Gu Wei Di Qi
The new fuel to come from Saudi Arabia
On the edge of the Saudi Arabian desert beside the Red Sea, a futuristic city called Neom is due to be built. The $500bn (£380bn) city – complete with flying taxis and robotic domestic help – is planned to become home to a million people. And what energy product will be used both to power this city and sell to the world? Not oil. Instead, Saudi Arabia is banking on a different fuel – green hydrogen. This carbon-free fuel made is from water by using renewably produced electricity to split hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules.
The new 'gold rush' for green lithium
Cornwall, 1864. A hot spring is discovered nearly 450m (1,485ft) below ground in the Wheal Clifford, a copper mine just outside the mining town of Redruth. Glass bottles are immersed to their necks in its bubbling waters, carefully sealed and sent off for testing. The result is the discovery of so great a quantity of lithium – eight or 10 times as much per gallon as had been found in any hot spring previously analysed – that scientists suspect “it may prove of great commercial value”.
How Ireland is abandoning its dirty fuel
“Misery, just misery – your fingers are sore, your legs are sore – my legs are still cramping and it’s three days since I’ve been there.” Seventeen-year-old Eoin, half-laughing, is complaining about his recent experience turning sods of turf on a bog near his home in County Offaly, in the Midlands of Ireland. “But it has to be done – it’s the only way I can heat my house and water.”
The world's fastest-growing source of food
merald-green waters and bobbing catamarans welcome one on the way to Pamban Island, also known as Rameshwaram, a sacred pilgrimage site in the state of Tamil Nadu. But just below the sea’s surface, there is a change taking place which could transform the region's ecosystem, economy and even its cuisine – these coastal villages are the home of India's seaweed boom.
How to stop another 'Day Zero'
Kalaiselvi Murugan's day starts early. She is a domestic worker in Chennai, India, who rises at dawn to beat the queue and place her red plastic pot in line, ready for the water to be released at the neighbourhood water pump. After collecting water for her tiny third-floor flat, she walks to work in a wealthier neighbourhood, where the apartments have piped water supplied by tankers throughout the day.
Why some bike shares work and others don't
set of iconic photos from 2017 show brightly coloured fields which, at first glance, look like meadows filled with flowers in full bloom. It takes a while to register that the images aren't of verdant fields, but ones filled with bicycles: hundreds and thousands of two-wheelers, stacked end-to-end in what came to be called China's bicycle graveyards.
The country rejecting throwaway culture
"Hmm," sighs Bruno Mottis, squinting through his brown tortoiseshell glasses. "Did you spill water on it? Or put more than a kilogram of weight on top? The wiring inside appears to have been fried or disconnected somehow."
The unexpected ingredients that improve solar cells
From fizzy drinks to moreish crisps, many inventions are famed for their unusual and often closely guarded ingredients – but solar panels aren't usually found at the top of that list. However, several food ingredients have proved to be unexpectedly useful when added to solar cells.
The city of sustainable skyscrapers
Looking out over Hong Kong's iconic skyline from the viewing deck of its tallest skyscraper, the 118-storey International Commerce Centre (ICC), it's clear why Hong Kong is known as the world's most vertical city. In every direction you look, countless high-rise buildings are stacked side by side, clustered together, like a real-world version of the game Tetris.
The device that reverses CO2 emissions
he year is 2050. Walk out of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas, and drive north across the sun-baked scrub where a few remaining oil pumpjacks nod lazily in the heat, and then you'll see it: a glittering palace rising out of the pancake-flat ground. The land here is mirrored: the choppy silver-blue waves of an immense solar array stretch out in all directions. In the distance, they lap at a colossal grey wall five storeys high and almost a kilometre long. Behind the wall, you glimpse the snaking pipes and gantries of a chemical plant.