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366: The Resolutionary Anthem


How to make people aware that there are solutions to Earth’s ailing condition and that YOU can help clean up, repair and protect our planet.


Today marks one year since we started 366solutions and we have posted one solution per day – now a whole year’s worth –  on this site. You can find out more about the solutions by clicking on various links throughout, or download all solutions through these links:

Download Microsoft Word file

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In fact, these documents include even more ways to help clean up, repair and protect our shared planet Earth –  732 in all!

The Resolutionary Anthem

We also offer you this musical inspiration: The Resolutionary Anthem, by Sophia Dady:

Here it is being beautifully sung by a children’s choir at King Charles, Holy Trinity Church, Barrow Upon Soar at a specially arranged concert, which took place on the Eve of the Coronation of King Charles III.

Sophia Dady’s Website:

This is, like our website, a work song rather than a Work of Art. If you would like to come on board and join with others in singing this Resolutionary Anthem, we encourage you to download the sheet music at no cost…all we ask is that you if you do perform the anthem, please send us a recording so that, with the required permission, we may upload it to and and promote you on our social media as a way of saying ‘Thank You’!

For the full list of performances and their location, click on the arrow in the top left hand corner of the purple frame.


Resolutionary Performers from around the World!




14,000 miles away they judge because they can
In their plush offices very tall and grand

“No reason to believe that there is a threat to man”
For years we’ve been presented with the scientific papers
Books and documentaries are warning of the dangers
For those in the field, we sing a different song!

Can’t you see? The Earth can’t breathe
The birds can’t feed their young anymore
It’s Nature’s law…

We’re playing for a team, a team that is the same
Not working on our own behalf for personal gain
The right time isn’t in the future, it is NOW!

Don’t you see? It’s not about me!
We all must pull together more
It’s Nature’s law…

Find solutions, that’s the key
Join your voice and sing with me
The World deserves our respect.

Solutions come so easily, when you focus on these three:
Clean,  Repair,  Protect

Our World

Find solutions, that’s the key
Join your voice and sing with me
The World deserves our respect

Solutions come so easily, when you focus on these three:
Clean, Repair, Protect

Our World

For how to do this, check out the solutions on this website and act NOW!


365: Wind Turbine variable speed rotor


One weak link with wind turbines is the risk of blackouts and other disruptions. For example in August 2019, offshore turbine controllers at the Hornsea One offshore wind farm in Essex, panicked after a lightning strike elsewhere on the grid. They inadvertently pulled the entire wind farm offline, resulting in widespread blackouts in England and Wales.


A research team lead by Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grid in the Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham set out to tackle the issue of such frequency dips (or nadirs), such as when a generator gets damaged or some other systems failure occurs.

Their solution is to deploy the rotating kinetic energy of the turbine by using the variable speed of the rotors in wind turbine systems to more closely regulate the supply of power to the grid. This means that when electricity demand is high, stored kinetic energy in the turbines can be used intelligently to keep the grid stable.

To avoid a second dip, the Birmingham team proposes a sequence that starts with partial rotor speed recovery, then automatically moves on to a second phase for full recovery. With wind power projected to supply a large slice of the UK’s power by 2030, it is important to equip wind farms with safety mechanisms against frequency nadirs. University of Birmingham Enterprise has applied for a patent to protect the system

Discover Solution 366: Download all solutions and hear The Resolutionary Anthem

Planet Care

364: Nesting Boxes


Industrialization, deforestation and other human activities since the mid-20th century have caused severe declines in birds’ natural habitats, introducing hurdles to breeding.

For example, the evaluation of threatened bird species in Finland was updated in 2015 under the coordination of the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. The evaluation concluded that overall the populations of Finnish bird species are on the decline.

The number of threatened bird species increased by 28 compared to the previous evaluation, while 21 new species were red-listed. The availability of suitable holes has greatly decreased in Finnish forests, and without access to a hole or a bird box many birds simply fail to nest. As such, providing birds with bird boxes is a great way to help them.


A nest box can help prevent bird extinction. The species that use nest boxes and platforms are diverse. Many species of owls, bats, wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, American Kestrels, Purple Martins, and many more will use nest boxes of various sizes because they mimic cavity nests they would find in the wild.

In 1915, following publication of the US Department of Agriculture’s “Farmer’s Bulletin 609, “Bird Houses and How to Build Them”, an estimated 50 million boxes were built.

Sixty years later, since January 1975, thanks to the initiative of Mary Marlar, the Northern Neck Audubon Society (NNAS) has been constructing and distributing bluebird nest boxes (also known as bluebird houses) to make up for the loss of natural sites for blue birds depleted by logging and other development activities in the Virginian community. Over ten years, NNAS has built and sold around 1,000 nesting boxes a year.

In March 2015, the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle launched the One Million Bird Boxes campaign, which is set to introduce one million new bird boxes to Finnish trees by the end of May 2017.

A million bird boxes would provide homes to ten million hatchlings, motivate people to do hundreds of thousands of outdoor treks and create a veritable symphony of congratulatory chirping to commemorate Finland’s centenary.

During the first few weeks after launch nearly 300,000 bird boxes already registered to the campaign with people from all over Finland taking the challenge to build bird boxes, from the capital Helsinki all the way to northernmost Lapland.

Over 40 bird boxes were hung in the garden of the President’s official residence. Many cities also gave their citizens permission to hang bird boxes in parks and other city-owned recreational areas. The campaign proved more than successful with over 1.3 million nest boxes registered by May 21. (

In France, winegrowers from the Clairette de Die appellation with the support of the Vercors Natural Park, built and installed 800 nest boxes on their 40 hectares of land. The nesting birds fed on the insects in the vines eliminating the need for insecticide.

Discover Solution 365: Wind Turbine variable speed rotor

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Planet Care

363: Iron fertilisation


Our planet is warming.


The more daring scientists are taking a more radical approach to cooling the earth’s climate, such as dumping iron dust into the ocean, hoping to grow algae blooms that suck up carbon. Iron fertilization is the intentional introduction of iron to iron-poor areas of the ocean surface to stimulate phytoplankton production.

This is intended to enhance biological productivity and/or accelerate CO₂ sequestration from the atmosphere. Iron is a trace element necessary for photosynthesis in plants. It is highly insoluble in sea water and in a variety of locations is the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton growth. Large algal blooms can be created by supplying iron to iron-deficient ocean waters. These blooms can nourish other organisms.

Consideration of iron’s importance to phytoplankton growth and photosynthesis dates to the 1930s when English biologist Joseph Hart speculated that the ocean’s great “desolate zones” (areas apparently rich in nutrients, but lacking in plankton activity or other sea life) might be iron-deficient.

Little scientific discussion was recorded until the 1980s, when oceanographer John Martin renewed controversy on the topic with his marine water nutrient analyses. His studies supported Hart’s hypothesis. These “desolate” regions came to be called “High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyll” (HNLC) zones.

John Gribbin was the first scientist to publicly suggest that climate change could be reduced by adding large amounts of soluble iron to the oceans. Martin’s 1988 quip at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “Give me a half a tanker of iron and I will give you another ice age”, drove a decade of research. Perhaps the most dramatic support for Martin’s hypothesis came with the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Environmental scientist Andrew Watson analyzed global data from that eruption and calculated that it deposited approximately 40,000 tons of iron dust into oceans worldwide. This single fertilization event preceded an easily observed global decline in atmospheric CO₂ and a parallel pulsed increase in oxygen levels.

Beginning in 1993, thirteen research teams completed ocean trials demonstrating that phytoplankton blooms can be stimulated by iron augmentation. Controversy remains over the effectiveness of atmospheric CO₂ sequestration and ecological effects.

In Spring 2004, an international team on board the 386 ft 10 in (117.91 m) RV Polarstern (meaning pole star) of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in the Helmholtz Association, Bremerhaven, fertilized a part of the closed core of a stable marine eddy in the Southern Ocean with dissolved iron, which stimulated the growth of unicellular algae.

The team followed the development of the phytoplankton bloom for five weeks from its start to its decline phase. The maximum biomass attained by the bloom was with a peak chlorophyll stock of 286 Milligram per square metre higher than that of blooms stimulated by the previous 12 iron fertilization experiments.

According to Dr. Victor Smetacek and Dr. Christine Klaas from the Wegener Institute, this was all the more remarkable because the EIFEX bloom developed in a 3330 ft  (1000 m) deep mixed layer which is much deeper than hitherto believed to be the lower limit for bloom development.

