AMSTERDAM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - An offshore seaweed farm in the North Sea will be turned into a large solar power farm that aims to pipe energy to the Dutch mainland in roughly three years.

The project comes at a critical time for the Netherlands, which is struggling to curb fossil fuel use and meet greenhouse gas emission targets after years of underinvestment in renewable energy sources.

After an initial pilot next year, a consortium comprising energy producers, scientists and researchers plans to ultimately operate 2,500 square metres of floating solar panels by 2021, said Allard van Hoeken, founder of Oceans of Energy, which devised the project.

The pilot, which will have 1.2 million euros ($1.48 million) in government funding, will operate 30 square meters of panels from this summer. It will test equipment, weather conditions, environmental impact and energy output.

Utrecht University will examine energy production at the offshore prototype, located around 15 kilometres (nine miles) off the coast of Dutch city of The Hague at a testing zone known as the North Sea Farm.

"In addition to removing the problem of a land shortage, there are several other benefits to building at sea, similar to those in wind energy," said solar energy expert Wilfried van Sark at Utrecht University, who is involved in the project.

"There is more sun at sea and there is the added benefit of a cooling system for the panels, which boosts output by up to 15 percent," he said.

If successful, there is plenty of space to expand the farm, unlike on the overcrowded Dutch mainland where there has been public opposition to wind turbines.

The panels will be more rugged than ordinary onshore models to account for the harsher weather conditions and tidal shifts at sea, Van Sark said.

Leia Mais em: Trust.Org

O presidente da França, Emmanuel Macron, promoveu nesta terça-feira (12) uma cúpula para celebrar os dois anos da assinatura do Acordo de Paris e colocar o dedo na ferida da discussão mais desafiadora sobre o clima: como financiar a transição para uma economia de baixo carbono, mais verde.

Com a presença de chefes de Estado da Europa e da África próximos à diplomacia francesa, um membro do alto escalão do governo chinês, além de personalidades e uma delegação americana com figuras como Arnold Schwarzenegger, o atual governador da Califórnia Jerry Brown e o ex-prefeito de Nova York Michael Bloomberg, o evento apostou em uma mensagem política que desafia a posição americana de abandonar o Acordo de Paris e coloca a França como protagonista das questões climáticas.

Leia a matéria completa em A Folha de São Paulo

The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, hampering global attempts to meet climate change targets and straining grids as demand by power-hungry server farms storing digital data from billions of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected devices grows exponentially.

The industry has long argued that it can considerably reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and reducing waste, but academics are challenging industry assumptions. A new paper, due to be published by US researchers later this month, will forecast that information and communications technology, or ICT, could create up to 3.5% of global emissions by 2020 – surpassing aviation and shipping – and up to 14% 2040 – around the same proportion as the US today.

Global computing power demand from internet-connected devices, high resolution video streaming, emails, surveillance cameras and a new generation of smart TVs is increasing 20% a year, consuming roughly 3-5% of the world’s electricity in 2015, says Swedish researcher Anders Andrae.

Read More at Climate Changes News