student prone to “injuries”, weakened memory power , fatigue , vision loss and non interactive with friends.
Technology Has Mechanized Agriculture
Modern agricultural technology allows a small number of people to grow vast quantities of food in a short period of time with less input which results into high food yields and high investment return. Through government subsidies, small and medium sized farmers have managed to acquire ploughing, sowing, watering and harvesting with machines The use of technology in agriculture also resulted into the manufacturing of genetic crops which can grow fast and they can be resistant to many pests and diseases. Also, farmers have access to artificial fertilizers which add value to the soil and boost the growth of their crops and enable them to produce high quality yields. Farmers in dry areas have been in position to grow healthy crops, they use advanced water pumps and sprinklers which derive water from rivers to the farms, the all process can be automated to save time. A good example is Egypt , this is a desert country which receives little rain , but small and big farmers have used automated sprinklers to irrigate their farms. In Egypt, they grow a lot of rice, yet this crop needs sufficient water to grow well. The water is pumped from river Nile to the rice fields on a daily basis.
Technology has improved transportation
Transportation is one of the basic areas of technological activity. Both society and businesses have benefited from the new transpiration methods. Transportation provides mobility for people and goods. Transportation, like all other technologies can be viewed as a system. It is a series of parts that are interrelated. These parts all work together to meet a certain goal. Transportation uses vehicles, trains, airplanes, motorbikes, people, roads, energy, information, materials, finance and time. All these parts i have mentioned work together to move and relocate people and goods. Technology has helped in advancing all the four types of transportation and these include ; (1) road transport used by automobiles ,(2) air transport which is used by airplanes , (3)water transportation which is used by ships and speed boats and (4) space transportation used to go to the moon. The most used of all these is Road transportation, this one facilitates the movement of goods and people. Technologies like automobiles, buses and trucks have improved the way humans move and how they transport their goods from place to another. Also developing countries are getting funds from wealthy countries to improve their road transport which has resulted into development of rural remote areas.
Our society lies in 3E (Energy, Economy and Environment). Society needs to keep all energy options open to satisfy the growing demand. The industrial and consumer flow of energy and their effects on the environment is higher. They influence the economic, political, regulatory, and social factors of the country. So that the economy of the country is directly rely on the transformation and utilization of resources.
Energy innovation is a key area where every nation is working on it. The old conventional plant are releasing high amount of carbon in atmosphere, which is affecting the health of the people. So, developed and developing nations are moving towards using natural resources as key element in extracting some amount of energy. These energy are termed as renewable energy as they can be renewed generation after generation. The energy from sun is used for heating and generating electricity. Solar PV and Solar Thermal are modern energy technologies ,which are used effectively for energy utilisation. Wind Energy is used by synchronous generators to generate electricity. A wind turbine is connected with rotor blades which is rotated by wind(kinetic energy) to generators which generates electricity. In recent Years, more developments have been done to tap tidal and geothermal energy. Nuclear energy is another source which can generate huge amount of energy, but disposal of nuclear waste remains to be problematic and risky.
The Waste water Treatment, reduces the Environmental Impact. Commonly sludge on a yearly basis of newspaper, bio and natural waste, agricultural refuse, concrete and metal waste can be resold after cleaning for recycling. Thus, introducing the industrial ecosystem in India will result in drastic effect in the form of the 3E’s. The forecasting results are economic, environmental savings of energy sources, coal and water, reduced emissions of CO2, SO2, NO2 and finally reuse of waste products (fly ash, sulphur, gypsum, nitrogen in sludge). The monetary benefits are realised from the production costs (purchasing unwanted by-products from others at bargain prices; selling its own by-products), Energy consumption (less transportation), waste management (on-site, or even being able to sell what would otherwise be waste) and finally by costs of compliance and cost of some R&D (shared with other companies).
Clean energy Technology should be developed by reducing the nationwide carbon-dioxide emission, increasing the share of low carbon energy in electricity generation systems and by securing stable energy supply by building a secure energy supply system to meet economic development goals. The framework structure consists of cleaner energy supply and energy demand. The cleaner energy supplies can be fulfilled by restructuring energy mix and improve energy efficiency, developing carbon-free renewable energy and effectively explore its power generating potential. We can also increase the utilization of low carbon natural gas and energy supply diversity and by accelerating the replacement of existing power generating units and formulating a power plant efficiency improvement program to require new built units to apply the best available technology. Introduce clean coal technology to reduce the Carbon-dioxide emission of power generating system. The energy audit is the important step in improving the energy efficiency of a home or building. Audit usually identify and highlighting the energy consumption and energy wastage by organizing resources and data requirement and developing action plan to save the quality and cost. The major steps in the audit are gathering information, description of equipment/plant specification/data collecting hours/day operation, energy consumption per day, and their operational schedule.
Resource Depletion: The more demand for new technologies and advancement of current technologies, the more pressure we put on earth’s natural resources. Look at the total number of mobile phones and computers being manufactured today, our population is increasing every day and all these billion consumers demand either a mobile phone or a computer in their homes or offices. This is good news to the manufactures, like Apple or Samsung, the demand for their gadgets is high, but to sustain this demand, they have to exploit Mother Nature for resources like aluminium , once these resources are extracted from the earth plates, they will never return back because it took them a billion years to mature. That means that at one time, we shall be left with no natural resource which can be a problem to the future generation and economy. Likewise, the intensive farming practices will deplete the soil. This makes heavy applications of commercial fertilizers necessary to yield healthy harvests, but also these fertilizers have chemicals which are dangerous to the soil and human lives.
Increased Population: – Technology has helped us live longer by improving health facilities and aiding in the research for solutions for most health problems which affect humans. This is good news for developed countries , but is bad news for developing countries which have not been in position to access these health care benefits brought by technology. In developed countries population growth is controlled by advanced birth control methods, this has helped them balance their population in relation to natural resources and other opportunities which come with a planned population. This is different in developing countries, the rate at which people produce is very high ,the mortality rate is high , food is scarce and health care is poor.
Increased Pollution: Pollution affects the land where crops are grown ,the water we drink and the air we breath. The increased demand for new technologies and advance modern technologies has resulted into many manufacturing and processing factories. As they work so hard to create the best technologies for both society and business, they release harmful chemicals and gasses which have polluted our environment and this has resulted into climate changes (global warming). So the more technology we enjoy, the more we harm our environment. Experts and policy makers have tried to implement ways of reducing this impact by encouraging factories to go green, to a small extent, this has been achieved through the development of green technologies like; green cars , green computers, but a great effort is still needed to reduce the pollution of the air and the earth.
It is apparent that technology has the potential to harm or enhance our social skills and social life. The key is to analyze how technology affects us socially. Every technology has its impacts on society, be it in positive or negative manner. But it is responsibility of society to use technology in view of sustainable development.