Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are many ways we can modify our atmosphere but microwave manipulation produces some of the most extreme results.   China and Russia have jointly announced that they modified an important layer of the atmosphere above Europe in order to test a controversial new military...

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Google X spins off its molten salt grid scale storage business

Google X spins off its molten salt grid scale storage business

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy sources only generate electricity when the sun shines or the wind blows, so companies have to find a way to store it so it can be used in times of scarcity.   One of the biggest problems with renewable energy is that when...

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Scientists 3D print Lithium Ion batteries for the first time

Scientists 3D print Lithium Ion batteries for the first time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to 3D print batteries means we can create batteries in all shapes and sizes which will be useful for all our new gadgets.   Recently I’ve been reporting on a variety of new battery developments, from polymer batteries that can charge your electric...

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ORNL wireless charging breakthrough unplugs electric vehicles from the grid

ORNL wireless charging breakthrough unplugs electric vehicles from the grid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future we won’t have to plug our electric cars into superchargers, we’ll charge them wirelessly at home and when we’re travelling.   I’ve been saying for some time now during my keynotes, like the ones recently at GITEX in Dubai, and RWE in...

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Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If you’ve ever been too lazy to go and get something yourself then tractor beams are for you.   Hot on the heels of researchers in the UK and US who over the years have created a variety of different types of tractor beams that...

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Second hand electric vehicle batteries help Engie accelerate renewable energy uptake

Second hand electric vehicle batteries help Engie accelerate renewable energy uptake

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is clean and green, but when the sun goes down and the wind drops energy output falls, which means sustainable renewable energy needs grid scale battery storage to support it.   Multinational energy utility Engie has launched a new grid connected storage project...

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Breakthrough carbon fiber battery could usher in batteryless electric vehicles

Breakthrough carbon fiber battery could usher in batteryless electric vehicles

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our understanding of how to turn mundane objects and materials into batteries increases in the future anything and everything could be a battery.   As I discussed a little while ago Carbon Fiber is going through its own little revolution, firstly it can now...

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A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters and it’s getting worse as air travel increases, electric aircraft will reverse that trend.   Over the past year or so I’ve been discussing the eventual emergence of fully electric aircraft and sky taxis, such...

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Physicists have discovered the world’s first “time crystal”

Physicists have discovered the world’s first “time crystal”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Time crystals are unique, and new, and it’s believed they could open the door to creating incredibly weird and useful new materials.   Physicists at Yale University have discovered something extraordinary, a new material that more and more people are calling “Time Crystals,” a form...

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The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Plastic waste is a menace at sea and on land, but an ambitious project hopes to clean up 90% of the oceans plastic waste within a decade.   Plastic waste has become a growing issue over the past decade or so which is why more...

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Breakthrough solar charged battery could revolutionise the solar industry

Breakthrough solar charged battery could revolutionise the solar industry

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Despite solar power’s increasing popularity until now customers it’s been difficult and expensive for customers to store the excess energy from their solar panels to use later, meaning they often still have to be attached to the energy grid.   Recently we passed the 1...

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Virgin Atlantic completes world’s first biofuel trans Atlantic flight

Virgin Atlantic completes world’s first biofuel trans Atlantic flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The global airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters, and new clean sources of fuel are vital in helping the industry become more sustainable.   First Alaskan Airlines flew an aircraft using nothing more than wood pellets, but now Virgin Atlantic has gone...

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Mine hunting bees tracked with Lidar help farmers boost crop yields

Mine hunting bees tracked with Lidar help farmers boost crop yields

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Bees help pollinate nearly 75 percent of our crops, this new system can track their progress and predict deadly colony collapses before they happen.   You might expect to hear an angry buzzing when honeybees have been disturbed. But some apiarists reckon they can also...

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Collapsing bee colonies prompt researchers to build robo bees

Collapsing bee colonies prompt researchers to build robo bees

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We rely on bees to pollinate nearly 75 percent of our crops, but as colonies continue to collapse researchers are looking for new alternatives to pollinate crops.   Food security continues to come under the spotlight which is why we’ve recently seen research that uses...

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California replaces three coal fired power stations with battery systems

California replaces three coal fired power stations with battery systems

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Grid scale energy storage is now a viable economic alternative to coal fired power stations designed to top up the grid during peak demands.   Grid scale energy storage is going to get a big boost after California officials, who also recently announced that Los...

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Scientists produce smart windows that generate their own electricity

Scientists produce smart windows that generate their own electricity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The use of glass is increasing around the world and scientists are trying to find new ways to enhance its properties.   Recently we saw new research that lets windows turn into mirrors at the flick of a switch, and now researchers from the Institute...

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Renewable energy smashes a major installation milestone, hits 1 Trillion watts

Renewable energy smashes a major installation milestone, hits 1 Trillion watts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The rise of renewable energy is on a tear, and it’s now looking unstoppable.   Global wind and solar developers took 40 years to install their first trillion watts of power generation capacity, and, as electric vehicles get ready to take off, and as renewables...

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Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyborg bacteria could be used to replace today’s silicon solar panels with higher efficiency, lower cost panels that help accelerate the renewable energy revolution.   Although most life on Earth relies upon photosynthesis as its sole source of energy, the process has a weak link...

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Scientists printed a flexible battery that could revolutionise wearable computers

Scientists printed a flexible battery that could revolutionise wearable computers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Ultra thin and ultra flexible batteries made from Graphene could make new types of wearable computing platforms a reality.   Researchers in the UK who were motivated by the problem of how to power the growing number of wearables that are now hitting the market...

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A solar panel the size of a book could soon power your entire home

A solar panel the size of a book could soon power your entire home

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A three fold increase in the energy efficiency of solar panels could revolutionise almost every industry on Earth.   In our efforts to make solar panels even more efficient a team of scientists in the UK have found a way of funnelling the Sun’s power...

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