State of Connecticut launches IT Optimization Process

  1. Sustainability Issue: Safety and Health. Currently there is no strong centralized team of IT experts to support State agencies and the public in Connecticut. In addition there is public demand for up-to-date technology especially in schools and hospitals. Technology has become a central need that we have seen especially through the aftermath of COVID-19.
  2. Name of technology solution: Through a press release in March of 2021 Governor Lamont of CT announced a plan to build a new information technology organization within the state government to deliver modern IT solutions to support state agencies and the public.
  3. Stakeholders who will be using this technology:
    • Government agencies, IT professionals supporting this new infrastructure, professionals that will need to manage this hardware, security, networks and storage. Agencies that will need to migrate their systems as a result of this plan, state-based collaboration to serve these enterprise platforms, the residents of Connecticut who will be a part of this change and hopefully benefit as a result of this economic and job growth. The state data center security is a priority.
  4. According to the articles related to this plan – this will be a year long process to build this new iT hub for state agencies. Once this is built the process to centralize will lead to the required collaboration with IT professionals, and the appropriate training to the professionals dedicating their services to work on a common platform that will communicate across State agencies instead of individual agency by agency processes. Third step will involve the training, roll-out and maintenance for this. The funding will also need to be allocated towards where the needs are. I’m also curious to see how this impacts low-income areas in Connecticut and school systems?

Another thing we have to consider is, will this proposal actually make the services for residents and employees more accessible and digital? Will this investment allow for quicker services at places that need it to the most like the DMV or voter registration? How will the follow-up be for this – how will it be measured, and will ordinary residents see the effects of this in their day-to-day lives?

The French start plans to develop a 19 seat Electric Regional Aircraft

  1. Sustainability problem:
    • Energy sector
    • The problem is that aircrafts contribute to the ecological footprint of our world and reducing that with electrification and improved mobility is an important game-changer to the way we travel.
    • This particular issue is similar to the one Annie shared in class from Lilium regarding electric taxis in Florida, however this is a French-based company that’s trying to develop a 19 seat electrically powered regional and eco-efficient aircraft in Europe.
  2. AKKA is a leading European engineering consultant and leader in R&D services. Source: https://www.akka-technologies.com/press-release/akka-announces-its-partnership-with-aura-aero-to-develop-two-electric-aircrafts/ Name of technology: ERA (Electric regional aircraft) a 19 seat regional airliner
    • In a two year collaboration with Toulouse-based manufacturer AURA AERO, AKKA is supporting the development of two new electric aircrafts, one of which is being discussed in this post: ERA.
    • AKKA is going to mobilize 40 engineers from their group to its Toulouse based Engineering and Aviation centers to provide research and development support to AURA AERO.
    • The president and co-founder of AURO AERO announced in this same article the people-centric importance of achieving this technology goal which would further contribute to the future of aviation.
  3. Organizational stakeholders that will have to use this technology:
    • AKKA will be supporting AURO AERO by contributing to the build of ERA; this includes the 40 engineers deployed to work on this project.
    • Jeremy Caussade, president and co founder of AURO AERO and Stephanie Latieule who is the SVP of Aerospace at AKKA France, will need to continuously strengthen and support each other in their partnership via management decisions in order to see this project through.
    • The success of this project will also affect worldwide industrial players across different sectors.
  4. First three steps in deploying this technology:
    • The right funding and support is already in place so first, the engineers will need to build this technology over the two year partnership.
    • Second the aircraft will have to go through the necessary assessments and approvals to prevent any inadvertent failures and be ready for initiation.
    • Third will be making sure the right infrastructure is in place to test flight to and from one region to another.

Ok ladies, now let’s get in “Terraformation”

