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Energy & the Environment

 
 
 
   
 
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19th November 2020

Wind-powered, transatlantic car carrier planned for 2024

In the near future, large vessels carrying vehicles or other cargo across the ocean could be powered by wind, thanks to innovative sail technology.

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16th November 2020

UK government to research space-based solar power

The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power systems. These would use very large orbiting satellites to beam the Sun's energy to ground-based receivers.

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15th October 2020

Solar power is now "lowest cost electricity ever seen"

Solar power is now consistently cheaper than new coal- or gas-fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen, according to the latest report from the IEA.

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7th October 2020

Competition winners!

The following people have each won a copy of The Ministry for the Future, the new book by Kim Stanley Robinson.

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25th September 2020

The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson – author of the famous Mars trilogy – has a new book, The Ministry for the Future, being published on 6th October. We are giving away copies to three lucky readers.

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24th September 2020

World's largest cement maker pledges carbon neutrality

Swiss multinational company, LafargeHolcim, is planning its first "net zero" cement production facility by 2030 and has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050.

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20th September 2020

Device captures microplastic pollution from tyre wear

A new wheel-fitted device by technology startup, The Tyre Collective, could help to reduce both air and plastic pollution produced from vehicles.

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17th August 2020

Greenland ice sheet melting has passed point of no return

Based on 40 years of satellite data, scientists at Ohio State University conclude that melting of the Greenland ice sheet has now passed the point of no return – locking in several metres of global sea level rise.

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5th August 2020

Vertical farming of wheat: up to 600 times greater yield

A new study finds that wheat grown using a 10-layer indoor vertical farm could have a yield between 220 and 600 times greater than current farming methods.

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26th July 2020

Ocean plastic pollution forecast to triple by 2040

A new analysis finds that without immediate and sustained action, the annual flow of plastic into the ocean could nearly triple by 2040.

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24th July 2020

Apple commits to carbon neutrality by 2030

Apple is already carbon neutral for its corporate facilities. The consumer electronics giant now intends to make its entire supply chain – from manufacturing to transportation to end-of-life material recovery – net zero by 2030.

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17th July 2020

New cobalt-free lithium-ion battery reduces costs without sacrificing performance

Researchers in the U.S. have demonstrated a cobalt-free, high-energy, lithium-ion battery, which could help in meeting the exponentially growing demand for energy storage.

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7th July 2020

Plant tissue engineering improves drought and salinity tolerance

By genetically engineering thale cress, scientists have made it grow like a succulent – more than doubling the plant's water-use efficiency.

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14th June 2020

New EV battery lasts for 1.2 million miles

Chinese company, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), this week announced a new battery technology that could revolutionise the electric vehicle market.

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10th June 2020

U.S. can reach 90% clean electricity by 2035

A new report – using the latest renewable energy and storage prices – shows that with the right policies, the U.S. can avoid building new fossil fuel plants and increase energy sector jobs by over half a million each year.

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1st June 2020

Using hydrogen to heat steel

Ovako has announced the results of a full-scale trial using hydrogen to heat steel before rolling, which could slash the industry's carbon emissions.

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25th May 2020

Giant new offshore wind turbine to debut in 2024

Spanish engineering company Siemens Gamesa has revealed a new offshore wind turbine, set to become the world's largest and most powerful, with serial production planned for 2024.

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13th May 2020

COVID-19 lockdowns impacting global air quality

Levels of two major air pollutants – nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) – have drastically declined since lockdowns began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2nd May 2020

First results from NASA's ICESat-2 mission

New data from cutting-edge satellite technology shows that melting in Antarctica and Greenland has contributed 14 mm (0.55 in) of global sea level rise since 2003.

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4th April 2020

World's oceans can be restored by 2050

A new study finds that restoring marine life to abundance is possible by 2050.

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29th March 2020

Third mass coral bleaching event in five years

A third mass coral bleaching event in five years has been recorded at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

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11th March 2020

Amazon rainforest could be gone within a lifetime

Scientists have identified a tipping point in the decline of large ecosystems, which could lead to their collapse on relatively short timescales.

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7th March 2020

Half of world's sandy beaches could vanish by 2100

Half of the world's beaches could disappear by the end of the 21st century due to rising sea levels and coastal erosion, according to a new study.

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3rd March 2020

21% of Australia's forests burnt by fires

The current Australian bushfire season is "unprecedented", according to new research. If carbon emissions continue to increase globally, today's temperatures in New South Wales would be average by 2040 and exceptionally cool by 2060.

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1st March 2020

Freeman Dyson, 1923–2020

Freeman Dyson, one of the 20th century's greatest theoretical physicists, died this week aged 96. He is known for popularising the Dyson Sphere – a hypothetical megastructure that could surround an entire star.

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25th February 2020

Solar photovoltaic glass market predicted to reach $37.6bn by 2026

A new report forecasts that the solar photovoltaic glass market – valued at $4.5 billion in 2018 – will reach $37.6 billion globally by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 30.3%.

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21st February 2020

New £1.2bn supercomputer will improve weather and climate models

A new supercomputer will shrink the resolution of weather maps from 10 sq. km down to a single square kilometre and provide an 18-fold boost in the UK's processing power for weather and climate models.

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