The European Union has launched new plans to revolutionise how it trades and supplies energy, but to ensure its success EU funds need to support the frontiers of science and knowledge, according to Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
The steel industry plays a big role in Europe’s energy consumption, but many say green technologies have been sidelined to stay competitive with cheaper, dirtier steel from China. To explore the best way forward, Horizon organised a debate between Dr Klaus Peters, the secretary general of the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP), and Wendel Trio, the director of Climate Action Network Europe.
The energy sector could see a revolution along the same lines as the digital sector, but we first need to scale up breakthrough technologies and train more experts in areas such as smart grids, storage and renewables, according to Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union.
Scientists have found a way of producing electricity and fuel for cars from bacteria and green algae, and scaling up these techniques could create a reliable source of renewable energy that could be used as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Inserting bacteria into bricks and concrete could help generate heat, circulate air and repair cracks, according to researchers who are designing innovative construction materials to transform bricks and mortar into living buildings with a reduced environmental footprint.
Street lights may seem just part of the mundane backdrop of life, but many firms have been devising exciting ideas for powering them more cheaply and making them do far more than illuminate a dark road.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) could have the potential to energise remote areas of the world, but it faces one major obstacle – the amount of water it uses. Now, thrifty water sprinklers, tailor-made rotors and hybrid sunlight-biomass boilers could cut the water bill of concentrated solar power and even help generate electricity when the sun doesn't shine.
Wind intensity can be forecast months ahead thanks to a new tool that uses sophisticated climate simulations to tell energy companies and government planners how strongly the wind is likely to blow.
Each year a new wave of computers, smartphones and accessories swarm the market with smaller components made from increasingly complex materials. While this technological evolution may be exciting for consumers, the trend towards obsolescence is impeding our progress towards a zero-waste society, according to researchers working in the area.
The European Commission has launched plans for the next research funding programme.