Rice farming near Beijing has contaminated and tapped the city's drinking water supply. For the past four years, China has been paying farmers to grow corn instead of rice, an effort that Stanford research shows is paying off for people and the environment.
India's Union Government has approved the establishment of a new central center for solar energy research and development and related activities. The National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE) will be established through the conversion of the existing Solar Energy Center in Gurgaon, with a goal to develop it as a 'world class institute'.
Imagine a future where packaging is made entirely from waste material and biodegrades to harmless by-products. Or where your home's cavity wall insulation foam is made from captured CO2 emissions. Or where construction materials, vehicle components and engineering plastics are sophisticated biological composites comprised of tough cellulose fibres embedded in naturally derived polymers.
Farmers who grow corn and soybeans can take advantage of government price support programs and crop insurance, but similar programs are not available for those who grow biomass crops such as Miscanthus.
The promising laboratory results suggest a path to greatly increasing the use of fly ash in concrete, leading to sizable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, construction costs and landfill volumes. Global production of cement for concrete accounts for 5 to 8 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
Easy-to-access visualisation of the 'very shallow geothermal potential' of Europe has been made possible thanks to an EU-funded project. By harmonising pre-existing data relating to geological, hydrogeological, soil and climate, the THERMOMAP project has developed an open source web service, accessible to all.
Electric mobility may be economically efficient today. Battery-based electric drives can be applied efficiently in urban buses, for instance. Frequent acceleration and slow-down processes as well as a high utilization rate in short-distance traffic make their use profitable even when considering current battery costs. At the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will present an e-city bus demonstrator to illustrate the concept.
Tiny solar cells applied directly to a silicon chip are a potential way of efficiently and reliably powering wireless sensor networks in the future. Above all, this would simplify large-scale applications, for instance in agriculture.