Month: August 2022

Revolutionary new Swiss ‘water battery’ will be one of Europe’s main renewable sources of energy

A water battery capable of storing electricity equivalent to 400,000 electric car batteries will begin operating in Switzerland next week.

The pumped storage power plant was built into a subterranean cavern in the Swiss canton of Valais. With the ability to store and generate vast quantities of hydroelectric energy, the battery will play an important role in stabilising power supplies in Switzerland and Europe.

Climate-Smart Agriculture Needs Better Planning For Weather Aberrations

Traditional weather forecasts tell us what is likely to happen within the next 24 hours and up to two weeks ahead, whereas climate prediction tells us what will likely happen in the coming seasons, years and decades. Both weather and climate forecasts are very important to develop adaption and mitigation strategies to maximise returns from agriculture and improve livelihoods.

These smart farms are 100 times more productive than traditional agriculture

Food security is a global challenge and it’s only getting more critical, says Irving Fain, founder and CEO of Bowery, the vertical farming company using hydroponics and digital agriculture to reimagine the future of produce. “The problem we’re solving at Bowery is a problem that’s not only relevant to the cities we’re in today or to cities in the U.S., but it’s relevant to cities around the world.”

California to Become First State to Install Solar Panels Over Water Canals

California is home to about 4,000 miles of canals. For decades these complex networks have delivered more than 600 million gallons of water per day to agricultural areas and to residents throughout the state. At the same time, California’s water supply has dwindled. Rising temperatures, groundwater depletion, and decreased precipitation have resulted in an unprecedented, years-long drought, bringing the state’s reservoir levels down to the lowest they’ve been in a century. This has prompted legislators, researchers, and environmental activists to seek out ways to protect California’s water supply.

Bio-based carbon-negative insulation made from grass

Gramitherm chose grass as a raw material as it is a highly efficient thermal insulator with an estimated lifetime of at least 50 years. The panels are also an efficient means of storing the carbon dioxide captured by the grass during its lifetime. In fact, Gramitherm’s insulation captures 1.5 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogramme of product.

Southern African countries can do better at infrastructure: what the choices might look like

This article is available at Countries in southern Africa are under a crushing burden brought about by a confluence of factors. These include the unprecedented growth in the number of young people, the remarkable speed of urbanisation and the rise of informal settlements in urban centres. The physical infrastructure needed to meet these challenges […]

How companies draw on science fiction

This article is available at  In 1964 Sir Arthur C Clark stood in front of a BBC camera and predicted that by the year 2000 people would be able to communicate instantly with their friends, even when they had no idea where they were.  The author of 2001: A Space Odyssey described a world […]

What’s wrong with the Fourth Industrial Revolution

This article is available at In this episode of Pasha, Ruth Castel-Branco, manager of the Future of Work(ers) research project at the University of the Witwatersrand, joins Nanjala Nyabola, a storyteller and political analyst, in taking us through the seductive idea of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Read More

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