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September 2016 - page 2

Agri-ethics is gaining momentum in France

in Agriculture by

Agri-Ethics reflect the moral commitment of all stakeholders in a network. From the farmer to the consumer, through the miller, industrial, baker, everyone can participate in this civic action. The motivations behind are to give a central role to the local farmers, remunerate their production to its “fair value”, and prove that globalization of food commodities are not inevitable.. Read more

Energy Observer: A 100% renewable energy catamaran

in Renewable Energy by

It will be a world’s first. The Energy Observer is an experimental catamaran that combines solar, wind and self-generated hydrogen intelligently. The challenge? Navigate for 5 years around the world as part of an expedition to the energy transition with the ambition to be the world’s first boat to be energy self-sufficient. Read more

Costa Rica powered by renewable energy for two months

in Renewable Energy by
Costa Rica

The cut-throat competition for sustainability is fierce and Costa Rica reached a massive success of sustaining its energy with 100% renewable resources for two months. Read more

Netherlands: Plastic roads to be made from recycled ocean waste

in Transportation by

The Plastic Road project in the Netherlands gives new life to plastic waste, while, at the same time, avoiding millions of tons of CO2 emitted in the production and laying of asphalt.

Read more

World’s biggest Passivhaus under-construction in Germany

in Sustainable development by
Heidelberg Village

Do you want to develop your children in a family environment, without giving up the advantages of the city? Are you a single parent who appreciates good infrastructure? Or do you need help or attach importance to maximum independence and flexibility? Well, the Heidelberg Village in south-west Germany will be your next home. Read more

Solar panels save the nomads of Mongolia

in Renewable Energy by

The Mongolian-Manchurian grassland ecoregion is home to one of the last surviving nomadic cultures. Although it stretches over 965.600 square kilometers between Russia and China, Mongolia has a population of 3 million inhabitants about a quarter only consisted of nomadic herders. Read more

A solar refrigerator to combat famine

in Innovation by

Producing more food is not enough to achieve a zero-hunger generation. Read more

China: The Loess Plateau rose from the ashes through permaculture

in Permaculture by

The Loess Plateau is known as the cradle of Chinese civilization. Formerly a blank feeder ecosystem, it ended up being completely destroyed, leaving millions of people in poverty. However, thanks to a project based on permaculture, some 2.5 million people in the region have surprisingly seen their lives improving. Read more

France: Paving the path to a sunny future

in Environment/Innovation/Renewable Energy by
© Joachim Bertrand / COLAS

It’s not the first time we talk about roads that actually act like large solar panels meant to distribute the generated energy to households, street lighting, traffic systems, and why not — electric vehicles driving over them. The first SolaRoad in the world — a 70-meter long bike path — that converts sunlight into electricity was built in Netherlands in 2014. But France enters the game with a much more ambitious plan of installing 600 miles (or 1,000 km) of solar roads in the next five years. We cannot wait to see it happen, and here’s why: one kilometer only of the roadway paved with Wattway panels will power the streetlights in a town of 5,000 inhabitants.

- © Joachim Bertrand / COLAS
© Joachim Bertrand / COLAS

Wattway panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells, which are embedded in a multilayer substrate and collect solar energy via a thin film of polycrystalline silicon that enables the production of electricity. On the underside of the panels there is a connection to a lateral module containing the electrical safety components. But there are several other facts about the Wattway panels that bring them to the top of the innovation list, when compared to other photovoltaics. The panels can be used on any road at any place in the world, are able to bear all types and sizes of existing vehicles, and are just seven millimeters thick but extremely strong and solid. Very important, Wattway panels are installed directly on the pavement, without additional civil engineering work required, such as deconstruction of the road and rebuild.

“Can you imagine our future roads serving not only our transportation and communication needs, but also covering most of our daily energy demands?”

So, can you imagine our future roads serving not only our transportation and communication needs, but also covering most of our daily energy demands?

And doing so in an environmentally friendly way through a renewable energy source. France’s big project, when passes the trial stage and once completed, will be supplying electricity to five million people. But this is just the beginning of the roads of the future, which have the competence to evolve into smart roads, and transmit live traffic information.

France’s goal is to design high-impact transportation environments by applying the idea of solar roads to bigger scale projects than what they were initially conceived for — pedestrian walkways, sidewalks and cycling routes. Although admittedly there is still research and testing in progress, in terms of the long-term vision there definitely will be benefits and positive implications in the battle to stop climate change.

An amazing sustainable food project in Rotterdam

in Sustainable economy by

Can you imagine of the rearing of cows on water? This is a remarkable project of 2.5 million Euros by Rotterdam’s floating dairy farm aiming at reconnecting Rotterdam’s inhabitants with their food. Moored in the port of Rotterdam, the floating farm will be inaugurated in January 2017. Its 40 cows produce 1 200 liters of milk per day, processed and sold locally. (Article published in The Guardian by Senay Boztas, 4 July 2016) Read more

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