Whilst being a renewable energy, hydropower has a rather large environmental footprint. From its dams causing flooding to its power plants threatening fish populations, the key to the wider use of hydropower is to make it more sustainable. Thanks to new cost-effective measures developed by the EU-funded FIThydro project, environmentally friendly, sustainable hydropower may soon be a reality.
Environmental justice is about making sure environmental laws, regulations and policies treat everyone fairly. The EU-funded EnvJustice project has developed an online tool to support the many environmental justice movements happening around the world. As a result, everyone now has easy access to up-to-date information about how environmental issues impact their part of the world.
Today’s silicon-based solar cells are limited in that they can only absorb energy from a single band of light. That’s why the EU-funded PERTPV project is using perovskite-based materials to build a new type of solar cell. This should lead to more powerful, efficient and sustainable solar panels that will benefit citizens as much as the planet.
While cement and lime are essential to modern life, unfortunately the manufacturing process unavoidably releases large amounts of CO2. The EU-funded LEILAC project has been developing cutting-edge technology to efficiently capture these emissions at a low cost. This will help to decarbonise a critically important industrial sector and contribute towards cleaner air for all citizens to enjoy.
The diesel ferries used to transport people and vehicles from point A to point B produce a lot of air pollution. But a new all-electric, pollution-free car ferry designed by the EU-funded E-ferry project has proven capable of effectively replacing these diesel models. As a result, passengers across Europe could soon be commuting via sustainable, quiet, and smog-free electric ferries.
People love tomatoes so much that they are now the most important vegetable crop worldwide. But as world temperatures rise, the risk of losing this vital source of food has become very real. The EU-funded TomGEM project has identified new varieties with better heat tolerance to ensure citizens can continue to enjoy all the tasty tomato-based foods they adore for a very long time still to come.
Methanol has been touted as a potential climate-friendly ‘fuel of the future’ since the late 1980s, but its use in the transport sector remains limited. The possibility of generating it from CO2 has recently rekindled interest. An EU-funded project explored this option to decarbonise the steel industry and power cargo ships that would benefit both the environment and, subsequently, citizens.
A great deal of biodiversity, accounting for an enormous variety of plants, amongst other forms of life, is found on the forest floor but this is often overlooked in forest management strategies. An EU-funded project developed an online tool to accurately take account of biodiversity loss at this level. This will help to conserve forests for future generations of EU citizens.
Heavy industry is often associated with giant chimneys releasing large quantities of dense, polluting smoke. The EU-funded CLEANKER project has developed new CO2 capture technology for cement plants, challenging this age-old industrial perception. Their technology will boost the EU’s plans for a greener economy that will ultimately benefit all citizens, wherever they live.
Islands are an ideal research ground for those willing to test out energy grid improvement solutions. Local communities usually favour renewable energy and face a wide range of challenges. The EU-funded SMILE project has been testing various combinations of new technologies to take these challenges on, for the benefit of island communities.