  1. A remote corner of the Big island of Hawaii used to be barren. Originally, it was a sandalwood forest but after trees were cut down and cattle roamed free, it essentially became a desert. The sustainability problem here has to do with energy, water and land-use changes. The reforestation solution that would be implemented would make it a rich forest storing more than 200 gigatons of carbon.
  2. Name of Technology: Terraformation, Article source: https://www.fastcompany.com/90593687/reddits-former-ceo-is-now-in-the-forest-planting-business
    • Reddit’s previous CEO Yishan Wong, is now the CEO of a Hawaii-based reforestation startup initiative called Terraformation. With his technology mindset to scale and solve issues, he is now trying to overcome scaling milestones in order to achieve the incentive of reforesting the barren land on a 45 acre plot.
    • The startup built the world’s first off-grid solar-powered desalination system to desalinate about 34,000 gallons of water a day taken from a well on site. Then a drip irrigation system sends waters placed and sources the trees and shrubs promoting the forest to grow. The company wants to use this solution and replicate it all across the world.
    • Wong says he wants to source this technology to as many people as possible. He wants the technology and techniques to be spread out in order to achieve the magnitude increase of acres reforested per year.
    • The objective is to scale the solution so that there is enough time for the forest to mature and become a carbon sink of reasonable size to meet every nation’s solution to be net zero by 2040 or 2050.
  3. Organizational stakeholders that will need to use this technology:
    • Yishan Wong is the founder and CEO, he is also an engineer and climate activist specializing in technology impact. The ability for this technology to be successful will affect his reputation and his company’s reputation to see this through to become a global solution.
    • The people that will be implementing this technology and need to be involved are: various team technology experts, foresters, land use specialists, carbon scientists, supply chain specialists, soil scientists, seedling restoration technicians, project managers, engineers, and of course a marketing specialist.
    • Partnerships with the seed banks and infrastructure specialists for greenhouses to grow the plants
    • GIS specialists need to be consulted in order to understand location, track growth.
    • The federal government- US Forest service, Bureau of Land Management, and public owners of this forest land across the globe who are the focus groups for this technology, and the indigenous tribes that are affected by this technology will also have to be considered.
  4. First three steps:
    • First, a plot of land will be identified and a site assessment will have to be conducted in order to figure out if it is viable for this terraformation solution.
    • Next, seed collection, planting, and monitoring techniques will need to be implemented and tools like solar desalination and geolocation technology will need to be used to help the forest thrive.
    • Last, the development team will collect this data to understand how to tackle bigger areas of land, or adapt to larger areas that require this solution.
    • More sources: https://www.terraformation.com/blog

Heat Wayv ‘Microwave’ Boilers

  1. This sustainability problem focuses on the Energy and Water sector specifically in the UK. Traditional boilers produce heat from burning gas or oil, increasing costs of maintenance and contributing to CO2 emissions. But the replacement for gas and oil boilers can also be expensive. In addition, UK legislation has begun a phase-out of gas boilers starting with bans on installations in new homes from 2025 progressing into a ban on replacements in 2030, and complete elimination of gas boilers by 2038. The EU and other countries are also in process of doing the same thing. The proposed technology to resolve this problem touches on the category of safety and health for each household because it eliminates the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. However the side effects of this particular technology have not been fully explored (if any).
  2. This leads us to the possible answer, which comes from a company called Heat Wayv. 
    • Heat Wayv is a technology company that announced in March of 2021, the world’s first microwave boilers as zero-emissions alternatives to gas boilers.
    • Name of technology: Heat Wayv Microwave boilers would eliminate about 54 million tons of CO2 emissions annually that are created by gas boilers in the UK, representing 14% of the UK’s CO2 emissions and 29% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions that come from homes. 
    • The boilers are also capable of being networked into IoT configurations where they can be used as a national battery. 
    • The boilers create an efficient microwave heating system creating energy efficiency over 96% meaning that consumer costs for heating water in their homes will be either the same or less expensive than gas boilers. 
    • Article source: https://www.heatwayv.com/resources/microwave-boiler-breakthrough-signals-end-for-co2-belching-boilers/
  3. Key stakeholders that will be using this technology: 
    • The founders of Wayv Technologies: Paul Atherton and Phil Stevens designed and developed the world’s first portable microwave and are responsible for overseeing this new heating application. 
    • The partnerships with semiconductor companies and contract manufacturers will be crucial in manufacturing and installing these boilers into homes. 
    • In addition, the consumers of the UK are affected because their utility function to adapt to this service will need to be analyzed. Ultimately, the citizens of the UK are the target population that need to have zero-emissions appliances in their homes and will also need to learn how to safely and properly use these appliances. 
  4. The first three steps: The very first step would be to market this new technology to consumers because it would need to be successfully adapted into each home. Safety and training modules would need to be offered in order to see the safety and ease of installing and using these appliances, and making sure they abide by the low-cost promise and fall in line with legislative requirements. Then, the focus would need to be on working with the engineering teams and semiconductor companies to start installation targeting specifically new build homes and housing associations, for a pilot period of 4 years. A total of 170,000 homes will first be built with plans to include this technology, and then expansion would target the social housing sector in the UK which manages 2.5 million households. 