In early 2009 a further dumping of 20 tons (18 tonnes) of ferrous sulphate by Victor Smetacek, called LOHEFEX (LOHA is Hindi for iron, FEX stands for Fertilization EXperiment) was suspended by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) demanding that an independent assessment into the environmental impacts of the experiments be carried out before the ferrous sulphate is dumped in the Southern Ocean.

Greenpeace and other environmental organizations demanded from the start that LOHAFEX be stopped, saying that pouring iron into the ocean amounted to pollution and violated international agreements. Some scientists feared the unintended side effects of the project. The German Government sent the proposal for scientific and legal reviews that were supportive of the project and the experiment was allowed to continue.

Other trials have continued. In 2012, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC), financed by a First Nations community from the British Columbian archipelago, Haida Gwaii, conducted a small scale Ocean Fertilization experiment where 120 tons (109 tonnes) of iron compound were deposited in the migration routes of pink and sockeye salmon in the Pacific ocean West of Haida Gwaii over a period of 30 days.

The project resulted in a 14,000 mi² (35,000 km2)  plankton bloom that lasted for several months and was confirmed by NASA satellite imagery. The HSRC scientific team collected a significant amount of oceanographic data using autonomous underwater vehicles (Slocum Gliders), Argo Drifters, Multi-Spectral Sonar, Surface Seawater samples, Phytoplankton Tows and other methods.

The Desarc-Maresanus project, led by Professor Stefano Caserini, Professor of Mitigation of Climate Change at Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with the Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) with support of Amundi, consists in discharging alkaline products (i.e. limestone or slaked lime) in the sea, increasing the pH of the water favoring a greater absorption of CO2 from the sea surface.

This is known as ocean alkalinisation and has been carried out by ships whose great turbulence caused by the propeller and by the ship’s wake great improves dispersal.

In 2019, researchers at the University of Hawaii and University of Southern California published a report which stated that following the previous year’s eruption of Kilauea, the incredible volume of lava that spewed from the ground as not only a source of destruction but of creation.

It looked at the massive algae bloom in the Pacific ― so big it could be seen by satellite ― that was triggered by millions of cubic ft. of lava pouring into the ocean off the Big Island and found that it actually created a nutrient-thick soup across a wide expanse of ocean that helped algae to thrive. The nutrients did not come from the lava itself, they found, but because the lava was heating up subsurface water and pushing nutrients deep in the ocean up to the surface. The Pacific Ocean is actually quite nutrient-poor, which makes the algae bloom all the more unique.

Discover Solution 364: Nesting boxes

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Materials Your Home

362: Straw drinking-straw


Americans use 500 million disposable straws per day – or 1.6 straws per person. 500 million straws could fill over 127 school buses each day, or more than 46,400 school buses every year! Some scientists estimate there are 7.5 million plastic straws polluting U.S. shorelines, and anywhere from 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws on shorelines around the world.

France alone consumes more than 9 million plastic straws per year. For a few seconds of pleasure, people have been ready to use a plastic product which will take hundreds of years to decompose. From January 1, 2020, it became illegal to sell plastic drinking straws and drinks stirrers, in France and the UK.

But an alternative had to be found. In June 2018, McDonald’s fast food chain announced it would replace its plastic straws with paper ones, fine for CocaCola but inadequate for milk shakes. The same month, Starbucks announced plans to ditch plastic straws in all its coffee shops around the world by 2020.


Jeff Lubrano, a 50-year-old designer at Studio Fertile in Paris, teamed up with 26-year-old Mike Sallard on his farm in Courgeoût, in France’s Orne region, where with his father they have been cultivating organic cereals for twenty-five years. Having shared and been shocked by a video on the Internet of a tortoise suffering from a plastic straw in its nasal cavity, they decided something must be done.

Having made many experiments to create straw drinking straws in the “Fab Lab” the Elabo de Bellême, Messsrs. Lubrano and Sallard launched the brand La Perche. The plan is to produce 3 million straw-straws in the first year, 15 million the second and 70 million the third. They are now planning to produce straw-based ear-buds and another project: « La sucette normande ». (“The Normandy lollipop”): a candy apple, attached to the end of a rye stick. The packaging would be biodegradable made of flower seeds.

Another alternative is bamboo. True Green Enterprises of Boca Raton, Florida was founded in 2007 by Terry Lehmann, determined to make bio-degradable hot cups and straws. These are made using sugar cane husks and bamboo, the two fastest-growing renewable sources of fiber for paper products in the world. It is better than a normal paper straw because of the qualities of bamboo. Terry developed the Green2 for Retail brand and the TreeFree for Commercial brand. In 2018 Terry received the WBE Star Award for women’s excellence in business leadership. (

Another is the Lolistraw, made of a seaweed-based material and designed by Chelsea F. Briganti of Loliware in New York. This straw can be consumed after you finish your drink (if you don’t eat it, it can go in the compost or just dissolve in nature.) Briganti coined the term “Hyper-compostable” to convey that all of their products, including Lolistraw, will break down at the same rate as food waste in compost or in the natural environment, such as a waterway.

The company is VC backed and has partnered with IDEO, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Last Plastic Straw, Plastic Pollution Coalition & The Lonely Whale Foundation. The team recently announced their plan to replace one billion plastic disposables by 2020.

Discover Solution 363: Iron fertilisation

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Planet Care

361: Johad dams


In the 1980s, the Alwar district in the North-Western state of Rajasthan had become one of the driest in all of India, even though older villagers remembered that its rivers used to flow in the past. The annual rainfall is very low, between 17 and 23 in. (500 and 600 mm) and the water can be unpleasant to drink. Many farmers were migrating to the cities, as there was no longer any means of subsistence from the land.


When Rajendra Singh, a 26-year-old volunteer from the NGO Tarun Bharat Sangh, arrived in the area in 1985, he discovered the alarming state of children’s health in the villages, because of malnutrition, a consequence of the drought.

From an elder of the village Singh learned of the former existence of johads, earthen ponds used to retain runoff water so that it infiltrated the soil instead of s’ drain and evaporate. Johads in Haryanvi language and Rajasthani language are also called sarovar, and taal and talab, respetively in Hindi language.

Johads could collect and store water throughout the year, to be used for the purpose of recharging the groundwater in the nearby water wells, washing, bathing and drinking by humans and cattle. Some johads also had brick or stone masonry and cemented ghat (series of steps and/or ramp).

Dating back to the 13th century, johads were considered unhealthy by the occupying British Raj and replaced by the provision of water through pipelines in some cases from very long distances, from dammed reservoirs

It has emerged that the traditional water-collecting methods are more robust in case of a poor monsoon than the large reservoirs, which sometimes dry up completely.vSingle-handedly, Rajendra Singh first decided to build a water johad to see how it would work. He then brought together groups of villages to build others or rebuild old ones. When the villagers had constructed 375 johads, the river began to flow after having been dry for several decades.

Through his Tarun Bharat Sangh NGO of which he became President, Rejandra Singh formed the Haryana State Waterbody Management Board to rejuvenate and manage 14,000 ponds in the state, including the development of 60 lakes in Delhi NCR. By 2003, despite bureaucracy and the mining lobby, over five thousand johads had been built leading to the rejuvenation of 2,500 old reservoirs, providing irrigation water to 346,000 ac (140,000 ha.) and to 700,000 people across more than 650 villages in Alwar district..

By 2015, that number had risen to 8,600 johads bringing water back to 1,000 villages, reviving five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahajwali. Rajendra Singh attributes the success of the johads to the fact that the technology encourages people to work together, building community while addressing essential needs.

This is in strong opposition to the large government-built dams, which have displaced millions of people in India and, on average, have increased poverty. Singh, who won the the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2001 and Stockholm Water Prize in 2015, is known as द वाटर मैन ऑफ राजस्थान (“the Water Man of Rajasthan”).

Discover Solution 362: Straw drinking-straw

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Energy Materials

360: Room-temperature superconductors


Scientists are working to increase the temperature at which materials turn into superconductors, since these materials could transfer electricity more cheaply and have important uses in the medical and quantum computing fields.


In 2015, a team led by physicist Mikhail Eremets at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry discovered superconductivity at -70 Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit) in the form of  a high-temperature superconducting hydride, by placing a piece of lanthanum into an insulating ring, then placing it into a box full of pressurized hydrogen gas.

They clamped the gasket between a pair of diamonds, and continued squeezing the diamonds until they hit the desired pressures, 200 gigapascals, nearly 2 million times the pressure on the surface of Earth. Then, they hit the sample with a laser to form the lanthanum hydride.

