Daily Planet

This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories — 21 December

How might a floating solar rig produce hydrogen fuel? How will the UK tackle plastic waste? And, how can we make cryptocurrency transactions more eco-friendly?

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


Burning wood instead of coal in power stations makes sense if it’s waste wood

The environmentalist and advisor to Drax power station, Tony Juniper, says the wood used to create energy can be coppice thinnings and waste material.

Read more on The Guardian.


This metric challenges companies to reuse ‘waste’ energy

It’s time to become more familiar with a metric: energy reuse effectiveness (ERE), which illustrates how data center energy is used by other parts of a facility, or even in nearby building such as offices, homes, restaurants, hotels, greenhouses, and swimming pools.

Read more on Green Biz.


Pinecone-shaped apartment building unveiled for former military camp in Norway

Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter just unveiled a striking apartment complex for the town of Ski, Norway. The 4,000-square-meter high-end apartments will take on a sculptural, pinecone-like shape in the green new neighborhood in Ski Vest.

Read more on Inhabitat.


Floating solar rig produces hydrogen fuel

A floating “solar fuels rig” could one day use solar energy to split apart seawater and generate hydrogen fuel. A team of scientists recently described the design for the new rig in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. A scaled-up version of their prototype could someday float out on the open sea, they say, producing renewable fuel from sunlight and seawater.

Read more on IEEE Spectrum.


UK plan to tackle plastic waste threat

A four-point plan for tackling plastic waste has been outlined by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Read more on BBC News.


Bitcoin reforms proposed to curb soaring carbon footprint

Revamped cryptocurrency transactions could be cleaner than credit cards, experts say, while the underlying blockchain technology can bring climate benefits

Read more on Climate Home News.


Gorgeous green-roofed studio features a rainwater reflecting pool

Designed by London-based Tonkin Liu Architects, the Sun Rain Room is clad in glass panels and topped with a green roof. It’s is also equipped with one awesome feature—a grey water system that showers collected rainwater over the patio at the push of a button, transforming it into a beautiful reflecting pool.

Read more on Inhabitat.


The most powerful micro-scale biological solar cell ever created

Two Binghamton University scientists designed a small biological solar cell that could be useful for lab-on-a-chip devices, which are typically a few square centimeters in size. Their solar cells generate a greater power density for a longer period of time than other similar cells, making them the most powerful ones created to date.

Read more on Inhabitat.


Sea water and scrap metal could sequester 850 million tonnes of carbon dioxide

Researchers at the University of York in the UK are putting forward an idea they say could capture almost a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year at relatively low cost and turn it into the mineral Dawsonite, known chemically as sodium aluminium carbonate hydroxide or NaAlCO3(OH)2.

Read more on Clean Technica.


Thousands of tomato-sauce jars to turn into “tomato architecture” at Mutti

Carlo Ratti Associati just unveiled their competition-winning design for the new masterplan and factory in Italy that playfully taps into something they call “tomato architecture.” The visitor center’s walls will be made up of thousands of glass tomato sauce jars for dramatic effect. A 240,000-square-foot biodiversity park will also surround the renovated factory.

Read more on Inhabitat.