Hydrogen use doesn’t emit carbon but its production often does. That could soon change

Trucks on Orkney carry hydrogen produced by wind- and tide-powered electrolysis in special lightweight high pressure cylinders, designed to adhere to the low weight limit of the island roads.

Hydrogen can be used to power cars, supply electricity and heat homes, all with zero carbon emissions. The snag is that the vast majority of hydrogen itself is derived from fossil fuels – a fact that scientists are now hoping to change. They plan to clean up production to kickstart a dedicated economy – something that … Read more

Climate actions that lift people out of poverty are often most cost-effective

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would save hundreds of millions of vulnerable people from being exposed to the extremes of a 2°C world.

The most cost-effective climate change actions are also those that could help us achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as ending poverty and hunger, according to Dr Keywan Riahi, director of the energy program of the International Institute Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, who says the first step should be to cut our energy … Read more

Seaweed-powered trucks – hope or hype?

The infrastructure for turning seaweed into a sustainable alternative for livestock feed, chemicals and energy is still in its infancy.

Seaweed has long been touted for its potential as a sustainable ingredient for biofuels, green chemicals and biodegradable materials, but scaling up production to industrial levels in a way that maintains its environmental credentials is proving a real challenge for scientists. ‘The potential is there, all the data points to it,’ said Dr Jaap van … Read more

Managing energy demand spikes with seasonal forecasts of heatwaves and cold spells

Researchers want to make climate forecasts more accessible to help the energy and other industries better predict spikes in usage.

The impact of heavy droughts, heatwaves and cold spells on energy demand and supplies would be lessened with seasonal climate forecasts that allow energy companies to better predict spikes in usage ahead of time, researchers say. Researchers already have the ability to predict what changes in climate can be expected in two to three weeks’ … Read more

Flat-pack homes and profit-sharing retrofits are making sustainable housing affordable

Solar panels help the SOLACE flat-pack houses produce more energy than needed.

Wealth-generating, flat-pack solar houses and a profit-sharing scheme that incentivises retrofitting are bringing sustainable living to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it. ‘One of the biggest problems that we see right now is (the creation of) a big gap between the lower and the middle classes. Everyone is talking about this … Read more

Solar Impulse ‘Efficient Solution’ label for profitable start-ups to boost clean energy investment

Investors respond better to the profit potential of green innovations such as solar-powered planes rather than their eco-credentials, according to Dr Bertrand Piccard, founder of Solar Impulse.

The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector. It was one of a number of initiatives launched at the Mission Innovation clean energy conference in Malmö, Sweden, on 23 May. … Read more