Finally, they took measurements to confirm they really created the material and that it’s really a superconductor. But if confirmed, the feat would be the first example of superconductivity above 0 °C, and some physicists consider that the work could be a mi.tone in the study of superconductivity, which researchers hope will one day make the generation, transmission and use of electricity vastly more efficient.

In February 2019, Salvatore Cezar Pais, an aerospace engineer for NAWCAD at US. Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, obtained a patent on a room-temperature superconductor, representing a potential paradigm shift in energy transmission and computer systems.

The application claims that a room-temperature superconductor can be built using a wire with an insulator core and an aluminum PZT (lead zirconate titanate) coating deposited by vacuum evaporation with a thickness of the London penetration depth and polarized after deposition. An electromagnetic coil is circumferentially positioned around the coating such that when the coil is activated with a pulsed current, a non-linear vibration is induced, enabling room temperature superconductivity.

Pais’s two other patents are a gravity wave generator and inertial mass reduction. If these could be realized as technologies, then we are talking Star Trek level spaceships. The gravitational wave generator could be used for propellentless propulsion to near the speed of light. Being able to reduce inertia would also mean capabilities which currently seem beyond known physics.

The more likely situation is that these will not lead anywhere and are incorrect.

Discover Solution 361: Johad dams

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Planet Care Your Home

359: Insect food for animal and human consumption


Each year, around 70 million people are added to the world’s population. If growth continues at this rate, by 2050 the population is expected to reach a whopping 9 billion. To feed all of those hungry mouths, agriculture and pisculture will need to produce almost twice as much food as they currently do.


Entomophagy (the consumption of insects) is a common practice that has been taking place for tens of thousands of years. Around 2 billion people regularly eat insects as part of their diet, and over 1,900 species are edible

The most commonly eaten bugs are beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants. The eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of certain insects have been eaten by humans from prehistoric times to the present day. Around 3,000 ethnic groups practice entomophagy. Human insect-eating is common to cultures in most parts of the world, including Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. 80 % of the world’s nations eat insects of 1,000 to 2,000 species

Consuming insects as opposed to livestock is more environmentally friendly. Insects are cold-blooded and thus require less energy to maintain their internal body temperature. This means they are very efficient at converting feed into edible body mass, such as cattle.

Crickets require around 4 lb (2 kg) of feed to produce 2.2 lb (1 kg) of meat, and around 80% is edible. Cattle, on the other hand, require 8 kg to produce the same amount of meat, but only 40% of the cow can be consumed. This means that less land needs to be dedicated to growing feed for insects than for livestock, reducing irrigation and pesticide use.

Furthermore, the insects could even be used as livestock feed, for example replacing fishmeal. This would have the added advantage of increasing fish supplies available for humans to eat. Insects emit less GHGs and can be cultivated on organic waste.

In the Netherlands in 2009, Kees Aarts and Tarique Arsiwalla founded Protix in Dongen, North Brabant, which was then the world’s biggest automated insect farm. Protix began by using Hermetia Illucens insects, otherwise known as the black soldier fly although since 2017, the firm has added mealworm, cricket and locust ingredients through the acquisition of Fair Insects. In 2019 Protix opened a 150,000 ft² (14,000 m), US$ 500 million euro production plant and announced that it was looking to open more farms within two years.

In France, Antoine Hubert of Ynsect produces powdered insect protein in bulk from a small beetle, called mealworm for fish farming, pet food, and even the fertilizer industry. Originally a musician, inspired by the way he had seen New Zealand farms use worms for composting food waste, Hubert became an environmental activist, developing a science education game and visiting schools to evangelise about the importance of insects in the food chain.

Ynsect uses robotics, artificial intelligence and techniques borrowed from vertical farming he can bring costs enough to make this a mainstream protein source. Robots feed the stacked trays of mealworm larvae and rotate them around the factory as they go through their two-to-three month growth cycle, until they are finally dipped into boiling water to kill and sterilise them.

Ynsect raised US$125m in series-C funding in February to finance the building of a new 430,000 ft² (40,000 m²) vertical farm in Amiens in Northern France, an order of magnitude bigger than the 32,000 ft² (3000 m²) facility it already has in the Burgundy wine region.

The facility, dubbed FARMYING, enabled Ynsect to multiply its current production capacity by 50-times. The facility became be the new hub for 3 raw materials and nutritional suppliers, 1 larvae supplier, 2 research facilities, 4 tech suppliers (including Ynsect), a quality-control specialist, a sustainability consultant, an innovation consultant, 4 end-users and 3 international bio-economy consortiums.

The company plans to build 15 factories around the world over the next decade, in North America and South East Asia as well as Europe, producing at 1m tonnes of insect protein a year. That would still be a tiny fraction of the 1 billion tonnes produced each year for animal feed.

The Aspire Food Group based in Austin, Texas, led by Mohammed Ashour pioneered the first large-scale industrialized intensive farming entomophagy company in North America with a 25,000 ft² (2,300 m²) building where automated machinery breeds crickets. Each bin can hold about 10,000 to 15,000 crickets at a time. Since crickets take only about a month to become big enough to harvest, Aspire produces roughly 22 million every month Aspire are part of the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture.

Pets are estimated to be consuming up to 20% of all meat globally. Pet owners are being urged by vets to feed their dogs and cats on a diet rich in insects. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) says some insect-based foods may be better for pets than prime steak. Farmed insect protein is typically raised on human food waste.

In terms of human consumption, by 2011, a few restaurants in the Western world regularly served insects. For example, two places in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, offered cricket-based items. Vij’s Restaurant had parathas that are made from roasted crickets that are ground into a powder or meal. Its sister restaurant, Rangoli Restaurant, offered pizza that was made by sprinkling whole roasted crickets on naan dough.

Discover Solution 360: Room-temperature superconductors

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358: Poultry farm, free-range and solar powered


Traditional poultry farms can use almost four times as much energy usage per live weight poultry (20 to 83 kWh/1000lb) to power lighting, ventilators, heaters, coolers and automated feed lines.


Based in Mogumber, Western Australia, Western Riverlands Poultry, the nation’s largest free-range chicken farm occupying 42 free-range sheds and about 10 million birds are turned over each year, is leading the transition to clean energy with one of the largest Agricultural Solar PV projects in Western Australia.

With the support of $1.3 million in state government funding, Western Riverlands owner AAM has added 1.4 megawatts of Solar Choice PV panels to the farm sheds and installed five Tesla batteries.

Solar Choice’s engineering team analysed 30-minute interval data to understand energy consumption through bird cycles and weather seasons, and to design the optimal Solar PV system to maximise economic return and carbon offsets.

Through a National Solar Tender process, Solar Choice was able to help the Mogumber Poultry Farm beat the current market price for solar by over 10%, while delivering a high quality solution which surpasses industry standards for warranties and performance guarantees.

The 340kW Solar PV system utilises Fronius Inverter technology and Trina Solar Panels with both roof-mounted and ground-mounted arrays.

Construction of the new installation by Santrev – a leader in poultry shed construction reached completion in June 2019.
During its lifetime the project will prevent over 17,000 tonnes of carbon emissions and save over $1.5million in energy costs.

West Riverland is also turning straw and manure from chicken sheds into profitable compost. After a few months of monitoring and turning, the raw material is converted into a nutrient-rich compost which is then available for purchase.

More than 50,000 cubic metres of soiled straw and manure comes out of the sheds each year. One South Australian winemaker Michael Bruer has been spreading the compost at two of the family’s organic vineyards.

AAM believes the Riverlands sustainable model can be rolled out to all areas of agriculture.

Discover Solution 359: Insect food for animal and human consumption

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Planet Care

357: Hulhumalé


The Maldives, a tropical paradise spread over almost 1200 islands, is facing a rise in sea levels. The government is finding it difficult to cater to the economic and social needs of small islands


Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, experimented with anti-flood solutions, starting with a massive seawall made of concrete tetrapods surrounding the entire capital of Male.

Gayoom was able to persuade the Japanese government to pay for the $60 million wall after the floods of 1987. The wall reduced the vulnerability of Male, which is a mile long and houses one-third of the country’s population.

President Gayoom’s next solution was a reclaimed island located in the south of North Malé Atoll, Maldives.

Called Hulhumalé (Dhivehi for City of Hope), the artificial island is being built up by pumping sand from the surrounding atolls and depositing it on shallow reefs that surround the original lagoon. It is being fortified with walls 3 metres above sea level — which is higher than the highest natural island at only 2.5 metres above the sea.

