The Future

For years, environmental thinking has been an integrated element of the business concept at some of the the world's most successful companies. Advantage Environment covers products and services offered by forward-thinking Swedish companies that recognize the value of sustainability for corporate image, employee loyalty and – not least – the bottom line. Most of the articles on the site look at existing solutions available on the market today, but in this section we allow ourselves to pull back the curtain and look toward tomorrow's breakthroughs. Welcome!

GMO’s – a controversial tool

A growing world population requires ever-increasing food production. One of the possible methods is to genetically modify plants and animals. GMOs can contribute to feeding people, but can also be an environmental benefit by reducing the environmental impact of pesticide use in agriculture, contributing to less soil erosion, and reduce nutrient discharges from fish farms.

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Electrification will reinvent the car

Electric vehicles are becoming a common sight, a paradigm shift in the making. And it is not just about switching one engine for another; the entire design of the car has been dictated by the mechanics of the combustion engine. The vehicles of the future will be lighter and more autonomous, and may turn mobility into a service instead of a product.

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Fusion power – the sun’s energy right here on earth

Fusion power is what makes the stars shine. Recreating the process on earth in a controlled and sustained way would bring clean, safe and abundant energy. The technological challenges are formidable - such as how to handle a plasma at extremely high temperatures - but new materials and improved computational capacity is beginning to tip the scales.

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Sustainable technology inspired by nature’s complexity

Biomimetics or biomimicry is the interdisciplinary field where biology, engineering and sustainability come together. The processes, systems and solutions found in nature are proven, energy efficient and circular by definition, and inspire new technology and innovation.

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Lush city forests clean the air

Smog formed by particulate matter and pollution is a serious problem in many growing urban areas. In the future, vertical forests and trees planted on building facades may be an important tool to combat pollution. Forest cities are under development in China, and active plant walls derived from space technology increase the air purification power of plants a hundredfold.

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Geoengineering to offset climate change?

Even with zero emissions, we may deem it necessary to reduce the atmospheric carbon concentration. Solar radiation management techniques could be employed as a stopgap solution to offset a global temperature on the rise. Such deliberate acts of climate intervention are referred to as geoengineering.

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Can we pull the carbon out of the air?

Negative emissions is one of the important tools mentioned in the Paris agreement. We can capture carbon from flue gases and deposit it in underground reservoirs, and growing biomass can do the sequestration. The technology is expensive and energy-intensive, but it is evolving.

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The Smart Grid and the Super Grid

In the environmental debate, green sources of energy and energy conservation measures are oft-discussed topics. But between those endpoints, there are environmental benefits to be reaped as well. The future electrical grid will offer more flexibility, reduce transmission losses, and enable bidirectional energy flows and distributed generation.

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Is thorium a cleaner, safer and cheaper alternative to uranium?

During the summer of 2016 articles from our growing archive will be republished. This one was first published in September 2012. Nuclear power is both a promising and problematic energy source. On the one hand, nuclear power continuously generates large amounts of energy without consuming fuels that contribute to global warming. On the other hand, there are concerns about nuclear accidents and the storage of spent radioactive material. The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, or IVA, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences have found a number of future technologies that may improve nuclear power. One of them is to use thorium as fuel.

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New golden age for sailing ships?

During the summer of 2016 a couple of older articles will be republished. This article was first published in 2014. Ship transport is energy efficient, but it is also a significant source of emissions because of the globalized world huge transportation needs. In large measure, these vessels are powered with high-sulphur fossil fuels. New technologies have made sail propulsion possibly competitive - at least as a component of a highly automated hybrid system.

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The Swedish project Advantage Environment provides information about existing and future products designed to reduce environmental impacts.

Links

Cleantech Scandinavia
Cleantech Scandinavia is a membership network of investors and affiliated cleantech professionals.

Swedfund
offers risk capital, expertise and establishment support for investment in new growth markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe (non-EU).

Swedish Cleantech
is a website based on cooperation between government and industry and stakeholder associations, as well as regional environmental technology actors.

The Swedish trade and invest Council
Export of sustainable urban development, energy and environmental technology