Daily Planet

This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories — 15 February

What carbon-cutting technology might replace delivery trucks? What could the sidewalks of the future be paved with? And, what’s the world’s toughest energy standard?

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


Express delivery: Use drones not trucks to cut carbon emissions, experts say

Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport of goods could be cut if drones replace trucks in some instances, researchers have found, providing an environmental edge to the push by companies such as Amazon and Google to expand drone deliveries.

Read more on The Guardian.


EU bank approves financing for ‘Europe’s largest battery factory’

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €52.5 million in financing for Swedish battery cell manufacturer Northvolt, a bank executive said on Monday, part of a European Union push to compete with Asian and US manufacturers.

Read more on Euractiv.


We need more durable and reparable products to build a circular economy

Part of the EU legislation on product design known as Ecodesign and Energy Labelling has already set out durability requirements for certain products such as vacuum cleaner motors and light bulbs. But it has so far mainly focused on making fridges, TVs, and other appliances more energy efficient. Why not include more requirements to make products that last longer and are easily reparable and recyclable?

Read more on Euractiv.


Little wood boat is actually a model of modern technology

Josh Tulburg’s tiny boat is electric, and small enough to be pushed by an inexpensive trolling motor. People may buy a hull-kit, or buy the plans and build it themselves.

Read more on Tree Hugger.


Platio unveils next-gen solar sidewalk that can charge electric vehicles

The sidewalks of the future could be paved with solar panels—and the clean energy they generate could power electric cars. Hungarian startup Platio recently installed a 50-square-foot solar sidewalk made of recycled plastic at an EV charging station in Budapest.

Read more on Inhabitat.


Svart, a gorgeous hotel by Snøhetta, will meet the world’s toughest energy standard

The Norwegian Powerhouse energy standard is, far and away, the toughest in the world: The building must not only net zero energy, balancing energy production and energy purchases over the course of the year, it is ‘plus energy’. Yet, Snøhetta keeps doing it; Svart is their third Powerhouse building.

Read more on Tree Hugger.


Everyday people can invest in organizations that protect the environment

Average consumers of all incomes have the ability to meaningfully invest in organizations doing good work, and can make a real difference by providing capital to NGOs, non-profits and sustainable brands.

Read more on Tree Hugger.


Five ways artificial intelligence can help save the planet

From smarter electric grids to automated monitoring of at-risk environments, there are many areas where technology could have exponential effects on sustainability.

Read more on Fast Company.


Fish-friendly whirlpool turbine makes hydropower green again

A company from Belgium wants to make hydropower green again. Turbulent’s whirlpool turbine can be installed in most canals or rivers, harnessing flowing water to generate power for as many as 60 homes. The clean, fish-friendly energy source can operate at night and during the day.

Read more on Inhabitat.


Off-grid Ecocapsule microhomes finally make their international debut

The solar- and wind-powered Ecocapsule microhome’s Bratislava-based designers are making their international debut with an exclusive release of 50 off-grid dwellings.

Read more on Inhabitat.