The official settlement was inaugurated by President Gayoom on May 12, 2004. The Hulhumalé Development Unit/Hulhumalé Development Corporation) was incorporated on March 23, 2005. Land reclamation has increased the island’s area to 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi), making it the fourth largest island in the Maldives. As of December 2019 the island has a population of more than 50,000; it is planned to house as many as 240,000 by the mid-2020s.

In August 2020, the Indian Government announced that they are providing assistance to the Government of Maldives to construct a State-of-the-Art Cricket Stadium in Hulhumalé. The project is one of the many centerpieces of the Hulhumalé Central Park development, which aims to convert the island into a future housing, industrial and commercial hub of The Maldives’ capital city, Malé.

Discoverr Solution 358: Free range, solar-powered chicken farm

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356: Sustainable energy storage device


There is a technical challenge in storing the surplus energy produced by wind turbines of solar panels.


At the Institut Mines-Télécom Atlantique, a large engineering school serving companies located in Nantes, teams from the research laboratory with others, in partnership with the family company Segula Technologies of Nanterre, Isle de France have found a non-polluting way of locking the energy produced to redistribute it on demand.

The principle is simple: the wind turbine, when there is wind, provides electricity. Part of this electricity is used to power a water pump which will push water into a piston and compress air. This compressed air will be stored. When there is less wind or no wind but there is a demand for electricity, the air will be decompressed. The water is then pushed back into a turbine that supplies electricity.

Following two years of R&D by a team lead by David Guyomarc’h, head of marine energy Segula Technologies, the process was patented in 2015 then developed through Remora offshore technology.

The realisation is more complicated. Pistons that will allow the compression of air must be installed on barges at sea, near offshore wind turbines. They will have a height of 33 ft (10 m). The air will be compressed at sea and stored under water. The stored energy will be dependent on the number of wind turbines disposed.

The construction and commissioning of the first demonstrator, called the ODySEA with a power of 10kW in the laboratory, was scheduled for summer 2019. This three-year project, labeled by the S2E2 competitiveness cluster, is funded by Ademe. Cetim is taking charge of the test bench, from conception to operation at its Nantes site.

In particular, it will study the hydraulic and pneumatic reversible operation of the system by making use of its expertise in dimensioning hydraulic networks with complex dynamics. Scaled up the system could provide electricity for an entire town.

Discover Solution 357: Hulhumalé

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355: Sustainable aviation fuel


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, global fuel consumption by commercial airlines had increased each year since 2009 and is predicted to reach an all-time high of 97 billion gallons in 2019. During recent years, total fuel consumption of US airlines per year has been between 16 and 17 billion gallons (60 to 65 billion litres)).

Airplanes could generate 43 gigatonnes of AGW pollution through 2050, consuming almost 5 % of the world’s remaining carbon budget. While electric airplanes are being developed, others have been concentrating on Direct Air Capture, while some consider that the solution lies in less polluting fuel.


In 2016, Oskar Meijerink, a sustainable energy scientist, and the Future Fuels team at SkyNRG in Amsterdam began to provide Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) initially made from residual lipids such as used cooking oil, thereafter progressing to sourcing either drought-resistant crops such as Camelina, grown on marginal land in EU Mediterranean areas.

They have now progressed to converting captured CO₂. For the latter, in a separate process, electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is mixed with the captured CO₂ to form syngas, which can be transformed into jet fuel called BIO4A. SkyNRG has supplied over 25 airlines on all continents worldwide, cutting CO₂ emissions by 63% to significantly reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint.

In October 2019, SkyNRG launched its Board Now program with companies including PwC and Skyscanner signed up to the purchase of SAF for a period of five years, during which they will reduce their carbon emissions from business air travel and contribute to the development of a new fuel production facility.

The renewable fuel will be produced by Europe’s first dedicated SAF production plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, which has an annual capacity of 100,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel and gets its energy from solar panels. The partners in the project hope to produce the first fuel in 2021.

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354: SunBOTs


Moveable PV panels require electricity to orient them.


Biomimicry. The stem of the natural sunflower (Helianthus annuus) moves throughout the day so that its flowery head always squarely faces the sun, wherever it is in the sky. This is known as phototropism.
Ximin He and a team at the UCLA have developed artificial flowers known as SunBots. Less than one millimeter in diameter, the fake sunflowers use materials that expand and contract with heat to bend towards sunlight.

When part of a SunBOT’s stem is exposed to light, it heats up and shrinks. This causes the stem to bend and point the artificial flower towards the light. The stem stops bending once SunBOT is aligned with the light because the bending creates a shadow that allows the material to cool down and stop shrinking. A “field” of SunBots, constructed using almost any reversibly photo-responsive soft materials, could increase the efficiency of solar power.

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Planet Care

353: Submerged Sculptures for protecting marine life


Off the coast of Tuscany, Italy, the illegal act of industrially trawling the sea bottom with heavy nets, was devastating the benthic flora and fauna that exists down below, especially the seagrass meadows which work at a natural barrier against erosion and are home to a unique ecosystem which teem with a myriad of young fish.


12-ton sculptures on seabed to block the passage of the nets

Paolo Fanciulli has been fishing for 47 years with his small boat, La Sirena, off the Tuscan village of Talamone. From the 1980s, he began to notice that his catches were less and less abundant, in particular because of competition from industrial trawlers.

Initially, Fanciulli disguised himself as a police officer, blocked an industrial port, and he even tried to pierce giant nets with barbed wire. This not only attracted media attention but also the local Mafia which sent him death threats and blacklisted him from fish markets.

In 2006, the Tuscan authorities began to install concrete blocks to obstruct the passage of these giant trawls. There are now nearly 800 in this area of the Mediterranean. But Fanciulli wanted to go further to draw attention to the problem of overfishing.

The solution was to solicit artists to sculpt the dissuasive blocks and create a real underwater museum. He launched a crowfunding campaign,“La Casa dei Pesci” (=The House of Fish in Italian), obtaining permission from ARPA, the regional environmental protection association, to install these large sculptures 50 meters deep on the sea bottom.

His plan was realised when Franco Barattini, President of the Michelangelo di Carrara quarries donated an army of marble blocks to the project, carved by artists such as an obelisk by Massimo Catalani and Giorgio Butini.

Before long artists from all over the world were participating: the acclaimed British artist Emily Young carved four 12-ton sculptures she calls “Weeping Guardians” while nearby lies a mermaid by the young artist Aurora Vantaggiato. Massimo Lippi has contributed 17 sculptures representing Siena’s contrade, or medieval districts.

To-date, thanks to the support of Greenpeace Italy and many tourists, 39 sculptures have been placed although the target is 60. These attract diving enthusiasts, while pointing out the issue of overfishing. Algae covers the statues, and lobsters have taken up residence nearby, while turtles and dolphins return to swim near the coast.

Paolo Fanciulli now offers eco-fishing tours on his boat Sirena in the Maremma Regional Park. This practice he calls “pescaturismo” (fish tourism) which aims to combine profitability while also teaching eco-sustainability and a greater appreciation for the Italian coastline.

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Materials Planet Care

352: STRAP, or Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation processing


While a bag of chips might not look very complex on the outside, it is in fact a multi-layered plastic bag. Polyethylene is made up of several extremely thin films stacked on top of each other to provide strength, flexibility, and integrity. The layers are chemically incompatible when it comes to breaking them down. They simply cannot be recycled en masse like soda bottles can.


STRAP, or Solvent-Targeted Recovery and Precipitation processing.

University of Madison-Wisconsin professors of chemical and biological engineering George Huber and Reid Van Lehn and their students have created a technique called that could be the solution.
The key to the new process is to selectively dissolve a single polymer layer in a solvent system in which the targeted polymer layer is soluble, but the other polymer layers are not. In other words, you need to break down each polymer layer individually, and use a solvent to dissolve them one at a time.

STRAP relies on a computational approach used by Van Lehn called the Conductor-like Screening Model for Realistic Solvents (COSMO-RS) to guide the process.

COSMO-RS is able to calculate the solubility of target polymers in solvent mixtures at varying temperatures, narrowing down the number of potential solvents that could dissolve a polymer. The team can then experimentally explore the candidate solvents.

The researchers have. In a study published November 20th 2020 in the journal Science Advances, the researchers lay out their case for why the technique could start a recycling revolution.

The Madison-Wisconsin team tested their process using a real-world multilayer film built by Amcor Flexibles, which designs pouches and bags for food, drinks, healthcare, and other essentials.

The process achieved separation of these three components with nearly 100 % material efficiency

The goal is to eventually develop a computational system that will allow researchers to find solvent combinations to recycle all sorts of multilayer plastics.

