Europe wants to reduce its needs for raw materials and raise the level of recycling of resources in the solar power industry. If this project is successful, greenhouse gas emissions from solar panel manufacture will fall by 25 to 30 per cent.
Rapid growth of the world’s population, especially in coastal regions, adds pressure on resources and land already approaching their physical limits. Scientists are designing platforms to combine industry and harbour activity with renewable energy, aquaculture and leisure.
Researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University have developed a technique to extract the lithium from spent batteries and combine this with renewable biological material, to create a battery with a similar energy capacity to that of ordinary lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.