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Portugal’s 6-day renewables run and other climate stories from November 2023

07 December 2023

Addressing the climate crisis will take ingenuity and collaboration. These stories provide some great examples.

Portugal’s 6-day renewables run and other climate stories from November 2023
From October 31 to November 6, Portugal produced enough renewable energy to serve its 10 million inhabitants. Image credit: Shutterstock

From this year’s Earthshot Prize winners to the successful introduction of biomethane in Northern Ireland, November saw its fair share of stories about progress in tackling climate change.

Read the stories below for some inspiration on how civil engineers can fulfil their goal of creating a more sustainable world where people and the planet can thrive.

Holding onto hope

Optimism and hope championed during Earthshot Prize ceremony – BBC

“We hold onto the most powerful motivators of all – optimism, and hope,” Prince William said during the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Singapore.

Helping provide that hope were this year’s winners:

  • Acción Andina: for bringing tens of thousands of people together to protect native ecosystems
  • GRST: for developing a greener way to make and recycle lithium-ion batteries
  • WildAid Marine Program: for supporting Marine Protected Areas and their wildlife
  • S4S Technologies: for supporting farmers to reduce food waste
  • Boomitra: for using satellites and AI to keep track of soil carbon credits

Going electric

Detroit, USA installs new technology for EVs to charge on the go – AP News

Detroit drivers concerned about electric vehicles’ (EVs) limited range may not need to worry for much longer after trials have begun on technology to charge the vehicles while driving.

Electric vehicles with receivers will be able to fill their batteries while driving, idling or parking on top of charging coils made of copper.

The technology is being tested before being rolled out to the public in the next few years.

Alternative fuels

Could banana peels heat homes in Northern Ireland? - BBC

Food waste and agricultural manure are among the components of biomethane, a gas product that was successfully added to Northern Ireland’s gas supply network for the first time.

As it’s able to replace natural gas, researchers suggest that biomethane could meet 80% of Northern Ireland’s gas demand.

Sustainable aviation fuels prepare for take-off with first transatlantic flight – BBC

The first sustainably-fuelled flight across the Atlantic by a large passenger airplane was completed earlier this month.

A Virgin Atlantic vessel made its way from London Heathrow to JFK International Airport in New York, powered through sustainable aviation fuels only.

This particular flight was fuelled with waste fats (such as cooking oil) and corn production waste from the US.

Portugal goes on renewable run for six straight days – Canary Media

From October 31 to November 6, Portugal produced enough renewable energy through solar, wind and hydropower to serve its 10 million inhabitants.

At some points during the six-day period, the energy production was so high that Portugal even exported energy to Spain.

Portugal pledged to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in 2016. This six-day run reflects the country’s commitment to decarbonise its energy network through diverse renewable resources.

In doing so, the country is making the most of its geography and weather, with miles and miles of coast, plenty of sun and powerful winds.

  • Ana Bottle, digital content editor at ICE