A colony of a type of toxic algae. Fertiliser run-off and rising water temperatures cause large populations, or blooms, of algae to grow. These blooms reduce oxygen in the water so fish can’t survive. However, this colony is held together by oil. Scientists are exploring growing it commercially for fuel.
Wind turbines stretch along a mountain ridge above Sidirokastro in northern Greece. We have to find ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Renewable energy sources like wind are one way. Wind power is currently on track to provide a third of the world’s electricity by 2050.
Floating on the Lac des Toules in the Swiss Alps, this is the first large scale solar power station of its kind. At an altitude of 1,810 metres, it produces 50% more electricity than lowland solar panels. The cold makes the panels more efficient and reflective snow and thinner atmosphere provides more sunlight.
Bringing water to desert areas is vital for people to grow the food they need to eat. In the Moquegua district of Peru, farmers hang out ten by five metre mesh sheets. Morning fog condenses on them and runs down to water the ground so local people can grow food.
A technician makes adjustments inside the TEXTOR Fusion Experiment at the Jülich research centre in Germany. This reactor is part of an international project to prove that nuclear fusion could provide clean energy. Fusion releases considerable energy when atoms crash together at high temperature and pressure to form different atoms.
A polycrystalline solar cell is made of lots of silicon crystals. This close-up image shows the many crystals in different shades of blue. The vertical stripes are metal bars. These collect negatively-charged electrons generated when the cell is in sunshine. This sample is about 70mm wide.
Unreliable weather as a result of climate change is making farming harder than ever. Droughts, floods and changes in temperature all affect how crops grow. Many farmers find covering their land with solar panels and selling the electricity provides more reliable income than raising livestock or crops.
These five turbines off the coast of eastern England are part of the Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms. 54 wind turbines like these generate enough electricity for 130,000 homes. Wind power provides 20% of the UK’s electricity. The UK is one of the world’s best locations for wind power.
Photomicrograph of tiny lenses on the surface of a solar cell. These lenses, each 0.8mm wide, concentrate the Sun's rays onto the surface of the solar cell resulting in better efficiency. A photomicrograph is a photograph taken through a microscope.
Urban farmers in Kolkata, India tend vegetable plots on rooftops more than 15 metres above the streets. With careful watering and using only organic feed, this garden generates about 70kg of fresh vegetables a year. From beetroot to bitter gourd, the farmers grow 35 different kinds of vegetable.
Turbines of the Marcona wind farm, the first wind farm built in Peru. Commissioned in 2011, it has eleven turbines that generate a peak of 32 megawatts of electricity. Peru is investing in wind power and other renewable energy sources to become carbon neutral by 2050.
A 78m-long blade for an offshore wind turbine seen crossing a roundabout in the city of Tarp, Denmark. The city had to make changes to its roads so the extremely long blade could get to the harbour. Engineers are designing longer blades to make the turbines more efficient.
Some of the 149 lamps that form the ‘Synlight’ experiment, photographed at the Institute of Solar Research in Jülich, Germany. The ‘Synlight’ creates a light 10,000 times more intense than the sunlight that hits the Earth. It is used in experiments into making fuels such as hydrogen from water.