Besides mass market / common energy uses, such as HVAC and transportation, one of the other great opportunity areas to seek green applications is heavy industry. Industry consumes vast amounts of energy in production. Of course, it is always worthwhile to ask if the output of a particular industry fulfills a proper role on a greener earth, but that is not my immediate focus, but rather to start and encourage the process of having green technologies embraced and put into practice within heavy industry.
My firm designs and markets equipment and technology that is an alternative to a form of heat treating called thermal stress relief (TSR). Another name for TSR is Post Weld Heat Treating (PWHT). In a nutshell, PWHT raises the temperature of a metal component to ~ 1200 F (600 C), holds the temp for a time period (proportional to thickest wall of the component) and gently cools it.
No big if the component fits in your hand, or even it can be barely be picked up by the average human, but what if is the size of a 2 or 3 story apartment and weighs 40 tons? Then the amount of natural gas (most common energy source for PWHT) can be huge. One such operation would consume enough NG to heat several average US homes for a year.
An alternative is a process called vibratory stress relief (VSR), which uses tightly controlled mechanical vibration to produce the same results as PWHT, dimensional stability and enhanced load-carrying capacity, and only uses a modest amount of elec power.
Rather than post our commercial website, I instead have posted a link to the VSR On-Line Research Library, which is the best one-stop collection of independent scientific work on this topic.
Besides conservation and alternative fuels, alternative PROCESSES that reduce carbon footprints, energy consumption and pollution, represent efficient paths to a greener earth.
More info: VSR Technical Library