The team is continuing its research on STRAP processing through the newly established Multi-University Center on Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics, directed by Huber. Researchers in the $12.5 million U.S. Department of Energy-funded centre are investigating several chemical pathways for recovering and recycling polymers.

The STRAP process could eventually level up to take on current levels of plastic waste.

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Planet Care Energy

351: PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery)


With space at a premium, floating solar farms on their own and fish farms on their own, take up many hectares.


Combine the two.

In 2015 a successful 120 MW prototype PVF (Photovoltaic Fishery) built above the fish pond in Yintu Township of Jinhu County, east China’s Jiangsu Province. Two years later a 220 GWh PVF was installed above a fish farm on the Zhouxiang and Changhe reservoirs in Cixi City in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China, 150 km south of Shanghai. The local division of the State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) power utility supported the project by building two new 110-kV booster stations.

It consists of 300 hectares of solar panels that can generate enough power for 100.000 households, negating the need to burn 7,4 tns of coal instead. By connecting the power station to the national grid, the fishery can expected an annual yield of 240 million RMB (US$34M) above the annual income already generated through the fish farm.

Acting as a “canopy system”, the solar panels have intentionally been spaced far enough apart in order to let sunlight penetrate the water so not to disturb the growth of the fish beneath the surface. In addition the PV panels installed above the pond will provide shade that will facilitate fish farming under the water.

In Taiwan, Google a subsidiary of Alphabet is working with Taiyen Green Energy the Fisheries Research Institute (COA) unit of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture on the installation of a 10-megawatt canopy system PVF on a 60-hectare fish pond in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County. It should go into operation in 2022.

In Vietnam, funded by the German Government the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems is working with Viet Uc Seafood to develop a 100 kWp pilot PVF in the Mekong Delta.

Fraunhofer ISE reports that according to its initial analyses, a 1 MW project installed in Bac Lieu should see a CO2 reduction of around 15,000 metric tons per year and water consumption would fall by 75% per year compared to a conventional shrimp farm.It later hopes to expand the idea with smaller, more affordable solar fish farms. This will enable everyday aquaculture farmers to benefit from “dual land use.”

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Materials Energy

350: Steel production using solar power


The iron and steel sector is the “world’s largest industrial source of climate pollution,” according to the Cold Steel Hot Climate report, which notes that steel represented approximately 5% of final energy use and 7% of emissions worldwide in 2013.

Recent studies have found that 14% of steel firms’ market value is in jeopardy if they are unable to decrease their environmental impact.


The first steel mill to be powered by sustainable energy is EVRAZ North America’s 240-MW Bighorn Solar Project at its Rocky Mountain operation in Pueblo, Colorado. USA. Xcel Energy, as the power provider for the steel mill, will purchase the power generated by the solar farm under a long-term contract with Lightsource bp. The solar facility will be located on on 1,600 acres of land at the steel mill.

McCarthy Building Companies was selected by Lightsource bp as EPC — installing nearly 750,000 Canadian Solar bifacial solar panels, mounted on trackers from Nextracker. Commercial operation is expected by late 2021

While the mill operates 24 hours a day, solar panels do not. Over the course of a year the solar farm is expected to produce electricity roughly equal to 95% of the mill’s annual demand. On sunny days, excess power will be sold to the Colorado grid, but at night the mill will draw power from the grid, which still includes a good bit of fossil energy.

Luckily, about the time solar panels are going dark, strong winds whip up across the plains of eastern Colorado, where wind turbines will turn it into power. At certain hours during the night, wind farms can supply as much as 70% of the power on the state grid, and that is likely to be true more and more often as the company signs contracts with new wind farms.

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Materials Mobility

349: Photovoltaic road surfacing


Perhaps the most common and useful characteristic for roadways around the world is the enormity of their surface area. Roadways which could generate electricity for even a fraction of the day, could contribute to local power demands.


In 2014, Colas, a world leader in transport infrastructure teamed up with the INES (French National Institute for Solar Energy) to install 710 ft² (66m²) of solar road which they called Wattway on a carpool area in Narbonne (Highway A9, exit 38). The goal of the installation is to provide a clean energy, stored and then used to power roadside equipment locally (here, the light for the pedestrian path).

Wattway’s panels are thin polycrystalline solar cells, and each module is composed of 28 cells. Even after being embedded in resin, the cells are thin enough that they won’t peel off the road during normal expansion and contraction.

The next pilot test was undertaken in a small town with a 1-km stretch of solar pavement. This one section produced enough power to light the village’s street lamps and cater to its 3,400 residents. In fact, 215 ft² (20 m²) of these panels can supply the electricity requirements of a single home. In 2019 Wattway presented their product at the “francophone village” at CES Las Vegas 2019 and among 80 startups and companies, Wattway won the silver Smart City award as well as the second “Grand Jury Prize”. (

In December 2017, China opened its 0.6 mi (1km) solar highway in the Shandong province’s capital Jinan, south of Beijing. It spans 63,234 ft² (5,875 m²) and is capable of generating up to 1GWh every year – enough to power 800 homes. However, the Chinese government plans to use the electricity created by its solar highway to power street lights, billboards and CCTV cameras, as well as to heat the roads surface to melt any snow that gathers on it.

In its first 14 weeks in operation, the road generated 96 megawatt-hours of energy. Once completed, the road will be able to use the sun to generate electricity, which will be transmitted into the grid. Its peak power generating capacity is 817.2 kilowatts, over a designed service life of 20 years.

Funded by Qilu Transportation Development Group and built by Pavenergy, the Chinese solar road was developed by chief engineer Zhang Hongchao at Tongji University’s College of Transportation Engineering.

Solar roads can also provide energy to electric vehicles. ElectReon Wireless in Israel has developed a dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT), which enables energy exchange between all vehicles moving along the road. This technology combined with a renewable source (such as solar panels) could provide a nearly endless power supply to various EVs.

It is capable of both powering vehicles without a battery and charging a battery connected to the vehicle. A major advantage of this technology is the high efficiency and safety: DWPT operates with more than 88% efficiency and has no safety concerns for surrounding wildlife or human users. The system began trial testing in March 2016 in Tel Aviv.

Additional tests are up-coming, with a public transportation use-case and a commercial development installation. A trial section laid down on a coastal route of Bett Yanai, Israel succeeded in transferring 8.5 kW of energy with a 91% efficiency recharging a Renault Zoë in transit. ElectReon has signed an collaboration agreement with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

ElectReon will also supply their DWPT system for a 1 mi (1.6 km) electrified road as part of a 2.5 mile (4.1 km.) highway between their airport and Visby on the island of Gotland. In February 2020 ElectReon successfully wirelessly charged a fully electric 40-ton truck and trailer at a test facility in Sweden. The next step will be to charge the truck through dynamic wireless power transfer on the public road in Gotland, Sweden. (

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348: Spicy chili pepper chemical boosts solar panel efficiency


The charge transport layer, playing a critical role in high-performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs), suffers from significant non-radiative recombination, limiting their power conversion efficiencies.


Capsaicin (C₁₈H₂₇NO₃)

Qin-ye Bao, a professor in the School of Physics and Electronic Science at East China Normal University in Shanghai and his colleagues have found a secret ingredient for making solar panels that absorb the sun’s energy more efficiently. Capsaicin,

C₁₈H₂₇NO₃ is the organic chemical that gives chili peppers (from the genus Capsicum) their spicy sting, also improves perovskite solar cell efficiency.

Bao and his team suspected that capsaicin might have an energy-boosting effect because it can free up electrons that can go on to carry charge. They tested the capsaicin-treated solar cells in the laboratory by exposing them to artificial light to simulate sunlight and measuring the electrical current running through them.

Capsaicin made the solar cells more efficient, yielding a power conversion of 21.88 per cent, versus 19.1 per cent without capsaicin. The team then analysed the solar cells with spectroscopy while conducting energy and found that the addition of capsaicin did indeed lead to a greater number of free electrons available to conduct current at the solar cells’ surface. This reduced energy leakage via heat.

Conflicts between farmers and elephants have long been widespread in African and Asian countries, where elephants nightly destroy crops, raid grain houses, and sometimes kill people. Farmers have found the use of chilies effective in crop defense against elephants.

Elephants do not like capsaicin, the chemical in capsicum chilies that makes them hot. Because the elephants have a large and sensitive olfactory and nasal system, the smell of the chili causes them discomfort and deters them from feeding on the crops. By planting a few rows of the pungent fruit around valuable crops, farmers create a buffer zone through which the elephants are reluctant to pass.

