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.
A new breed of emergency shelter with built-in solar power, a backpack that gives access to mobile charging and a bag that converts manure into cooking gas are among the new generation of emergency response kits that could help people survive in the wake of a disaster that knocks out their energy supply.
Mini-grids, mobile payments and smart meters are all helping to create an off-grid model of electricity provision in Africa, helped by bottom-up funding and low-cost solar power, according to Michael Gera, managing partner and co-founder of specialist venture capitalist firm Energy Access Ventures (EAV).
A device that can convert the kinetic energy of the waves into electricity that can be fed into the grid has won a EUR 10 million loan from the EU to enable its Finnish developer to build the first full-scale demonstration unit.
Thinking big, being open to advice and guidance, and having an innovative business model are key ingredients for attracting venture capital (VC) financing, say European fund managers who are looking to invest in companies with high-growth potential in the cleantech, medtech and ICT sectors.
Results may help predict bacterial evolution.
Stromae and Kiesza feature on album created with neural networks.
Small chains of amino acids are helping scientists create food with health benefits, such as a cereal bar to prevent diabetes.