Does the name Boyan Slat ring a bell? There is a good chance it does. The now 22-years old engineer from the Netherlands decided to tackle the huge plastic waste problem in our oceans, after encountering more bags than fish in a scuba diving trip in Greece when he was 16. He came up with an invention to clean up the ocean’s garbage patches, an idea that soon would capture the attention of many after a video of his TedX talk in 2012 went viral. What the young inventor proposed is, by all means, ambitious – and in the eye of some oceanographers straight away insane. Nonetheless, in 2013 Boyan Slat founded a company to realise his idea: the Ocean Cleanup was born. After he revealed some major design changes and an updated timeline during an announcement event Delft, the Netherlands, earlier this month, it’s time to have a closer look at how this young fella thinks he will make it happen.
Elon Musk has been in the spotlight a number of times on my blog now, and once again he succeeded in creating a good portion of buzz in the cleantech world which I cannot let go unnoticed. Yesterday the Silicon Valley entrepreneur announced that Tesla is now taking online orders worldwide for their latest disruptive technology: the solar roof. Seen by Elon as the third leg of the stool of a sustainable energy future, next to Tesla’s Powerwall and electric car, first installations in the US follow later this year, while worldwide rollout begins in 2018.
Solar roof can be ordered for almost any country. Deployment this year in the US and overseas next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2017
So you thought Tesla’s electric cars are revolutionary? Ha! Electric cars are no longer the coolest kid in school. Airbus and a bunch of start-ups are fervently working on electric, zero-emission, airplanes for personalized transportation. They all share a similar dream: getting you as fast and comfortable as possible from point A to B, through the air. One of these start-ups is Munich-based Lilium, which completed their maiden voyage earlier this month.
Lilium’s fully electric jet (photo: Lilium)
Last week, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released its 2017 statistics on renewable energy technologies. Should we be excited about a 60-page long document filled with numbers?! Ooooh yes, even if you are not a nerd. IRENA meticulously listed all renewable energy generation plants in the world, categorized them according to technology, and kept track of their total installed capacity over the last decade. The statistics show clearer than ever that renewable electricity generation is growing worldwide. Have a look at the graphs I made for you below.
Being raised in a rural village in Belgium, living in the busy and polluted city of Barcelona makes me crave for some fresh air every now and then. I am certainly not the only one. 90% of the world’s urban population is breathing polluted air. Sometimes called the silent killer, air pollution is responsible for nearly half a million premature deaths a year in Europe alone. I know everyone is freaking out about ISIS right now, but the real killer is all around us and we have created it ourselves.
Last Wednesday the 22nd of March, the UN celebrated the World Water day. Many take drinking water for granted, but there are still 1.8 billion people in the world who use a source of drinking water that puts them at risk of getting deadly sick. In the driest and poorest regions of the world, women and girls walk for hours in the blistering heat to collect water for their families –withholding them from studying or working. Addressing the drinking water crisis of those regions can solve many problems at once.