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!

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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Blue energy

When a river meets the sea, the salinity of the seawater is diffused in the mix of waters. The process releases energy, as much as if the same volume of water fell from a 250 meter high hydroelectric dam. With osmotic methods, the energy can be gathered to generate electricity. All that is needed is slightly more efficient membranes.

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It is always sunny in space

Solar power is becoming more competitive. Worldwide deployment is growing rapidly. In the future, orbiting satellites might be able to collect solar power with higher efficiency and without intermittency. The power could be transmitted wirelessly to a receiver anywhere on Earth, by means of microwave or laser. The Sun is flooding us with more renewable energy than we can...

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Resources hidden in waste

Better technologies to handle and sort mixed waste streams promise to unlock previously unavailable resources. Next-generation biofuels will use waste as feedstock. Methods to gather plastic waste from the oceans, dismantle refuse mountains and harvest energy are being developed and improved.

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Solar to be pumped from the oceans

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, OTEC, is an emerging technology which generates electricity from the difference in temperature between tropical surface seawater and cooler deep water. Not only is it a renewable with baseload capability – but the power plants will also be able to produce fresh water as a by-product. The deep water used in the process is rich...

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Asteroid mining closer to reality

Asteroid mining: the gathering of resources from space. It used to be the subject of science fiction – but in the wake of a new bill granting property rights to miners, several prospective space mining companies are already preparing and launching spacecraft. In the future, this might lead to more available resources and less mining on Earth – and...

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Faster trains in low-pressure tunnels

Very fast high speed rail suffers from severe air resistance. The hyperloop concept can be likened to high speed rail sent by pneumatic tube transport. A promising combination of relatively low cost, high speed and limited environmental impact makes the hyperloop a possible future fifth mode of transportation.  Pilot programs are being planned – and Sweden is one of...

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Towards the hydrogen economy

Replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen would eliminate the combustion emissions. Compared to current battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have longer driving range and can be refueled in less time. A hydrogen economy would require new infrastructure to handle storage and distribution, and an abundance of electricity generated from renewable sources. But in many countries, ambitions are...

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Liquid batteries

Demand for electricity fluctuates all the time, and power output has to be adjusted accordingly. With more renewable energy sources, the need for load balancing measures is increased even more. Grid energy storage would be one way to handle this, but with current battery technology, costs would be high. Liquid metal batteries, where electrodes made of cheap and abundant...

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Synthetic foods

Industrial livestock production is associated with considerable greenhouse gas emissions, and with other environmental issues such as nutrient pollution. Efficiency measures often collide with the interest of animal welfare. Meanwhile, there is a need to increase global food production, and the demand for meat is rising. A possible solution to the dilemma is offered by synthetic biology. Alternative sources...

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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