Circular economy and clean energy

“We have a finite environment – the planet. Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist.”

Sir David Attenborough

The term “circular economy” was brought to prominence by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation when it first launched in 2010. It consolidates various schools of thought that have been around since the 1970s, including cradle to cradle, biomimicry, industrial ecology, regenerative design and natural capitalism, to name just a few.

Now as one of the hottest topics in corporate sustainability, circular economy has also joined as the latest addition to the list of GTI visa target sectors.

In the traditional “linear” economy, we use resources to make products, generating a wide range of wastes and pollutants along the way, including throwing away the product at the end of its life. In a circular economy the concept of waste doesn’t exist where every element of what’s created or produced is recognised as a resource, an input to another part of the system.

A wide range of fast-developing new technologies now enables businesses to engage with the circular economy, from 3D printing and biomaterials to cheap electricity and the internet of things (IoT). Rapid advances in digital technology mean supporting the transition to a circular economy, the economy that is expected to cover USD$4.5 trillion of global GDP by 2030.

A truly circular economy demands a comprehensive approach to resource efficiency, one that not only addresses the use of raw materials, but also energy resources. Today, renewables like solar and wind energy are becoming increasingly viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

The Renewable Energy Target is a government scheme designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector and encourage the additional generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources. Sourcing specific proportions of total electricity sales from renewable energy sources is now fast becoming mandatory for electricity retailers throughout the world.

Tech professionals working in the energy sector that seek to drive solar-powered systems, wind or hydraulic energy may qualify under the circular economy target sector in GTI. For more information, please contact Sellanes Clark and Associates.

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