From spring 2022, the NAWAREUM in Straubing will be a central information and experience site for resources and renewable energies. The project is all about the “New European Bauhaus”, an initiative of the European Commission that calls for projects to be developed and implemented in the spirit of the “Green Deal”. Ars Electronica is an official partner of this initiative too. In addition to the themes of climate change and sustainability, the NAWAREUM also highlights the opportunities and challenges of the energy and resources transition. A special feature of the new building, which is largely constructed of wood, is its sustainable building technology: the building was planned according to passive house standards and is itself part of the approx. 1240m² permanent exhibition. In terms of both content and design, the NAWAREUM pursues an innovative and interdisciplinary approach. Together with architects, scenographers, scientists and artists, the subject matter is presented in an exciting way and communicated to an interested public.
Only a few major battery innovations (Lead Acid by Plante, Nickel Cadmium by Jungner, Lithium-ion by Goodenough/Sony) have reached significant market penetration since the 1800s. As of 2018, over 90% of large‐scale battery storage power capacity in the US was provided by batteries based on Lithium‐ion (Li-ion) chemistries . The demand for Li-ion batteries for consumer electronics and electric vehicles (EVs) is projected to grow about tenfold until the next decade. By 2025, the global revenue from Li-ion batteries is expected to reach $71 billion USD . The volume of retired batteries follows an S-like curve, with less end-of-life Li-ion batteries today, but an estimated 315 GWh (1,619,000 tons) available for recycling by 2030 (assuming a lifetime of 10 years) , a volume roughly equivalent to current annual battery production .
This year’s International E-Waste Day (#ewasteday), taking place on 14 October, will focus on the crucial part each of us, as consumers and as citizens, has in making circularity a reality for e-products. According to the UN, in 2021 each person on the planet will produce on average 7.6 kg of e-waste, meaning that a massive 57.4 million tonnes will be generated worldwide. Only 17.4 per cent of this electronic waste containing a mixture of harmful substances and precious materials will be recorded as being properly collected, treated and recycled. Many initiatives are undertaken to tackle this growing concern, but none of them can be fully effective without the active role and correct education of consumers.
A couple of months ago I wrote about the roadside pollution from electric cars – the particles from tyres and brakes. In the UK, non-tailpipe emissions are around 8% of air pollution, so it’s not a huge contributor to the problem. But due to the weight of their batteries, electric vehicles may produce more tyre particles than fossil fuel vehicles, and so it may be a more significant source of pollution in future. If we want electric cars to live up to the ‘zero emissions’ labels that many of them already boast, we’re going to need better tyres. Particles from tyres also enter watercourses and are a significant contributor to ocean pollution, giving us a second reason to pay attention to this more or less invisible environmental problem. Enso is a start-up that is developing tyres specifically for electric cars – the first to do so that I’m aware of, and potentially ahead of a rush in that direction. That means they will be designing for efficiency, in order to maximise range. They’re also working on durability, and a cleaner, lower carbon tyre.
Circular economy (CE) and digitalisation are the two megatrends that are shaping the 21st century, influencing the way economy, society and the environment develop and interact. For a long time, these two trends have been seen as divergent or even conflicting. On the one hand, our world is becoming more and more digital. Digitalisation saturates and changes almost every aspect of our lives. And on the other side, it is becoming ever more apparent that the way we live and do business is having a negative impact on our planet. It is obvious that we cannot continue as we have so far; we need more sustainable development in all areas of life. This whitepaper explores the ways in which digital technologies could become key enablers of the circular economy, bringing important benefits to companies, consumers, and the environment. While this potential remains largely untapped, possible ways to bridge the gap between theory and practice are also discussed, particularly when it comes to developing innovative solutions, supportive policies and framework conditions.
Read the full article at: digitalswitzerland.com