‘Internet of electricity’ and zero-carbon molecules will help decarbonise Europe – report

The EU should cut greenhouse gases by 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, according to the European Commission's low-carbon economy roadmap.

An ‘internet of electricity’, zero-carbon cities and turning European soils into carbon sinks are among a slew of ambitious ideas to decarbonise our society and slash greenhouse gas emissions proposed by environmental experts in a reportpublished on 28 November. ‘The message in our report is that this decarbonisation business is potentially a huge economic opportunity,’ said Professor … Read more

Storing CO2 underground can curb carbon emissions, but is it safe?

Scientists at Hellisheidi geothermal power plant in Iceland have demonstrated a carbon capture and storage cycle at half the cost of previous estimates.

by Jonathan O’ Callaghan At first glance, it almost sounds crazy. Can we really take carbon dioxide emissions from an industrial plant and store them underground? To find out, research is currently taking place to test if such an idea is not only viable but safe, and prove that to the public. This approach is … Read more

Europe’s eyes in the sky are helping to solve energy, land-use problems in Africa

Complex Earth observation data is being turned into real-time tools to help solve problems on the ground in Africa.

Scientists have created a solar atlas of Egypt, revealing where the sun’s rays shine most brilliantly and where dust storms obstruct its light. And in Niger, forecasters are guiding pastoralists towards grazing areas and water sources – and away from conflict with sedentary farmers. These are just a couple of many applications coming out of … Read more

Record-breaking solar cells get ready for mass production

Image credit: Flickr- Bioregional International, licensed under CC.

By Benedict O’Donnell Sandwiching an oxygen-rich layer of silicon between a solar cell and its metal contact has allowed researchers in Europe to break performance records for the efficiency with which silicon solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. But the challenge now is how to make these so-called passivating contacts suitable for mass production. ‘There … Read more

Waste CO2 to be turned into ingredients for fuel, plastics and even food

Image Credit - Carbon Recycling International

Scientists are ramping up efforts to turn waste CO2 from industry into chemicals such as methanol in a bid to reduce emissions and provide a new source of raw materials for use in fuel, cement and food production. It’s part of a strategy to halt global warming by cutting down the amount of CO2 we … Read more

Can we produce enough green hydrogen to save the world?

Image credit - Siemens

by Jonathan O’Callaghan Around a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions are produced by industries such as steel and cement so if we’re going to work towards an emission-free society then this is a good place to start. And one promising technology may have a key role to play. ‘Hydrogen and fuels derived (from it) … Read more