The featured picture in this post is just a prototype, and Heat Wayv is building these prototypes to trial in homes by the end of 2022.

RheEnergise: Hydropower for the hills

1. This sustainability problem is prevalent in both the energy and water sector. Traditional hydropower plants by use of steep dams or reservoirs or mountains use a lot of energy to use water to spin turbines and create electricity. It leads to high costs, and hard to scale ideas.

2. Name of technology: UK hills are being used as energy “batteries.”  

  • Engineers are now developing a way to use hydropower to store electricity from slopes of small hills in replacement of dam walls and mountains.  This has led to an underground hydropower system which uses a mineral-rich fluid that has 2.5x the density of water to create the same amount of electricity from smaller slopes.
  • The company that is rolling out this technology is called RheEnergise which said the project would pump fluid up a hill when there is low electricity demand. 
  • Then it would be held in a storage tank until it is required to flow back down the hill, generating turbines, and returning the electricity used by pumps back to the grid. 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/08/powering-up-uk-hills-could-be-used-as-energy-batteries

3. Key stakeholders: 

  • The investors for the program
  • Chief executive of RheEnergise
  • The UK energy sector  
  • The engineering deployment team and ESIA (Environmental & Social Impact Assessment) specialists who need to ensure success of this project
  • The wildlife trusts, environmental agencies, government, and other regulatory bodies that have stakes in the hills across the UK 
  • Local community interest in using this technology to restore grasslands
  • Potential industries that hope to partner with RheEnergise
  • Other countries and other energy sectors could adapt and save costs from the success of this project 

4. First three steps: 

  • First the chief executive of RheEnergise requires quicker and higher levels of investment to build this hydropower plant with consideration to engineering limitations and abiding by regulatory legislation.  
  • Next, the company will need to start targeting various hillsides to locate where the projects could be most successful in order to market the idea and test it. 
  • Last, this plant would have to be monitored and tested over an acceptable timeframe (60 years) to prove to local experts and local communities that this is the best alternative plan to harvest hydropower energy. Cost savings would have to be measured and compared to traditional methods.

EDGAR-FOOD system

  1. Sustainability Problem: Energy intensive food systems  

Global food systems are increasingly taking up energy especially in retail, packaging, and transport and more often in developing countries such as China, Brazil, and India. Food systems emissions come from agriculture, land use, and changes in land use. And systems are becoming more energy intensive because supply chain processes are contributing to this energy consumption. 

2.  Name of sustainable technology: EDGAR FOOD 

  • This report was created by a senior statistician and climate change specialist at the FAO in collaboration with the EU’s Joint Research Centre.
  • This is a database that can be used to interpret how changes in consumer choices or technology has an effect on food system derived greenhouse gas emissions.  
  • The system uses land-use data from over 245 countries beginning in 1990 in order to track emissions trends from many different sectors (retail, packaging, transport, processing) in order to better understand food production and distribution.  
  • The creators of this database believe that it will serve as a useful tool in order to better mitigate and transform the pathways to sustainable food systems. 

Source: “Food systems account for over one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.” https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/03/1086822, UN News. 

  1. Key stakeholders that will use this technology: The creators of this dataset are a part of the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization). The database has an effect on respective governments of sovereign nations because this system identifies top emitting countries and affects the ability for policymakers to make national decisions. This system affects the different industries of the global food system – It affects supply chain management because industries will need to identify from which parts (retail, transport, consumption) the contributions of GHGs are coming from? It will also affect food trade because the import/export energy from country to country will be affected. Developers of the food technology will be affected by this dataset as well. 

4. First 3 steps in deploying the technology: Land use emissions data must be verified and updated from the FAOSTAT emissions database on an annual basis. The technology includes GHG emissions data from production to consumption. In order to be implemented the data will need to be authorized/published in a comprehensive manner to help governments and producers to make decisions on their food systems. The FAO will need to ensure international support for the report in order to determine whether this becomes a global policy tool in order for different countries to create their own analyses on industry emissions and identify which sectors to target for reduction.