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347: PV-SÜD


It would prove incredibly costly to equip the unused surfaces of the hundreds and thousands of highways and motorways with resistant solar panelled roads, subject to damage


The Austrian Institute of Technology, Martin Heinrich, supervisor of the solar module product team Fraunhofer Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Germany, and Forster Industrietechnik in Switzerland with interest from the German Federal Ministry of Transport Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office is working to develop a solar canopy system. It is called the PV-SÜD initiative.

A trial demonstration section will be built in Southern Germany, including the 1-year testing at the section 20-40m from the exit and entrance, where they will not only study the power generation volume, but also observe on water drainage, snow and wind resistance, stability, and resistance to vehicle collision, since equipment maintenance and traffic security are the largest challenge subsequent to the completion of engineering.

Naturally, traffic safety is another unique concern, and efficient maintenance would be important to making it cost competitive. In addition to the double use of space, the scientists expect other positive outcomes, including the protection of road surfaces from precipitation and overheating. Such a system can also help reduce noise pollution.

The theory is basically attainable, as Germany has a 13,000km long highway network, and if a standard 4-lane highway measures 24m in width is established with solar panels that are capable of 180W/m2, the total solar capacity can reach to 56GW, which exceeds the accumulated installed capacity of 49GW in Germany during 2019.

Looking at the power consumption demand from Germany in 2019, the solar highway will satisfy 9% of power consumption in the country, equalling approximately 1/3 of household power consumption.

The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management is also considering to install solar panels on the A37 motorway in Drenthe that are expected to be 40km, and 3 km2 (approx. 300 hectares) in total area. The solar panels will not be laid on the road, but on the refuge islands and enclosures between roads, and will arrive at 140MW in total installed capacity.

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Materials Mobility

346: Prefabricated Plastic Road


Bottles take close to 500 years to decompose in landfills, and some plastic items last almost twice as long unless they can be recycled


Recycle plastic into repaved roads

In 2001, Rajagopalan Vasudevan, an Indian chemistry professor, recognised plastic’s binding qualities and pioneered a plastic-bitumen road-laying technique across India. He thought up the idea of shredding plastic waste, mixing it with bitumen and using the polymerized mix in road construction.

Since 2010, Sean Somers Weaver and a team at TechniSoil in Redding, California have been developing this solution to repair Los Angeles roads. With their G5 binder, they can recycle 100% of the existing road in place, and approximately 150,000 plastic bottles per lane mile. The end result is a completely new category of plastic pavement that lasts at least 2 – 3 times longer than traditional asphalt pavement. The company collaborated with the University of Nevada, Reno.

Using a modification of a Cold In-Place Recycling process, the equipment train mills the existing roadway, crushes and sizes the RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement), and mixes the RAP with the G5 Binder. The recycled mixture is immediately paved back onto the road and compacted with a vibratory roller. Traffic can return within hours.

While in Los Angeles, the Bureau of Street Services, or StreetsLA, has tested samples TechniSoil in parking lots and smaller streets in Oroville, other cities and states such as Texas, Oregon and Colorado have expressed interest in TechniSoil’s pavement technology,

TechniSoil uses approximately 2,300kg of recycled PET plastic per 1.5km two-way road, which equates to around 395,000 plastic bottles, but CEO Sean Weaver hopes to double this content by 2022.

Besides TechniSoil, there is Dow Chemical, which has worked with local governments across Indonesia, India, and Thailand since 2017; and Scottish company MacRebur, which makes road products that replace part of the bitumen with waste plastic crumbs.

In The Netherlands, Wavin, a Dutch maker of plastic pipes, has announced that after 18 months of testing, including the construction of two 30m-long PlasticRoad roads in Zwolle and Giethoorn to the east of Amsterdam, it will begin production of its modular plastic road technology early 2021.
The test roads were fitted with sensors to monitor how well they dealt with heavy vehicles such as garbage trucks and other heavy traffic.

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Energy Your Home

345: Solar kits for internet access (SDHS) OniriQ


The Internet is not always available rural communities in Third World countries.


In 2016 a team led by Rodolphe Rosier in Senegal developed an off-grid access system for 600 million Africans.

Called SOLARBOX50 it combines solar energy and digital home systems (SDHS) and is a crossover between traditional solar home systems (SHS) and set-top boxes. A typical SDHS device (solar box) comes with a 50W solar panel, 3 LED lamps, a 19-inch TV set and an embedded Internet connection for domestic use and for IPTV; all for a monthly subscription fee.

Joined by Michael Hernandez, the renamed OniriQ was improved from a traditional design model to a design that resulted in savings and increased data redundancy. Like every startup, OniriQ experienced difficulties raising money, especially for hardware development.

But following the completion of the first set of working prototypes and the warm reception from testing at Ounck, a rural community 370 mi. (600 km.) from Dakar, the team behind OniriQ got the needed motivation to keep on pushing. While it is still seeking fund to enable it attain 5,000 units of production, ten were deployed in homes of influencers and local personalities in the community where testing was carried out, with financing from an NGO named Energy Foundation for the World. OniriQ’s plan is to export its solar kits to seven African countries, available on the micro company’s internet platform

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344: “Precious Plastic” recycling machine


The recovery and recycling of plastic does not always need to be carried out in commercial factories.


Dave Hakkens takes a different approach to Planet-Protecting by placing his solutions on-line open-source.

From 2009, studying at the Design Academy of Eindhoven, Hakkens, aged 20, published his first video “Rubble Floor” showing viewers how to re-use rubble to from a building site to make new paths.

“Wind Oil” followed, showing how to make a wind-powered oil press, Playful Paper and Breaksoap. In 2013 Hakkens, having graduated cum laude, launched Phonebloks, a modular smartphone designed to limit the amount of electronic waste being produced.

In its successful wake, Google and Motorola announced the launch of a similar project, known as Ara, which eventually came to nothing.

After exceeding his goal of 900,000 supporters on Thunder clap by October 2013, Hakkens launched Precious Plastic, a small-scale factory that allows people to recycle plastic for themselves: a shredder turns plastic waste into small flakes, which are melted and then reconditioned using presses and molds.

“Precious Plastic” has been picked up by hundreds of people around the world that built the machines and started recycling plastic waste.

Hakkens and Precious Plastic have entered the third stage of the project – the community, estimated to be around 40,000 people. Among those 40,000, some volunteered to go from Iceland or Mexico to the Netherlands to help Dave Hakkens develop his concept.

An interactive world map has been developed to identify members of the community and the workspaces that have been established all over the world.

The Precious Plastic website also has a “Forum” section where “builders” can chat, and a marketplace, the “Bazaar” where people can buy and sell the products they have made, buy parts to make machines.

From Chile to Japan and from Kenya to the Ukraine more than 200 people work in some 80 Precious Plastic workspaces. The offices are made from basic materials, affordable, easy to find and to build. Some people have made jewelry, plates, smartphone covers, even beams for use in building, one Spaniard has made a chlorine water filter.

In October 2019 Hakkens launched Precious Plastic Version 4 to build an army to fight plastic waste.

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343: Wind-powered ships


The global shipping sector emitted just over a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018, equivalent to around 3% of global emissions – a level that exceeds the climate impact of Germany’s entire economy. Fossil fuel engines have replaced traditional and sustainable energy sources such as the wind


Wind-powered ships

Shipping company Wallenius Marine is developing a ship called Oceanbird, which could transport 7,000 cars and trucks across the Atlantic propelled only by the wind.

The concept called wPCC (wind Powered Car Carrier),which is essentially an outsized sailboat, would be twice as high as the largest comparable vessel due to the five 80-metre-tall sails that protrude from its hull. 5 rigs with 80 metres tall wing sails for forward propulsion. These purportedly would make it the world’s largest wind-powered vessel, capable of travelling across the ocean to the US at a speed of 10 knots and with a total journey time of 12 days.

According to Wallenius Marine, this is only four days longer than a carrier powered by fossil fuel while emitting 90 per cent less CO2 in the process.

The main partners in the project are Wallenius Marine, Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology and SSPA. It is supported by the Swedish Transport Administration, which has allocated SEK 27 million for the three-year development project during 2019-2022. Launch date is scheduled for 2024.

Costa Rica
Ceiba is the first vessel conceived by Danielle Doggett of SailCargo, a company trying to prove that zero-carbon shipping is possible, and commercially viable.

