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!

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

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