Smog and waste push China to cancel the roll out of 103 coal fired power stations

Smog and waste push China to cancel the roll out of 103 coal fired power stations

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Coal fired power stations are regarded as the most polluting form of energy production, this latest roll back of investment in coal could be good news for the environment.   At the same time that China’s government is talking about creating new global energy supergrids...

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India brings the world’s largest solar power plant online

India brings the world’s largest solar power plant online

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Solar power is now the cheapest form of electricity in 58 countries, with more capacity coming online that number’s only going to get bigger   China might be largest producer of solar energy in the world, but neighbouring India is equally ambitious. In the next...

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New solar panels generate electricity from rain

New solar panels generate electricity from rain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new range of all weather solar panels could help further reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and make renewable energy an even more attractive proposition.   Solar panel technology has changed the way many people bring energy into their homes, but it’s always had...

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Syria returns 50,000 seeds to the Global Seed Bank

Syria returns 50,000 seeds to the Global Seed Bank

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The global seed bank at Svalbard in the depths of the Arctic Circle is humanity’s last line of defence that prevents crucial crops being lost forever   Today, the seeds of over 50,000 different varieties of crops, including cabbages, wheat, lettuce, sweet peas, and many others,...

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Conservationists are saving coral reefs, one 3D printed coral at a time

Conservationists are saving coral reefs, one 3D printed coral at a time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With more coral bleaching events becoming more common, and increasingly severe, conservations are struggling to preserve some of the world’s finest reefs.   A lot has changed since Fabien Cousteau’s grandfather Jacques started teaching about marine conservation in the 1950s, for a start we’re using...

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China’s new climate control program is a monster

China’s new climate control program is a monster

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A large part of China is arid, with serious implications on the people’s livelihoods and health, the new climate control program will improve their living conditions.   China, the world’s second largest economy, announced on Wednesday that it’s going to spend $168 million on a...

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Scientists have a plan to re-freeze the Arctic

Scientists have a plan to re-freeze the Arctic

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Arctic is melting at its fastest rate ever, and with temperatures 20C above normal scientists want us to take drastic action.   Physicist Steven Desch has come up with a novel solution to the problems that now beset the Arctic. He and a team...

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An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The question of whether or not to use gene drives, an extinction technology, to eradicate pests and invasive species is divisive but it looks set to get the go ahead.   Scientists working with US conservation group Island Conservation say they’ve managed to establish an...

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It’s a monster, world’s largest wind turbine means business

It’s a monster, world’s largest wind turbine means business

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The cost of renewable energy is beginning to fall as the technologies mature, now the world’s largest wind turbine wants to step out from solar power’s shadow   Wind energy is one of the most promising renewable energy resources in the world, right after solar...

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Genetically modified super cows are resistant to tuberculosis

Genetically modified super cows are resistant to tuberculosis

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every year in the UK over 36,000 cattle that contract TB are culled, but now that might end up being a thing of the past.   Tuna and pigs recently got their own slice of emerging technology action by getting their own blockchains, but now...

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Scientists propose using sound to stop killer tsunamis at sea

Scientists propose using sound to stop killer tsunamis at sea

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over the years tsunami’s have killed hundreds of thousands of people, now scientists think they have a way to stop them in their tracks before they reach shore.   Most people know that if you want to cancel a wave out – whether it’s a...

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America’s largest wind farm to be built off of the coast of New York

America’s largest wind farm to be built off of the coast of New York

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over the years the uptake and roll out of wind power as a renewable energy source across America has been slow, but advocates hope that this ambitious new wind farm project will change all that.   I always thought that in America it was Chicago,...

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Scientists create the first carbon free supercapacitor

Scientists create the first carbon free supercapacitor

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Breakthroughs in supercapacitor technology will have multiple benefits, from helping to create new renewable energy grid-scale electric storage systems and faster electric vehicle charging systems.   Elon Musk last year went on record to say that if anything was going to accelerate the roll out...

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Scientists in New York have created a working tractor beam

Scientists in New York have created a working tractor beam

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to move objects with light has been science fiction for a long time, but scientists in New York have already made it happen, and they’re now scaling it up.   Science fiction is rapidly becoming a reality, and we can see the evidence...

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Scientists publish a plan to bring back the extinct Caspian Tiger

Scientists publish a plan to bring back the extinct Caspian Tiger

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Species are going extinct today 10,000 times faster than ever before, and conservationists are getting increasingly serious about turning the clock back and bringing species back from the dead   Caspian tigers were some of the largest cats ever to roam the Earth, weighing in...

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Scientists have created the coldest object in the Universe

Scientists have created the coldest object in the Universe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have chilled a complex object to almost absolute zero and it could herald breakthroughs in sensor technology, quantum computing and… yes, even teleportation.   Nothing can be chilled below absolute zero, or −273.15°C, because at this temperature all molecular motion stops completely. Per Heisenberg’s uncertainty...

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The US Army wants biodegradable bullets that grow plants

The US Army wants biodegradable bullets that grow plants

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every year armies around the world use millions of rounds of ammunition during training exercises but these can cause a trail of environmental devastation which takes generations to recover from, the US Army want to create a new legacy.   Not only are bullets a...

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Clean coal, breakthrough captures CO2 from power plants and turns it into profit

Clean coal, breakthrough captures CO2 from power plants and turns it into profit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF CO2 is a major greenhouse gas but until now capturing it was difficult and expensive, this new technology could help reduce global emissions by 10%.   India have made a breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet heating CO2 emissions, and...

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Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

Devastating bioweapon or humanity’s saviour? UN green lights the ‘Gene Drive’

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s most powerful genetic technology – one that could cure disease, and at the same time wipe out entire species in the blink of an eye – has just been green lighted by the UN, and now the genies about to come out of...

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Google hits its ambitious 100% renewable energy target

Google hits its ambitious 100% renewable energy target

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is rapidly becoming the energy of choice for many countries and companies, and as output increases and costs fall, more companies are making the switch from fossil fuels.   By March this year all of Google’s datacentres and offices will be powered entirely...

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