Built largely of timber at the AstilleroVerde shipyard, Ceiba (= kapok tree) combines both very old and very new technology: sailing masts stand alongside solar panels, two high-efficiency 120 horsepower electric motors and batteries. The variable-pitch propellers will re-generate solar power when the ship is under sail by working as underwater turbines to charge batteries and meet onboard electrical needs

Ceiba, the first in the SailCargo Line fleet, should be navigating by 2021 and operating by 2022, when she will begin transporting up to 250 tonnes of cargo between Costa Rica and Canada

VPLP design’s 121m RORO vessel Canopée which transports components of the Ariane 6 rocket from Europe to its launch pad in French Guiana, is fitted with four 30 m high Oceanwings providing a total surface area of 1,452 m². These automated and reefable soft wingsails assist the ship’s main propulsion system, dual fuel engines (LNG and MDO), to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 30% to 35%.

A new company, Ayro, has been set up for the specific purpose of applying Oceanwings to hydrofoil ferry boats.

Led by aeronautical engineer Cristina Aleixendri, a team at bound4blue, based in Rubi in Catalunya has developed and patented fully foldable concertina wingsails that ensure safety in rough weather, and at port or in daily operation; more manoeuvrability thanks to the rotation capability which makes the system more efficient and autonomous operation.

They are currently integrating an 8x20m unit into the 37m Balueiro Segundo fishing vessel located at WCCA – Panama Canal. Bound4blue is also working on an alternative application of the wingsail technology to design in the future a boat propelled by these wingsails, capable of producing hydrogen and oxygen by means of the electrolysis of seawater in a clean and cost-efficient way.

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Energy Materials

342: Solar Cloth and film


Since their commercialisation in the 1970s PV panels have been sold in rigid, rectangular formats.


Integrating them into cloth enables a much more versatile application. In 1966, Charles A. Escoffery of the International Rectifier Corporation in El Segundo obtained patent US3255047A for a “Flexible fabric support structure for PV cells” Six years later, Escoffery had toured both the United States and Europe with a 1910 Baker Electric automobile which he had outfitted with a panel of solar cells as an advertisement for International Rectifier Corporation.

In 2014, Alain Janet, a sailmaker of Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, innovated SolarSailCloth, with the thickness of a banknote and flexible enough to be rolled in a tube.

He then developed a machine in a “clean room” enabling the integration of layers of very thin (25 to 65 microns) films within laminated or woven textiles. Its applications are widespread: on the sea for zero emission racing and cruising boats; on the land for tents for refugees or agricultural projects; and in the air for stratospheric scientific probe balloons.

In 2018, SolarSailcloth teamed up with UK Sailmakers make a 1kW Power Sail) as part of the 380Z production zero emission sailboat built by Arcona of Sweden, with its motor from Finnish electric engine manufacturer Oceanvolt, SuperB lithium batteries and Victron regulators from the Netherlands.

In 2015, in partnership with the American leader MiaSolé, manufacturer of these multi-junction cells, Solar Cloth System has greatly improved the performance of its solar panels. The new cells, using 4 different sensor metals to harvest solar radiation from a wide range of brightness, offer 17% efficiency, almost similar to rigid panels.

With the textile integration of SolarCloth System, the result is the best weight / load capacity ratio on the market. With a peak power of 170W / m² and an average weight of 500 g / m², the energy density is 340 W / kg. The semi-flexible solar panels on the market are around 70 W / kg and the rigid 13W / kg. That year the French Government awarded SolarClothSail 1st Prize at the ADEME Innovation-Growth Competition. (

Also in France, Hubert de Boisredon and a team at the ink and print cartridge manufacturer Armor, in Nantes, (Loire-Atlantique) France, collaborating with the National Institute of Solar Energy (INES), have developed an ultra-thin, durable and very light solar film (450 g / m²) called Asca.

Its flexibility allows it to marry rounded or complex shapes and to cover domes. Its translucence allows it to be placed on glass surfaces such as agricultural greenhouses such as conventional panels, Asca contains elements of organic origin and not rare metals making it perfectly recyclable.

A production tool has been designed, capable of producing 10.7 million ft² (1 million m²) of Asca film per year. In Togo, West Africa, Armor has partnered with UNESCO to provide more than 200 schoolchildren with solar kits. A pocket fitted with Asca film allows children to charge a mobile lamp during the school day so that in the evening they have the essential light to study, in a region where access to energy is sorely lacking.

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341: Ruthenium


Transforming plastic waste into high-value chemicals requires substantial energy.


A ruthenium carbon catalyst

Julie Rorrer and a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have combined a ruthenium-carbon catalyst and mild, lower-energy reaction conditions to convert plastics used in bottles and other packaging into fuels and chemical feedstock.

Previous studies have shown that noble metals, such as zirconium, platinum and ruthenium, can catalyze the process of splitting apart short, simple hydrocarbon chains and complicated, plant-based lignin molecules at moderate reaction temperatures requiring less energy than other techniques.

So, Yuriy Román-Leshkov and colleagues wanted to see if metal-based catalysts would have a similar effect on solid polyolefins with long hydrocarbon chains, disintegrating them into usable chemicals and natural gas. They do.

Discover Solution 342: Solar Cloth and film

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Materials Planet Care Your Home

340: Pods for coffee


When Éric Favre, an aerodynamics engineer from the French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud first created a system for putting coffee into single-serve aluminium capsules or pods, he little dreamed of the environmental risk they posed.

Machines that depend on hard-to-recycle pods, such as Nespresso and Keurig systems, are awful for the environment can create unnecessary landfill waste. Of the 39,000 capsules produced worldwide every minute, 29,000 of them end up in landfills. Nespresso alone made almost enough coffee pods to circle the world 26 times.


1991 saw Nespresso launch the world’s first capsule recycling system in Switzerland. By 2015 they had reached 86% global recycling capacity, achieved with the help of some 14,000 dedicated capsule collection points operational around the world (additional to over 80’000 UPS points in the US and over 6’000 Green Dot collection points in 3 countries).

Nespresso are expanding their capacity to collect used aluminium capsules to 100% wherever the company does business, thereby increasing recycling rates. Further to this, each time it makes environmental sense, they will recycle used Nespresso capsules collected by the company, reusing them as new capsules.

Another key part of this vision is for 100% of our virgin aluminium capsules to be produced with material compliant with the new Aluminium Stewardship Initiative standard, currently being developed within a multi-stakeholder program led by the IUCN.

Nespresso is not the only firm with a conscience. In 2017, regarding his creation of the Keurig machine and its plastic pod, inventor John Sylvan stated, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.” Glorybrew is a Miami (Florida) based coffee brand and the innovator of the 100% compostable, single-serve, BPI and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee pods for Keurig machines.

The ring is made using coffee chaff and the filter with renewable bio-based materials. These K-Cup pods have been proven to completely break down in about 8 weeks, becoming clean soil that can be added back into the ecosystem.

Even though Keurig has a goal to make all pods recyclable by 2021, (still 57 billion, or so, more sold pods away) Glorybrew pods will remain the greener choice both now and then. This breakdown occurs in Industrial Composting Facilities, as there is not currently a certification for backyard composting.

CBD produces 95% organic, Hemp You Can Feel Coffee, based on some of the highest quality ingredients available in the marketplace: hemp extracts, organic non-GMO starches from vegetables, honey from organic farms, and trace amounts of organic vegetable and coconut oils.

No chemicals, surfactants, or artificial processes are added to make their infusions. Their hemp extract infusions are based on BeeFuse Technology patented biomimicry composition, which is part of PhytoPharma International Ltd, was invented by Ilan B. Simon in Israel. CBD’s packaging of the coffee pod and the lid are 100% compostable within 120 days of being discarded.

What you can do: Use environmentally benign coffee pods

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Energy Your Home

339: Energy-efficient shower head


Spending too long taking a shower in the bathroom is energy inefficient in both water and electricity. According to Ademe’s estimates, the shower represents 40% of the water consumed by a household.


Gabriel Della-Monica has invented Hydrao, a LED shower head which automatically changes colour depending on shower length to make you aware of how long you have been showering.

This shower head also has an integrated flow restrictor disc to limit the water flow rate to 2.6 gallons per minute (10 litres/min). Della-Monica, a telecoms engineer, has 4 teenage daughters at home, and was also looking for ways to reduce his water bill and to have some hot water left over in the morning.

During the first 3 minutes of showering, the LEDs glow green with approximately 8 gallons (30 litres) total water consumption, from 3 to 5 minutes: the LEDs glow orange,5 to 6 minutes: the LEDs glow red (approx. 15.8 gallons/ 60 litres) total water consumption and from 6 minutes after, the LEDS blink red.

