The train is the most sustainable mode of transport for long-distance travel. And from January 1st, the Dutch Railways NS made it more environmentally friendly. They partnered with renewable energy supplier Eneco to solely operate all electric trains on new green energy, allowing 600.000 daily passengers to travel 100% carbon-free. That’s 1.200.000 train rides a day!
Researchers at MIT are taking superfoods to the next level. By embedding spinach leaves with carbon nanotubes, a team of MIT engineers has converted spinach plants into biological bomb detectors. The introduction of “plant nanobionics”, a method to augment plants with nanomaterials, basically give them superpowers.
Every day in the Arava region in southern Israel a group of drones, called pelicans, carry solar panels cleaning robots, called plecos (like the fish known for their ability to clean algae from aquariums), at work. It could be a story from our What’s Flying There? book, instead it is a project by BladeRanger, an Israeli company specialized in managing autonomous robots with unmanned aerial vehicles. Their first application is for the inspection and cleaning of photovoltaic installations.
Since 2000 the experts at Pantone have choosen a color to sum up the spirit of each year, capturing both a snapshot of the past and a sneak peek into the future. From the relaxing quartz and blue of this troubled 2016, they now have shifted to a bright green as the color of 2017. A perfect choice if we take into account some of the positive developments in renewables reached during this controversial year.
Forget solar roofs, we have solar roads now. The world’s first solar panel road just opened in the not-so-sunny Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France. Embedded with 2.800 square meters of photovoltaic panels, with a length of one kilometer, the solar path is expected to generate 280MWh per year.
We need energy more than ever. Nuclear power is one of the options but it leaves us with a great amount of radioactive waste, which is still useful but dangerous. A solution to the problem might be simple and beautiful: turn them into diamond batteries.
In the Arava region in southern Israel there is Capital Nature, an incubator for early stage green start-up companies that funds researches in the area of renewable energy. Here we’re standing with Oren Ezer, co founder of ElectRoad, in front of what it seems to be one of the biggest road improvements since the Romans paved their empire (no photos allowed).