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Belgium
Koen Mortelmans
Koen Mortelmans I am a Belgium-based freelance journalist, mainly writing about energy , environment , construction and science.
Towards elections: which future for EU-backed nature-based solutions (NBS)?
Towards elections: which future for EU-backed nature-based solutions (NBS)? The so-called "nature-based solutions" (NBS) are the latest trend in the environment domain.
Hit the slopes with bio-based skis and snowboards
Hit the slopes with bio-based skis and snowboards Skiing has been around for at least eight millennia. Skis from 6000 BCE have been found in northern Russia , while 5000-year-old cave paintings in China appear to show people skiing .
Fighting terrorism online: prevention is better than cure
Fighting terrorism online: prevention is better than cure To what extent do internet and social media help to spread terrorist propaganda and recruiting? EU officials seem to think that they actually contribute a lot.
Are smart cities ready for Europe's new privacy measures?
Are smart cities ready for Europe's new privacy measures? As the number of smart cities increases, the heavier are their responsibilities towards citizens.
Recycled construction waste: building a more sustainable future
Recycled construction waste: building a more sustainable future In the southern Belgian province of Namur, concrete and bricks from demolished buildings are being turned into eco-friendly road surfaces.
Electric mobility: opportunities and challenges
Electric mobility: opportunities and challenges Greenhouse gases decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2016, said the third report on the state of the “Energy Union”, which tracks the EU's transition to a low-carbon society.
When science challenges terrorism
When science challenges terrorism Can science become central to combating terrorism and organised crime? Predictive policing uses mathematical and analytical tools to identify potentially dangerous people and forecast crimes.
How battery systems can integrate renewable energy in smart grids
How battery systems can integrate renewable energy in smart grids Wind and solar energy is not constant and therefore a renewables-based society requires smart grids to transport this power from areas where electricity generation is currently high to those where it is low in order to meet demand.
Short food supply chain: unity makes strength
Short food supply chain: unity makes strength "Why do you talk about short supply chains? You promote small and uncompetitive farms that cater to the richest consumers". In 2012 the former EU commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Cioloş, said he often received this objection.
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.
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”.
“Compacting” electricity lines
“Compacting” electricity lines Often in the countryside, but also near cities, we come across electric power lines with huge pylons, real eye-sores on the landscape.
Financing the next generation of “deep-tech” research innovators
Financing the next generation of “deep-tech” research innovators Remember the cassette Walkman? With streaming services, even MP3 players like the iPod look distinctly  passé . Car Sat-Navs used to drop jaws in amazement, but now driverless cars and flying drone taxis are on the horizon.
How supergrids can support the integration of renewable energy
How supergrids can support the integration of renewable energy In the past, most electricity grids were mainly based on centrally produced power, in relatively few plants, within national borders.
The fight on plastics heats up in the EU
The fight on plastics heats up in the EU A wind of change is blowing across Europe, trying to sweep away all the plastic bags that are littering our countries. January 2018 has been a busy month in this sense.
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 .
Recycling CO2… It’s a work of art!
Recycling CO2… It’s a work of art! A book of learning experiences, in which every chapter is explained through a piece of art. The theme: the transformation of CO 2 into something useful, using man-made diamonds.
The race toward exascale supercomputing targets 2020
The race toward exascale supercomputing targets 2020 Exascale is an artificial milestone figure represented by the number one followed by eighteen zeros. Exascale computers will be able to perform a quintillion calculations per second, and they are expected to consume only 20 MW of power.
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