In 2015, Della-Monica founded the Hydrao startup in Grenoble as part of French Tech, the Minalogic technology cluster and the GreenTech Verte incubator overseen by the French Minister of the Environment.

Following the company’s first ever award for Best-in-Innovation from ST Microelectronics, HYDRAO has since garnered numerous awards both in France and abroad: amongst which are a 2016 CES Innovation Award and two 2017 CES Innovation Awards and two 2017 UK Water Efficiency Product Awards from the well-respected NGO Waterwise. (

A mist shower atomizes water to very fine drops (less than 10 microns), which greatly reduces the water flow. Buckminster Fuller invented the first one in 1936 as part of his Dymaxion bathroom (he called it a “fog gun”). The idea was taken up again in the 1970s, when several trials and experiments were conducted with both atomised hand washing and showering.

In San Francisco, USA, Nebia Spa Shower was developed in 2014 as a prototype designed to cut down on water usage in Mexico’s largest athletic club chain, where one of the company’s co-founders, Carlos Gomez Andonaegui, was CEO. By utilizing the same technologies that engineers use for rocket engines and medical devices, the Nebia (= “mist” in Italian), developed by a team of world-class thermo and mechanical engineers, industrial designers, atomizes the water stream into tiny droplets, allowing 10 times the surface area to be covered with only a fraction of the water volume; all while maintaining water pressure and decreasing water wastage.

Soon, Nebia made its way as a beta product onto the campuses of Google and Apple, with the fledgling startup eventually wooing prestigious Silicon Valley investors including Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt. Patent US20160059243A1 was granted 2018. In four years, Nebia 1.0 claim to have saved 100 million gallons (380 million litres) of water. In 2019 Nebia teamed up with Moen to develop the Nebia 2.0, designed to save 65% of the water and 60% of the heating energy used by a standard shower. (

In the Netherlands, Jonas Görgen, a young designer who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2019, became fascinated by the history of the mist shower and decided to build one himself. Compared to earlier mist showers, Görgen has improved the concept in two important ways. First, he developed a kit that can turn almost any shower into a mist shower with very little effort. Second, in contrast to earlier experiments, his mist shower uses not one but three to six nozzles. It costs far less than the Nebia.

Another alternative solution is Ilya, a cyclic shower, developed by Simon Buoro, Antoine Escande and Nathan Guiraud, three engineers graduated from INSA, the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse, France. With each new shower taken, the system draws 10 to 20 pints (5 to 10 liters) of water from the water network, as would be the case with a conventional shower.
These few litres of water correspond to the volume of water required to fill the system and guarantee closed circuit operation in the various subsystems (filter, heater, etc.) of the cyclic shower. This is possible because it turns out that the shower water is in fact very little polluted, especially if natural soap and shampoo are used. For a conventional shower the water is heated to 40 degrees at a cost. With this cyclic system, energy consumption is lower because the recovered water is still hot.

What you can do: Reduce your environmental impact by using an energy efficient showerhead

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Planet Care

338: X Prize Carbon Capture and Removal


The Carbon Capture and Removal solutions which have being appearing on this website need a serious incentive.


XPrize Carbon Removal

February 9th 2021 Tesla and Space X CEO  Elon Musk launched a four-year competition which will see 15 teams receive $1million each to develop ideas to capture carbon from the atmosphere or oceans, with a $50million prize awarded to the winning project, second place $20 million and third $10 million. According to XPrize Foundation, this makes it the largest incentive prize in history.

Funded by Musk and the Musk Foundation and organised by non-profit organisation the XPrize Foundation, XPrize Carbon Removal challenges designers to develop a machine to pull large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from either the atmosphere or the oceans.

“We want teams to build real systems that can make a measurable impact at a gigaton level,” said Musk. “Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence.” The overall aim of the contest is to produce a device that can remove one gigaton – one billion tons – of CO2 from the earth per year.

According to the organiser’s estimates, we need to remove around six gigatons of CO2 per year by 2030 and 10 gigatons per year by 2050 to reach the climate goals agreed in the Paris Agreement climate change treaty.

The winner of the contest will need to develop a scale model of their carbon removal solution and demonstrate that it has the potential to be scaled up to meet the one gigaton target.

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337: Wind Power Hub


Large land-based wind turbine farms take up space which could be better used for housing and agriculture.


A very big floating offshore wind farm

Equinor ASA, a Norwegian multinational energy company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, builds energy captors offshore. They built the 88MW Hywind floating offshore wind farm to provide electrical power to the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas platforms in the Tampen area on the Norwegian continental shelf.

This farm is reducing CO₂ emissions by more than 220,500 tons (200,000 tonnes) per year, equivalent to the emissions from 100,000 cars. After this, Equinor teamed up with Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Korea East-West Power (EWP) to carry out a feasibility study for the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, the 200 MW Donghae 1 project to be located close to the KNOC-operated Donghae natural gas field off the coast of Ulsan. They aim to start building the farm in 2022, with possible electricity production from 2024.

Equinor is also linking up with SSE to build an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. It will use the largest, most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world: GE Renewable Energy, already with 50,000 turbines in the field, is preparing the Haliade-X. While each blade is 107m long, longer than the size of a soccer field, its 260m mast is more than five times the size of the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.

Designed by LM Wind Power of Kolding, Denmark and built at their factory in Tianjin, China, one Haliade-X is capable of generating between 12 and 14 MW – up to 67 GWh annually, enough clean power for up to 16,000 households per turbine, and up to 1 million European households in a 750 MW windfarm configuration. GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first nacelle for demonstration in 2021

Each of the new 720 ft. (220 m.) diameter rotor mega-turbines planned for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank in the North Sea will generate enough electricity for 16,000 homes. Together, the new generation turbines, built by GE Renewable Energy, will make up a windfarm capable of generating enough renewable electricity to power 4.5m homes from 80 mi (130 km.) off the Yorkshire coast, or 5% of the UK’s total power supply. In November 2020 Equinor and SSE completed a deal worth £8 billion to finance the first phases of the farm (

In June 2016, nine countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden – signed an agreement to cooperate in planning and building offshore wind parks. The goal is to reduce costs as quickly as possible and thus make the wind parks more economically viable.

A study commissioned by Dutch electrical grid operator TenneT reported in February 2017 that as much as 110 gigawatts of wind energy generating capacity could ultimately be developed at the Dogger Bank location. TenneT (Netherlands and Germany) teamed up with the Centre for Electric Power and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark (Energinet) and signed a tri-lateral agreement for the creation of a large connection point for thousands of future offshore wind turbines in the North Sea.

The ‘North Sea Wind Power Hub’ would have the potential to supply 70 to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050. Working closely with Energinet, Vestas, MHI Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, ABB, NKT, Siemens and Ørsted, The North Sea Wind Power Hub is a proposed energy island complex to be built in the middle of the North Sea as part of a European system for sustainable electricity.

One or more “Power Link” artificial islands or modules will be created at the northeast end of the Dogger Bank, a relatively shallow area in the North Sea, just outside the continental shelf of the United Kingdom and near the point where the borders between the territorial waters of Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark come together. Dutch, German, and Danish electrical grid operators are cooperating in this project to help develop a cluster of offshore wind parks with a capacity of several gigawatts, with interconnections to the North Sea countries. Undersea cables will make international trade in electricity possible.

According to this plan, the first artificial island will have an area of 2.3 mi² (6 km²). Thousands of wind turbines will be placed around the island, with short alternating-current links to the island. On the island itself, power converters will change the alternating current to direct current that will be carried to the mainland via undersea cables. The Hub – one island at first, and later one or two more – is intended to make a substantial contribution to the energy transition and to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

The idea is that the structure would be built in modules, so that, over time, it would be possible to expand the Hub with more islands or enlarge it so that up to 180GW of offshore wind capacity could ultimately be handled. To get to that point, a lot of new technology would be required, both to transmit energy and to store it, hence the project.(

In October 2020 the Hub obtained a €4 million EU grant.

Meanwhile in March 2020, Shell, Gasunie, a Dutch gas grid operator, and the port of Groningen began to plan the NortH2 Project to provide 3-4GW of offshore wind capacity established in the North Sea by 2030 that would only be used for the manufacture of green hydrogen.

Electrolyzers would be installed along the northern coast of the Netherlands, in Eemshaven, and by 2040 the project may expand with added offshore electrolyzers that are set to produce 10GW of power. Shell currently has a 20% stake in a consortium that is building around 730MW of offshore wind off the coast of the Netherlands. (

Discover Solution 338: X Prize Carbon Capture and Removal

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