7 renewable energy projects that might just change the world
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From people-powered football pitches in Nigeria and safer lamplight for families in Kenya to recycled coffee in Cambridgeshire, the future is bright.
A student attending Shell's Energy Lab Europe in 2014Here are seven examples of energy initiatives that might just save the world. 1. GravityLight 2 Kerosene lamps, commonly used in communities that don’t have a regular electricity supply, can cause side effects including cataracts and even cancer. For many families, though, this is the only source of light they have. 1.3 billion people across the world rely on kerosene lamps when the sun goes down. It might be unhealthy, but it’s vastly expensive too – some families spend up to 30% of their income lighting their homes via kerosene. It’s a dangerous – potentially lethal – and a huge poverty trap. There might be a solution, though. GravityLight is, according to its founders, a “low cost, safe and reliable alternative to the kerosene lamp – one that costs nothing to run, doesn’t need batteries and pays for itself within weeks.” It works by turning gravity into light – something that humans have been doing, for example in clocks, for hundreds of years. The GravityLight came to be in 2013, and was trialled in 26 different countries across the world – leading to 98% of those who tested it saying they’d use it over a kerosene lamp. Now, a stronger and easier to use version – the GravityLight 2 – is promising to take the invention even further. In Kenya, new staff are being trained to build the lights, meaning more of them can be rolled out to local families more quickly, and sustainable jobs can be created within communities. The GravityLight 2 campaign on IndieGogo has so far raised $400,927 – 128% of its target amount. Watch the video below to learn more about the campaign: See the GravityLight 2: Made in Africa IndieGoGo page here. 2. bio-bean bio-bean has industrialised t6he process of recycling waste coffee grounds by turning them into advanced biofuels – a solution to both the waste disposal problem and the burning of fossil fuels. It’s a “clean technology” company, working within existing energy and waste infrastructures. It’s grown hugely since its launch in 2014, and its Cambridgeshire factory can now process 50,000 tonnes of ground per year, and is extending its research into creation of liquid fuels and biochemicals. Find out more about bio bean here: http://www.bio-bean.com 3. The Shell Concept Car Shell have built a car with the aim of reducing energy usage in the transport sector. Using geotechnology, the energy efficient car reduces emissions in a society where more and more cars appear in the roads every day. In the below video, Professor Gordon Murray discusses the thought process behind the Concept Car in more detail... 4. Shell Springboard Shell Springboard is a low carbon innovation award for UK entrepreneurs.
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