The Ecologist

 

Renewable Energy: 1/25 of 268
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In August 2014 climate activists blocked a digger in one of the Rhineland open-pit coal mines. Protests will resume in August 2015. Photo: 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Power struggle: after Germany's renewables surge, can it keep its coal in the ground?

Melanie Mattauch

22nd May 2015

Germany's 'Energiewende' has made the country a global renewable energy powerhouse. So why have its carbon emissions gone up? Not because of nuclear closures, writes Melanie Mattauch, but because powerful fossil fuel companies have blocked effective climate action. Now the fight is on as public calls to keep the coal in the ground get too loud to ignore. more...
Dark clouds gather over the Central nuclear de Trillo, Spain. Photo: Tonymadrid Photography™ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Accidents, waste and weapons: nuclear power isn't worth the risks

Mark Diesendorf

19th May 2015

Nuclear advocates must be admired for their optimism if nothing else, writes Mark Diesendorf. Disregarding over half a century of evidence that nuclear power is dangerous, expensive, enables the spread of nuclear weapons, and produces wastes we still don't know what to do with, still they cling to the 1950's dream of 'electricity to cheap to meter'. more...
Despite constant reports of China's soaring coal burn, the country's carbon emissions are falling. Photo: coal power plant near one of Beijing's 'Ring Roads' by Bret Arnett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Is China's emissions slump real - or are they making it up?

David Toke

17th May 2015

Cynical western media are pouring cold water on reports of China's declining carbon emissions, writes David Toke. The trouble is, the cross-sectoral statistics that demonstrate the reductions are actually rather convincing. Maybe journalists should be asking different questions - like just how well is the US performing? more...
The lights may be green - but what about the energy? Photo: Dennis van Zuijlekom via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Coal-heavy utilities stand in the way of a green internet

The Ecologist

12th May 2015

Powered by 100% renewable energy, Apple is maintaining its lead as the internet's greenest company, But others are lagging behind: Google has yet to reach 50% and relies heavily on coal, while Amazon's AWS, the massive 'dark cloud' of the web, won't even answer questions. more...
The Middelgrunden marine wind farm near Copenhagen is a wonder of 'green' energy technology. But even this has its toxic footprint, in the mines that produce the neodymium that's indispensable to their operation. Photo: Andreas Klinke Johannsen via Flickr

Renewable energy alone cannot reverse global warming or make a sustainable world

Pete Dolack

25th May 2015

The renewable power boom is excellent news for people and planet, writes Pete Dolack. But let's not get carried away: much energy that claims to be 'renewable; like biomass and big hydro, is no such thing. And greening our energy is just one of many steps to a sustainable world. The greatest challenges - like tackling the monster of infinite 'growth' - all lie ahead. more...
With low cost batteries returns to home owners from solar systems like these will soon get a whole lot better. Photo: Edmund Tse via Flickr.

Mayday, Mayday - Tesla's battery just killed fossil and nuclear power

Oliver Tickell

1st May 2015

Tesla Energy's new mains power battery has just transformed the energy market - giving a huge boost to small scale renewable energy and killing off both fossil fuelled and nuclear power in the process. more...
It's only a matter of time before solar energy will make all this petroleum infrastructure worthless. But until then, there's money to be made! Dusk view of the Valero Energy Corporation's refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith via Flic

Saudi Arabia's oil price manipulation - let's get rich while we still can!

Karl Grossman

2nd May 2015

The oil industry and oil producers have a long history of market manipulation, writes Karl Grossman, and we see it going on right now with the low oil price that's squeezing fracking and getting America back onto gas-guzzling SUV's. But longer term, solar power is going to win out, and even Saudi Arabia knows it. Its game? To make out big, while the going's good. more...
Blue skies shining on renewable energy ... Bangui Windmills, located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Photo: Paolo Dala via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The renewable revolution is upon us

Michael Klare

7th May 2015

Mainstream energy analysts cling firmly to the belief that fossil fuels will attract the lion's share of world energy investment for a long time to come, writes Michael Klare. But there are four compelling reasons why they are wrong. The renewable revolution is under way, and has already gathered an unstoppable momentum. more...
Aluminum - the metal these cans are made of - could soon be powering our batteries, and propelling the renewable energy revolution forward. Photo:Ishikawa Ken via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The new battery that could power the renewable revolution

Mark Shwartz & The Ecologist

26th April 2015

A new high-performance 'aluminum-ion' battery could be the technical breakthrough needed to boost the renewable energy takeover. It's safe, uses abundant low-cost materials, recharges in one minute and withstands many thousands of recharge cycles. more...
What lies over the rainbow is not a 100 billion barrels of oil, but a green and prosperous future of decentralised renewable energy. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

The mirage of fossil fuel wealth - our energy future is green, renewable, decentralised

Vicente López-Ibor Mayor

20th April 2015

Hopes of strengthening Britain’s energy security are often pinned on the fossil fuel industry says Vicente López-Ibor Mayor, as exemplified by the hysteria over the claimed 'discovery' of 100 billion barrels of oil beneath Gatwick airport. But the real long-term solution lies with abundant and ever cheaper decentralised renewables. more...
A gigantic dam under construction on the Upper Mekong River.

