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This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories — 28 September


Can techno-fixes and gene therapies save the world’s coral? Which country reuses 90 per cent of its wastewater? And, how can melting ice power a lamp?

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


UK celebrates greenest summer in history as clean energy records smashed

The UK has set a new landmark for clean energy after authorities announced that the electricity powering British homes and businesses this summer was the greenest ever. The record comes as the first subsidy-free large solar power project opens in the UK, in what the government described as a significant moment for the energy sector.

Read more on Euractiv.


Post office workers grow vegetables, breed chickens on Paris rooftop “farm”

An urban agriculture initiative to make Paris more environmentally sustainable, mainly through farming on the capital’s rooftops, has been such a success that the mayor is unveiling a new round of projects this week. The first wave of projects includes a 900 square metre rooftop farm on top of a French Post Office building housing around 500 employees in northern Paris.

Read more on Reuters.


Could techno-fixes and gene therapies really save the world’s coral?

A team of scientists and reef managers say it’s time to consider ‘riskier’ and unconventional ways to save the world’s coral habitats. Those interventions include “assisted evolution”—a suite of techniques that have been commonly used in commercial settings (think of selective breeding in plants and livestock as one example) but are now being considered as a way to develop coral species that have better tolerance of the heat extremes that reefs are increasingly facing.

Read more on The Guardian.


How satellite imagery is transforming conservation science

Researchers, writing in the journal BioScience, sought to demonstrate the rapidly evolving potential of satellites to count and monitor wildlife populations and to answer big questions about the natural world: “High-resolution earth imagery sources represent rich, underutilized troves of information about marine and terrestrial wildlife populations,” Johnston and his co-authors write. They urge wildlife ecologists to embrace satellite imagery “as a legitimate data source that can supplement and even supplant traditional methods.”

Read more on Green Biz.


ABB partnering with Northvolt to build “Europe’s largest battery plant” in Sweden

The Switzerland-based engineering giant ABB will be working with Northvolt on that company’s project to build what will reportedly be “Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery production plant.” That battery factory will be in Sweden.

Read more on Clean Technica.


What innovation looks like when water is a strategic resource

Practitioners in the water sector are familiar with the statistics on water management in Israel. An estimated 90 per cent of the wastewater generated there is reused, making it the global leader in this practice. For comparison, Spain is second at about 20 per cent reuse. In addition to water reuse, Israel supplies about two-thirds of its domestic water from desalination.

Read more on Green Biz.


New index to help investors gauge food diversity

An EU-funded index measuring biodiversity in food production is expected to be launched next year, giving investors a benchmark for assessing how companies and governments are making food systems more resilient to climate change.

Read more on Reuters.


EasyJet says it could be flying electric planes within a decade

EasyJet could be flying planes powered by batteries rather than petroleum to destinations including Paris and Amsterdam within a decade. The UK carrier has formed a partnership with US firm Wright Electric, which is developing a battery-propelled aircraft for flights under two hours.

Read more on The Guardian.


A cheap pollution sensor will keep you off the dirtiest roads

A personal pollution guardian is here. Today the world’s first low-cost wearable air quality sensor is for sale, capable of monitoring your exposure to the three most harmful pollutants. The “Flow” device can be used as a handheld sensor or attached to pushchairs, purses and bags, and is available for pre-order at €139.

Read more on New Scientist.


This incredible Frost Light is powered by melting ice

Dutch architecture firm Edhv Studio transforms melting ice into electricity in Frost Light, a beautiful and brilliant lamp that harnesses the power of natural energy. The renewable light source taps into the magic of thermodynamics and shows how energy can be harvested from unexpected places.

Read more on Inhabitat.

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