This issue of Horizon looks at the research and technology that is helping Europe generate more energy while emitting less greenhouse gas.
During October, Horizon looks at wind turbines that can float far out to sea, and innovative materials to make solar panels that can generate more energy from the sun. We report from the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in the south of France, where world powers are collaborating on a nuclear fusion reactor which will operate at temperatures ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
Horizon also examines some of the innovative ideas that are helping Europeans save more energy in the home, and explores the world’s most sustainable office building.
This video gives an overview of what the EU is doing in the field of energy research and innovation.
These videos give you more information about specific areas of energy research:
Dr Suchitra Sebastian is looking for materials that are so conductive they do not lose any energy at all, and if she succeeds it would be a step towards reducing the amount of electricity required to power homes, factories and offices, helping producers of renewable power meet Europe’s burgeoning energy needs.
From wind turbines in Germany to solar panels in Spain, regions across the EU are using natural resources to become specialists in their own type of sustainable energy, bringing much-needed investment for businesses and citizens.
Ministers representing many of the world's main economic powers met on 6 September 2013 to show their support for one of the world’s most ambitious scientific experiments – a nuclear fusion reactor that will operate at temperatures ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
In November, Horizon discovers a futuristic world of transparent e-books, plastic solar cells and electronic skin with a look at some of the applications of organic electronics. We speak to organic chemist Prof. Andreas Hirsch about how using carbon rather than silicon in electronics can make them flexible, lightweight and biocompatible and could lead to a new generation of human-looking robots and ‘chemical’ computing. We take a look at work to create electronic skin – self-healing, stretchable material that can mimic some of the functions of human skin – and its potential uses. We discover how thin, flexible, plastic solar cells could turn surfaces such as cars and fabric into sources of renewable energy, and we uncover some novel approaches to charging wearable electronics.
The world looks very different from this time last year. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science, research and innovation, accelerated some changes already in the works, but also exposed our weaknesses. In September, Horizon looks at how the pandemic is reshaping Europe in areas including health research, work, tech, transport and food – and how research can contribute to Europe’s recovery over the coming years. We will also be covering the European Research & Innovation Days at the end of the month, which will bring together scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and citizens to debate how research and innovation can ensure that the transition to a post-coronavirus society is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
Picture this: You’ve experienced no physical sensation beyond your wrists for years, then a doctor drapes a thin, flexible membrane over your hand and, like magic, you can feel the trickle of water through your fingers again.
Bats are in the limelight these days because they are rumoured to be the source of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the coronavirus pandemic. But that is just part of their story. Bats turn out to be miraculous creatures. Their ability to age without decrepitude or cancer, as well as fight off a multitude of infections, are giving us clues about how to do the same for ourselves.
Flexible membranes will mimic the appearance and functionality of human skin.
Bats stave off infections and ageing. What could humans learn from these abilities?
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.