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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World’s first digital teacher starts work teaching kids about energy

World’s first digital teacher starts work teaching kids about energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI, avatars and bots will play an increasingly central role in the future of education, and Will is the first teacher of his kind.   It’s back to school time for millions of children around the world and you know what that means – it’s...

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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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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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Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are an increasing number of billionaires who believe heavy industry should be moved off of Earth and onto the Moon, and Bezos might be one to help make it a reality.   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going...

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Perfectly transparent solar concentrator turns every window into a solar panel

Perfectly transparent solar concentrator turns every window into a solar panel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more materials become capable of producing and storing their own energy companies will be able to wean themselves off fossil fuels faster, and develop innovative new products.   Transparent solar cells and films that can be applied to any type of surface, even windows,...

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Decentralised energy grids and renewables get a boost from Centrica

Decentralised energy grids and renewables get a boost from Centrica

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy, and decentralised micro and tied-storage grids, are transforming the way energy is produced, transmitted and sold, so Centrica is testing the waters to see whether or not blockchain could play a vital role in the future of energy.   Blockchain is increasingly being...

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Google reportedly mulls investing in a hypersonic tunnelling boring company

Google reportedly mulls investing in a hypersonic tunnelling boring company

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is a race on to increase the speed of boring tunnels by at least ten fold, and if it can be achieved it will change the economics of energy generation and transportation.   Google announced recently, quietly, very quietly, that it’s carrying out research...

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Crazy thinkers suggest beaming solar energy from space to end energy poverty

Crazy thinkers suggest beaming solar energy from space to end energy poverty

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In 2050 there will be 10 billion people on the planet who need energy, and while renewable energy will help reduce energy poverty some think solar energy beamed from space, or satellites, could also help.   Infalling solar radiation constantly illuminates the Moon’s surface with...

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MIT’s breakthrough battery makes electricity from thin air, literally

MIT’s breakthrough battery makes electricity from thin air, literally

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We still live in a world where many people live in energy poverty and inventions like this one could one day become an important part of the overall energy mix.   Energy devices that  can generate electricity from thin air are increasingly appearing in labs...

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Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As transistors and computing devices continue to shrink it is inevitable we’ll bake more computing power into our clothing, and all that extra compute will need some way to power it.   Today, the majority of smart clothes we use to monitor a person’s vital...

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Nanogenerator breakthrough generates electricity from the blood in your veins

Nanogenerator breakthrough generates electricity from the blood in your veins

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As researchers continue to develop micro-machines and implanted medical devices that live within our bodies we might need to find new ways to power them.   Humanity has been generating electricity from flowing water for millennia using everything from watermills to huge hydro-electric dams, but...

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Futurist keynote, Paris: The Future of Sustainable Cities, ChangeNOW Summit

Futurist keynote, Paris: The Future of Sustainable Cities, ChangeNOW Summit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The effect that climate change and pollution is having on our society and wellbeing is well documented but it’s clear from this summit that for every problem we face there are hundreds of innovative solutions.   Firstly, a big thanks to the wonderful team, lead...

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Elon Musk beats his 100 day deadline to power up the world’s biggest battery

Elon Musk beats his 100 day deadline to power up the world’s biggest battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s thirst for renewable energy is increasing, almost  exponentially, and dips in supply have to be met from battery storage systems like these.   Elon Musk started building a giant mega battery for the South Australian outback earlier this year with the aim of preventing the...

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The renewable energy revolution starts at home, American’s are breaking new records

The renewable energy revolution starts at home, American’s are breaking new records

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Slowly but surely energy grids are modernising and decentralising, and homeowners are at the forefront of the shift, embracing renewable energy and new energy systems faster than ever before   Thanks to companies like Tesla and their Powerwall product the residential energy storage market is...

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Chip sized particle accelerators will make renewable energy even cheaper

Chip sized particle accelerators will make renewable energy even cheaper

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is taking over the world, with thousands of Gigawatts now installed around the world, and the price is plummeting, new records and new breakthroughs will only make the technology cheaper and that’s going to accelerate the switch from fossil to renewables happen even...

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Dubai’s new solar energy park will be the world’s largest, but it’s no super volcano

Dubai’s new solar energy park will be the world’s largest, but it’s no super volcano

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy in over 58 countries and Dubai’s vision to create the world’s largest solar park is only going to help accelerate the demise of fossil fuels.   Dubai is a country with its sights set on the future,...

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Inside NASA’s plan to stop the next Yellowstone supervolcano eruption

Inside NASA’s plan to stop the next Yellowstone supervolcano eruption

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One day a Supervolcano like Yellowstone will erupt, plunge the Earth into the next ice age and potentially wipe out much of life on Earth, but now NASA has a plan to stop it   Nature is as awesome as it is destructive, and it’s...

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