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9 TEDx Talks Showcasing New, Sustainable Tech

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9 TEDx Talks Showcasing New, Sustainable Tech

September 27, 2019

Complex challenges call for innovative, complex solutions. Thankfully, there’s a lot happening in the tech world to tackle the world’s most challenging problems.

Table of Contents

Electric Vehicles and the New Energy System

“We are able to run on solar for 24 hours a day - our own solar. And it’s not just our house but also our office and our internet devices, all on our own solar, with our own storage.”

At home, during his commute, and at work, Robin Berg powers his whole day using solar energy. Through a combination of solar, energy storage, and autonomous vehicles, Robin presents a compelling case for a world dependent on solar power and electric vehicles.

Batteries Not Included

“Our whole energy structure has been designed with the premise that energy cannot be stored. And this is fundamentally wrong.”

Like many of us, Marek Kubik grew up passionate about renewables. Early on, he noticed a fundamental problem with solar: the sun doesn’t shine at night. Now, he’s become a world leader in the renewable energy storage space by improving the efficiency of high-performance batteries.

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Buildings That Consume No Power

“The best way to create energy is to not use it.”

Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. David Shad argues that if buildings could generate more power than they use through renewable energy, we wouldn’t face an energy crisis today. 

Cities Connected Through The Cloud

“[Smart cities] can even predict a potential failure before it even happens - so that we can go and fix it first”

What makes a city smart? Being able to detect and prevent problems before they come to harm residents’ lives. Instead of rescuing flood victims, avoiding floods. Rather than repairing storm damage, installing smart barriers in place today. From smart LED lighting to rainwater harvesting systems, Cheong Koon Hean explains how Singapore is creating the sustainable, smart cities of tomorrow.

Solar Power, Everywhere

“The big dream is to build [solar surfaces] in off-grid places where there’s no access to water or electricity, as an independent ecosystem."

Most people across the world don’t have any access to solar. How does that change? Maybe, through putting a little bit of solar everywhere, argues Marjan van Aubel.

Renewable Energy Made At Night 

“There’s a large temperature difference between us here on earth and the cold of space...that difference, at least conceptually, could be used to drive something called a heat engine - to generate electricity.”

Every night, energy escapes from earth into space. But what if we could harness that energy? Aaswath Raman details how he’s begun experimenting using escaping infrared light as a potential renewable energy source.

Wind Turbines…In The Sea

“Over the last decade, while you were going to work, or going to school, or raising your kids…[it became] 80% cheaper today to harness energy from the wind than it was 10 years ago”

The larger the wind turbine, the more energy it will create. But there’s an issue: on land, potential complaints from local residents and spacing problems make it hard to install giant wind turbines. That’s why Elizabeth Henry argues we should focus on building large, offshore wind installations.

Renewable Window Panes and Off-Grid Tech

“We can generate all the energy we need right where we are...cleanly, safely, and cheaply.”

What if every building that had windows generated energy, and what if this energy was off the grid? Applied globally, Justin Hall-Tipping argues this technology has the potential to save countless lives from power outages during natural storms.

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Agriculture Powered By Data

“[What we have is] the ability to map every farm in the world, and overlay it with lots and lots of data.”

It’s not just cities that can be smart – farms are joining the fray too. Through the use of the Internet of Things (IoT), Microsoft researcher Dr. Ranveer Chandra lays out how a farm connected by sensors could increase crop yields and cut down on resources and costs associated with more traditional forms of agriculture. 

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