Spain
Luca Tancredi Barone
Luca Tancredi Barone Back in 1998, when my grandmother looked at my university thesis on  blue compact dwarf galaxies , she asked me, puzzled, "what  exactly  do you use this for?" I then realised that, perhaps, I had to reconsider my career ambitions.
Is it worth renovating old buildings?
Is it worth renovating old buildings? Spain is known as a land of sun and heat. But even here there are regions that have to face icy winter temperatures. In Valladolid , in the north of the country, many of the almost 300,000 inhabitants are in poorly isolated buildings built in the 1960s.
Offshore wind farms: too much energy is lost in cables
Offshore wind farms: too much energy is lost in cables Offshore wind farms play an increasingly important role in renewable power generation. According to WindEurope, Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 15,780 MW.
The human factor in saving energy
The human factor in saving energy From 21 to 25  May the EU Green Week is exploring ways to accelerate sustainable urban transformation.
How machines can learn from human behaviour
How machines can learn from human behaviour Could a human behaviour simulator be embedded into a robot or online avatar to the point that it’s hard to distinguish between a real person or artificial intelligence? Scientists have been upping the stakes in this “ Turing test ” for years, to the point that human-mimicking programmes are ready to answer tricky questions, assist people with online shopping or be companions.
How can smart cities finance their transformation?
How can smart cities finance their transformation? Local governments in Europe are notoriously risk averse, city council officials and industry leaders won’t hesitate to tell you.
Bio-homes to tackle the housing emergency
Bio-homes to tackle the housing emergency Bristol is at the forefront of high-tech innovation in the UK, named European green capital in 2015. But it is also the second least affordable major British city housing-wise only after London.
Energy “vigilant” citizens
Energy “vigilant” citizens When temperatures are low, the temptation to take long, scalding showers and turn electric heaters to the maximum is high. And not knowing how much energy we spend, when we unthinkingly do these activities, makes it difficult for us to decrease our consumption.
Protecting health by improved building efficiency
Protecting health by improved building efficiency Home sweet home. Houses are supposed to be our nest, a shelter from the world outside. But how healthy are European homes? Nowadays most of our time is spent indoors, often at home, one reason being the current shift to “desk jobs”.
Science-based civic projects
Science-based civic projects “Are we all on the same page? Singing from the same hymn sheet?” For anyone working with groups of people in policy areas, the answer is nearly always “yes”.
Household air pollution: the forgotten hazard
Household air pollution: the forgotten hazard As air pollution is largely considered to be an outdoor problem, people are little aware of indoor contaminants . The World Health Organisation estimated that each year 4.3 million people die of exposure to household pollutants.
Nobel laureate Rae Kwon Chung speaks about the advent of HVDC supergrids
Nobel laureate Rae Kwon Chung speaks about the advent of HVDC supergrids Both European and Asian experts are focusing on the challenging tasks of system integration and transmission of renewable energy over long distances. High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) grid technologies could be the solution.
Households poised to become energy dealers
Households poised to become energy dealers Households and small businesses using independent power systems, or microgrids, still find it hard to cope without their national electricity grids.
Cities: how smart strategies can turn into effective action plans
Cities: how smart strategies can turn into effective action plans When Justin Bieber made his way to Stockholm in September 2016, city officials hardly expected the tween heartthrob to pave the way for sustainable urban policy .
District heating: has its time come?
District heating: has its time come? From the frosty reaches of Umeå in eastern Sweden to the rolling hills of San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque Country, European cities have one refrain on their minds as the cold sets in: winter is coming and homes must be heated in a way that allows the EU to reach its goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by the year 2020 .
Hot food under pressure
Hot food under pressure A robotic arm grabs a long metallic cylindrical container and puts it smoothly into a steaming water basin.
Smoother ice creams, greener peas and ecological tomatoes
Smoother ice creams, greener peas and ecological tomatoes There are different reasons to adapt new technologies in food processing. First, the industry hopes to create new foods that will provide a better taste and new sensations in the mouth .
Challenging energy renovation of buildings
Challenging energy renovation of buildings Energy consumption in the construction sector is a key issue in the fight against climate change. It is often approached when planning new buildings, but there is little tendency to renovate the existing stock .
“Democratic” supergrids
“Democratic” supergrids Thousands of kilometres of increasingly sophisticated and cutting-edge transmission lines, in other words supergrids , are on the EU agenda. Projects for high voltage links between countries are already being implemented.
The semiotics of supercomputers
The semiotics of supercomputers Exascale supercomputing refers to super fast computers to be implemented between 2018 and 2020 to analyse massive volumes of data. The downside: they consume vast amounts of energy.
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