Working towards a sustainable environment

Every week, numerous eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations are being developed to help businesses and nations turn energy and sustainability ambitions into actions. Here, we round up six of the best.

This week's innovations could drive sustainable change across the energy, waste management and transport sectors

This week’s innovations could drive sustainable change across the energy, waste management and transport sectors

It’s been another turbulent week of politics here in the UK, with the Brexit deadline having been pushed back from this Friday (29 March) and Prime Minister Theresa May offering to stand down in order to secure more support for her withdrawal agreement. Given that MPs were unable to agree on the Prime Minister’s deal – or any of a string of seven alternatives – the fate of the UK’s future and its green economy policies still hang in the balance.

But outside of the drama in the House of Commons, the Committee on Climate Change has continued to develop its net-zero strategy, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has continued with its energy efficiency inquiry and innovators across the world are still moving at a pace to launch new products, concepts and systems which could help pave the way to a more sustainable future. Here, edie rounds up six of the best.

Lightweight floating wind turbines

Since the opening of the world’s first floating offshore wind farm in October 2017, the technology has received growing support from investors and governments, with experts predicting that the world’s floating wind capacity could surpass 20GW by 2050 as the sector receives more than £33bn of funding in the UK alone.

It is hardly surprising, then, that innovators are striving to develop more efficient, lightweight and affordable floating wind devices. Among them is the PivotBuoy turbine from cleantech firm X1 Wind, which claims to have a platform weight 80% less than existing models and cost around half the upfront price. To achieve these benefits, the device is fitted with single-point mooring systems and a tension-leg platform, which enables them to be placed deeper underwater.

Full-scale prototypes of the turbine are now set to be installed in the sea around the Canary Islands by the end of 2020, after X1 Wind received €4m of EU Commission Horizon 2020 funding earlier this week. If the technology were installed at scale within the EU, the firm claims it could help bring the cost of offshore wind power from commercial-scale farms down to €50/MWh.

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