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


How might drones lower the cost of clean energy? What innovation could enable us to yield crops that need 25 per cent less water? And, which company sold one million shoes made out of ocean plastic last year?

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


How drones are lowering the cost of clean energy

Earlier this year, Latvian-born startup Aerones tested out their drone technology by de-icing a wind turbine blade at a local wind farm. The same unmanned aerial vehicle also can clean bugs and dirt off turbine blades, the sides of buildings and solar panels. The idea is that drones can do these jobs much more quickly and for a lower cost than they can be done by human workers.

Read more on Green Biz.


Simple genetic modification yields crops that need 25 per cent less water

An international team identified a specific protein called Photosystem II Subunit S (PsbS), which can be altered to encourage a plant to partially close its stomata, the small pores that facilitate gas exchange between plants and their environment. The scientists hypothesised that the closing of stomata would allow plants to retain more water without sacrificing their need for carbon dioxide.

Read more on Inhabitat.


Adidas sold one million shoes made out of ocean plastic in 2017

Last year, the German sportswear giant launched three new versions of its UltraBoost shoe made out of plastic found in the ocean. It teamed up with environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans to create the shoe.

Read more on CNBC.


Five innovations that could end plastic waste

When it’s used, plastic packaging becomes dispersed. These items are distributed throughout the world in endless configurations and uses, with billions of customers. They’re often tiny, lightweight, difficult to collect and individually aren’t worth that much. So to truly rethink the way we make and use plastics, we need to come up with new approaches and systemic solutions.

Read more on Green Biz.


Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists

The dream of nuclear fusion is on the brink of being realised, according to a major new initiative that says it will put fusion power on the grid within 15 years.

Read more on The Guardian.


The soles of these shoes are made from recycled gum

The soles of a new brand of shoes are made from an unlikely source: Recycled chewing gum. The shoes, which are expected to launch later this year, are the latest project from a UK designer who has spent nearly a decade working on ways to turn discarded gum from sticky sidewalk blight into something useful.

Read more on Fast Company.


Look, no lithium! First rechargeable proton battery created

Scientists have created the world’s first rechargeable proton battery, a crucial step towards cheaper and more environmentally-friendly energy storage.

Read more on The Guardian.


A glowing glass “lantern” turns this energy-efficient office into a beacon

Abscis Architecten‘s Notary Office is a new building that exudes simplicity and tranquility with a environmentally conscious footprint. Located along Ghent’s Kortrijksesteenweg in Sint-Denijs-Westrem, the well-insulated brick building harnesses renewable energy and makes careful use of resources—including rainwater that’s partly absorbed by green roofs and partly recovered for toilets and irrigation.

Read more on Inhabitat.


Five innovations that could help make fast fashion more sustainable

From dissolving fabric to clothes made from algae, the winners of this year’s Global Change award are trying to plot a new way forward for a fashion industry that’s been too focused on disposable clothing.

Read more on Fast Company.


New material made from wood is biodegradable super insulation

Researchers claim their “nanowood” is less costly and has insulating qualities that are superior to most of the fiberglass and styrofoam insulation materials commonly used in building construction today. It is also stronger than any other insulation products and will not irritate the lungs of installers the way that fiberglass insulation does.

Read more on Clean Technica.

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