Why providing the necessary energy to end poverty need not cost the Earth

It is possible to increase access to basic living standards within the current national levels of energy use in India, Brazil and South Africa, research shows.

Providing access to energy – vital for a decent standard of living and ending poverty – can be done in a way that is sustainable for people surviving on low incomes and for the planet, researchers have found. As people’s living standards rise, their energy use usually does too. But a growing demand for better … Read more

‘Young scientists share protesters’ sense of urgency on climate’

Young scientists are blurring the boundaries between advocacy and research, according to Luciana Miu, vice chair of the 2019 International Student Energy Summit.

Young scientists have the ambition, disruptive thinking and sense of urgency to drive clean energy forward at the radical pace that is needed, says Luciana Miu, a PhD student in chemical engineering who is focusing on energy efficiency at Imperial College London, UK.  She is vice chair of the 2019 International Student Energy Summit, the flagship … Read more

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