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The predictions are courtesy of Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist at Microsoft. He believes that the energy sector will be a primary benefactor of green tech, relying more and more on renewable sources.

According to Bernard, the world will continue the struggle with water shortages in 2017, raising awareness on the issue. Furthermore, we will increasingly use data to make sense of natural developments while leveraging cloud-based technologies in the process.

IoT and Cloud Computing will begin to transform utility energy management

Bernard first prediction is about energy management. He states that the existing infrastructures will need to cope with the increasing amount of energy produced. As a result, IoT and cloud computing will be in the forefront, helping manage energy collection and distribution.

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“2017 will see an increased investment by utilities in technology to leverage data, through IoT solutions and cloud computing, to make energy management more predictable, flexible and efficient.”

Water will begin to emerge as the next critical world-scale environmental challenge

The second prediction focuses on the growing lack of water worldwide. Bernard expects water shortages to continue in the coming year, leading to more awareness on this critical environmental issue. Hence, the use of sensors and cloud computing will help perceive the problem and to offer some contributions to deal with scarcity of (clean) water.

“Our ability to leverage technologies like advanced mapping technologies and sensors will increase and expand our understanding of what is driving the decline of many of our critical water systems.”

Data will increasingly be used to try to better understand our planet

Bernard puts much hope into data management. Thus, he predicts we will use Big Data to get a better understanding of our planet, with “data being applied more proactively to create a more actionable understanding of how we can better manage food, water, biodiversity and climate change.”

Organizations and policy makers will start leveraging cloud-based technologies

Finally, the last prediction centers on the actual leverage of cloud-based technologies. Bernard also sees 2017 as the year where the role of technology in environmental issues will get increased awareness. He thinks implementation will not solely take place on a global level, but also affect the local level, in cities and regions.

“Increasingly we will see cities and local governments moving ahead with technology implementation to drive efficiencies and accountability, along with policy changes as well.”

You can read the complete predictions in the official blog post.

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