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This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories — 12 October

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How can trash be turned into energy? Why are hundreds of thousands of Italian restaurants recycling their grease? And, can one deep-sea wind farm power the entire world?

This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.

1.

How to turn trash into energy in 12 hours

The UK might soon be powering its lights with energy that comes from the trash. A Danish energy company is working on new machines that sort household trash from recycling, while rapidly breaking down organic materials like food to create power from biogas produced by the process.

Read more on Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

2.

From thin air to stone: greenhouse gas test starts in Iceland

A Swiss company will start to extract carbon dioxide from thin air in Iceland today, seeking to transform the gas into rock far below ground in a first test of a technology meant to slow climate change.

Read more on Reuters.

3.

NUS campaigner Robbie Young: students, lay down your straws

Young is the vice president of society and citizenship at the National Union of Students (NUS), which has just launched #TheLastStraw campaign to encourage students and their unions to pledge to stop using single-use plastic straws.

Read more on The Guardian.

4.

Italy oil giant taps Mediterranean diet to turn fats to fuel

While biofuels represented little more than 1 per cent of the country’s total energy output in 2015, it’s a growing market. The government, driven by European Union renewable-fuel targets and a national diet rich in olive oil, is luring producers with financial incentives. As a result, about 100,000 restaurants nationwide are recycling their grease.

Read more on Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

5.

Floating wind turbines on the high seas could produce massive amounts of power

The world’s first offshore wind farm employing floating turbines is taking shape 25 kilometers off the Scottish coast and expected to begin operating by the end of this year. New research by atmospheric scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif. suggests that the ultimate destination for such floating wind farms could be hundreds of kilometers out in the open ocean. The simulations, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that winds over the open ocean have far greater staying power than those over land.

Read more on IEEE Spectrum.

6.

World’s first ocean pollution-eating Seabin launches in the UK

UK waterways are about to get a lot cleaner with the launch of the world’s first production Seabin in Portsmouth harbor. The device, which was developed by a pair of Australian surfers, works by sucking in various kinds of pollution (including oil) and spitting out clean water. The Seabin can collect approximately 1.5 kg of waste each day and has a capacity of 12 kg—and in a given year, a single bin can collect 20,000 plastic bottles or 83,000 plastic bags.

Read more on Inhabitat.

7.

This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero

A new Swedish energy concept can turn any building into a net zero energy structure. Pioneered by Malmö-based company Innenco, the concept utilises a building’s thermal mass to drastically reduce energy use by around 85 per cent. Using active elements systems, heat pumps, chillers, and solar panels, Innenco can bring new or existing buildings to net zero energy consumption.

Read more on Inhabitat.

8.

The entire world could be powered by one deep-sea wind farm

In a new study, scientists determined that if a large renewable energy project were to be constructed in the ocean, enough electricity could be generated to fulfill the energy needs of every nation on earth.

Read more on Inhabitat.

9.

This concentrated solar power plant is totally tubular and easily transported

Heliovis aims to do away with the high costs of conventional trough systems, while also adding a lot of flexibility, in that its CSP systems are designed to be transportable, not permanent. The HELIOtube technology, which is based on a system of plastic films instead of rigid parabolic mirrors, is said to cost about 55 per cent less than conventional trough systems, and to represent a CO2 emissions savings of 40 per cent, because its lightweight materials are much less resource-intensive to manufacture and can be recycled at their end of life.

Read more on Tree Hugger.

10.

Three ‘Fs’ to fix the emissions trading system

European lawmakers are meeting in Brussels today for (possibly) the final trialogue discussion on revisions to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Now is the time to turn rhetoric into real action, urges Rachel Solomon Williams.

Read more on Euractiv.

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