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AgTech

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Sunlight engineering
Sydney-based AgTech startup LLEAF (luminescent light emitting agricultural film) has opened its first solar laboratory in Mona Vale. LLEAF specialises in the development of light spectrum shifting dyes to create colour conversion films. The films are used in greenhouses, and effectively behave as an additional light to help plants produce cellular energy. The technology allows crops to be grown in challenging environments, and improves yields by up to 20 per cent. The facility includes isolated chambers with high temperature plasma lamps enabling the testing of real-world conditions and to deliver forecasts to yields for customers.https://www.innovationaus.com/sun-shifting-startup-lleaf-opens-vast-new-sydney-laboratory/
26 July 2023 by Jeremy Wright

Climate

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Net Zero Buildings - Mind over Matter
It's hard to build a net-zero building, producing more energy than it consumes, in the middle of a city. But United Therapeutics has, in Maryland USA: "You cannot achieve net-zero as an afterthought,” said Thomas Kaufman, director of the company, which develops rare treatments. “It has to be a mandate at the beginning that drives every single decision.”And the building employs a range of amazing new thinking, including 52 deep heat-exchange wells, drilled 500ft into the earth below.“The technology is off the shelf....we didn’t invent anything new. It just required the mindset to make it happen.”https://qz.com/1771906/the-innovative-design-of-one-of-the-worlds-largest-net-zero-buildings
21 July 2023 by Jeremy Wright

Climate

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Fossil fuel companies should keep their promises
Oil majors have, in the recent past, rolled out pledges to decrease oil and gas production and slash emissions, concerned about the climate crisis.And yet, amid record-shattering heat-waves, BP has scaled back an earlier goal of lowering its emissions by 35% by 2030, ExxonMobil quietly withdrew funding for a heavily publicized effort to use algae to create low-carbon fuel. And Shell announced that it would not increase its investments in renewable energy this year, This article exposes the fossil-fuel industry approach to ignore the future for the sake of short-term profitability.Al Gore is right.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/16/big-oil-climate-pledges-extreme-heat-fossil-fuel 
17 July 2023 by Jeremy Wright

Climate

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BeeHero - Pollinating with greater precision
Insects, especially honey bees, are declining globally and creating a world-wide pollination deficit.In a fight to help reverse this deficit, BeeHero has created a device with Internet (IOT) sensors that turn a traditional bee hive into an intelligent smart hive. The sensors provide actionable insights for beekeepers that inform important decisions about feeding, treatment, swarm management, queen replacement and other hive health metricsA 2022 Harvard study noted that inadequate pollination had caused a 3% to 5% loss of fruit, vegetable and nut production, directly effecting world health. The BeeHero may help to reverse this loss.https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2023/06/28/
13 July 2023 by Jeremy Wright

Climate

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Japan/Toyota announces a new EV battery
Toyota has announced this week, that it could make a solid-state battery with a range of 745 miles that charges in 10 minutes. “For both our liquid and our solid-state batteries, we are aiming to drastically change the situation - current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive,” said Keiji Kaita, president of Toyota research and development. Solid-state batteries have been widely seen as a potential gamechanger for electric vehicles.And Prof David Bailey, from Birmingham University said “If it is a genuine breakthrough it could be the holy grail of battery vehicles.”Watch this space...minuteshttps://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jul/04/toyota-claims-battery-breakthrough-electric-cars
5 July 2023 by Jeremy Wright

Climate

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Can Hydrogen-power replace Diesel Trains?
Railway officials believe that Hydrogen could change Train design and reduce transport emissions, as testing and production ramps up particularly in North America. Hydrogen-powered locomotives can use fuel cells to produce electricity that’s stored in batteries and sent to each unit’s conventional traction motors. A high-horsepower, AC-traction locomotive, is currently being converted to hydrogen power at the shop of Canadian Pacific’s partner, Bilton Welding and Manufacturing in Alberta, Canada."We’re creating an ecosystem of change,” said Kyle Mulligan, Canadian Pacific’s chief engineer of railway technology. “This project is the chance to change the industry entirely.”https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-w
30 June 2023 by Jeremy Wright