Governments at COP24 should focus on building a global electricity grid – Prof. Damien Ernst

Image credit - Kenueone, licensed under CC0 1.0

Governments at the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, which ends on 14 December, should tackle fossil-fuel reliance by building a global energy grid that connects renewable energy from all around the world – and the best place to start is with a giant wind farm in Greenland, says Professor Damien Ernst, an energy scientist from … Read more

‘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

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

Offshore wind farms to test business in deep water

Advocates of floating offshore wind platforms say they are cheaper to run and install, less disruptive to sea life, and have greater output than near-shore alternatives.

As wind turbines become increasingly familiar sights along shorelines, developers of offshore floating platforms, which harness the powerful winds further out to sea, are seeking to establish their technologies as a major viable source of clean energy. Bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines – with foundations in the seabed – face depth constraints and can only be … Read more

Bill Gates and European Commission launch €100 million clean energy fund

Bill Gates and Commissoner Carlos Moedas committed to establish a fund to get radical new clean energy technologies to market.

Bill Gates and the European Commission have launched a €100 million investment fund designed to bring radical clean energy technologies more quickly to market in order to promote energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking at the launch in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 October, Gates said that science and innovation hold the key to tackling climate … Read more