United Kingdom
A smart city means an inclusive city
A smart city means an inclusive city Like every year, December 3 will be a United Nations sanctioned International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) . The aim is to increase public awareness of the conditions of disabled people and, at the same time, to celebrate their achievements and contributions.
Energy back in local hands
Energy back in local hands Across Europe, town and city councils are becoming increasingly interested in energy decentralisation , i.e. in producing power closer to where it is consumed.
Homes storing CO2, just like trees
Homes storing CO2, just like trees Domestic efforts play an important role in curbing global warming. Besides producing and using renewables, homes can also act as banks that store CO2 .
Do microbes control our mood?
Do microbes control our mood? If aliens were to examine a human, they would think we were just slavish organisms designed to feed microbes and carry them around. Our bodies contain ten times more bacteria than cells , and there are an estimated 3.
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon
Robots in distress in the Venetian Lagoon Can mathematics be expressed poetically through computational technologies? Visual artists Vicky Isley and Paul Smith believe it can be and are collaborating with the Artificial Life Lab of the University of Graz, in Austria, on the Subcultron project (Submarine Cultures Perform Long-Term Exploration of Unconventional Environmental Niches).
Crowdfunding a renewable future
Crowdfunding a renewable future Part of the issue with small-scale, home-based renewable energy systems is that initial setup costs can be high. This puts such installations out of reach for some sectors of society, even if they could benefit financial in the long run with lower household bills.
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather
Cities: surviving floods and significant whims of the weather Part of the solution to counter the devastating effects of floods on human communities could be long-term climate forecasting, backed by assessments on the vulnerability of towns and cities As centres of innovation and growth, European cities are home to around 75% of the continent’s population and use about 80% of the energy it produces.
Brexit: a chance for European countries to deepen cooperation on renewables?
Brexit: a chance for European countries to deepen cooperation on renewables? After the Brexit shock in Europe, an intensive debate has started to figure out the future energy strategy of the European Union without the UK.
Social, green, but primarily as an investment: all the features of energy crowdfunding
Social, green, but primarily as an investment: all the features of energy crowdfunding There are three ways a crowdfunding project can be financed. Lending: the entrepreneurs borrow money and pay interest; equity: investors in the project become its shareholders; donations: no reward is to be expected (there is a fourth way, a mix of equity and lending called “hybrid”).
Gauging public opinion on small wind turbines
Gauging public opinion on small wind turbines Recent studies suggest that around 70 to 80 percent of people in Europe support wind farms, although there are still concerns around noise and aesthetics.
Gone with the wind farms – Six of the world’s top offshore arrays in pictures
Gone with the wind farms – Six of the world’s top offshore arrays in pictures United Kingdom - London Array With a peak rated power of 630 megawatts, London Array is the largest wind farm in Europe by capacity, and also the largest offshore plant in the world.
Bracing for summer thunderstorms
Bracing for summer thunderstorms With summertime and heat waves approaching, thunderstorms are becoming more frequent again. Recently several regions in Europe were hit by devastating thunderstorms along with strong winds, lightning strikes, hail and flash floods.
Saving energy through a user-friendly experience
Saving energy through a user-friendly experience Living or working in high energy-efficient buildings can be a great opportunity but users need to feel empowered. This means making them aware of the building features and allowing them to manage some of the appliances by themselves.
Energy crowdfunding: the new way to boost renewables
Energy crowdfunding: the new way to boost renewables It's a brand new sector: the first steps date back to 2012. Today energy crowdfunding is a way of financing solar panel or wind turbine projects.
Cyber attacks – Are smart cities safer or more vulnerable?
Cyber attacks – Are smart cities safer or more vulnerable? In the wake of the Brussels bombings, the French blogger Francis Pisani addressed the quandaries of modern, connected European cities facing terrorist threats .
The small wind turbines you’ll want in your back yard
The small wind turbines you’ll want in your back yard Opponents to wind turbines often claim that the noise and vibrations from the turbines affect their health , leading to sleep disturbance, headaches and a host of other problems.
Green buildings: is the market ready to pay more for them?
Green buildings: is the market ready to pay more for them? The European construction industry and home-builder citizens are increasingly aware of sustainable choices. Some solutions can be more expensive than others, although sometimes this only concerns the construction phase.
The Social Life of Bricks
The Social Life of Bricks Mark Miodownik will never forget the day he became obsessed with materials. He was a schoolboy in 1985 when he was stabbed in the London Underground. “ When I saw that weapon in the police station later, I was mesmerized.
Can sustainable office buildings increase workers’ productivity?
Can sustainable office buildings increase workers’ productivity? Efforts to make buildings environmentally sustainable often focus on the technical side, such as energy efficiency. But there is more to sustainability than just energy efficiency.
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture For the first time in its history, the Global Seed Vault on the Svalbard Islands, Norway, has authorised a withdrawal. It was requested in 2015 by Syria, a country where the war is endangering the local agricultural seed collections.
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