Damming Tibet: China's destruction of Tibet's rivers, environment and people

Michael Buckley

13th April 2015

When Michael Buckley took a white water rafting trip in Tibet in 2005, he had no idea of the adventure he was embarking on - a ten-year investigation of China ruthless exploitation of Tibet's mineral and hydroelectric resources, and its systematic attack on indigenous Tibetans, their culture and their survival on the land. more...
The rate of growth in China's emissions from fossil fuels has been declining for a decade - but in 2014 it switched into reverse.

China's fossil fuel emissions fell 3% in 2014

Lauri Myllyvirta / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

27th February 2015

China has just recorded its first fall in emissions from burning fossil fuels in 15 years, writes Lauri Myllyvirta. The sharp decline has surprised analysts, and reflects the fast growing proportion of renewables in the country's power supply. more...

Renewable Energy: 1/25 of 268
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New technological advances could make the power of Atlantic waves into a competitive source of renewable energy. Photo: Albert Bridge via Wikimedia Commons.

New technologies promise cheap wave power

Paul Brown

23rd February 2015

Scandinavian inventors are hoping that efficient new waves power technologies will for the first time make the sector competitive with other renewable energy sources, writes Paul Brown - opening up a massive new clean energy resource around the world. more...
One of three solar towers at the Ivanpah CSP plant on the Nevada-California border.

Forget nuclear - Saharan sunshine for UK baseload power!

Chris Goodall

25th February 2015

As the UK's nuclear dream fades, writes Chris Goodall, investors are turning to the possibilities of 'Concentrating Solar Power' in the Sahara connected to Europe by HVDC power lines. The cost would be much lower than nuclear or offshore wind, and provide reliable baseload capacity. With the UK government's say so, Tunisian sunshine could soon be powering our grid. more...
Solar power reaches into the places other electricity will never make it to. Solar panels in Tinginaput, Orissa, a region traversed by power lines where local people have no access to power. Photo: UK Department for International Development via Flickr (C

Renewables to transform India's energy landscape in seven years

Areeba Hamid / Greenpeace EnergyDesk & Oliver Tickell

31st February 2015

India's renewable power capacity is set to reach 170GW by 2022, write Areeba Hamid & Oliver Tickell - reducing power shortages and bringing electricity to off-grid of rural communities for the first time. But it may also have an unintended consequence - cutting off investment in India's troubled coal sector as prospects for future profitability evaporate.. more...
Happy family - pleased to enjoy solar lighting for the first time. Photo: SunneyMoney.

1.5 million solar lamps brighten Africa's future

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

10th February 2015

The charity SolarAid has just celebrated 1.5 million small solar lighting installations in Africa, writes Paul Brown - an important milestone on its mission to get solar lighting into all of Africa's homes by 2020, and see out dangerous, polluting kerosene lamps. more...
The Alberta tar sands aren't just destroying forests and waters on an industrial scale - they are also destabilising the global economy. Photo: Luc Forsyth via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Energy market madness is the death spasm of the oil age - renewables now!

Nafeez Ahmed

4th February 2015

Current oil price volatility is a symptom of the end of cheap oil, writes Nafeez Ahmed, and it's destablising the entire global economy. The answer is a major shift to renewables - but the the International Energy Agency, which should be leading the transition, is in the grip of nuclear and fossil fuel interests. Instead the leadership must come from us, the people! more...
This PV farm near Sevilla, Spain, includes sun-tracking devices that double the daily output from the panels. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

WEF: Big energy CEOs don't get the renewable revolution

Chris Goodall

23rd January 2015

Launched at Davos this week, a WEF report on electricity generation predicts that solar power will cost twice as much in 2030, as the lowest cost sources today, writes Chris Goodall. It's sources? WEF isn't telling. But if 'facts' like these are driving the decisions of big energy CEOs, heaven help their companies in years to come. more...
The Abengoa at Gila Bend, AZ, uses an innovative thermal energy storage system with molten salt as the energy storing media, combined with concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. Photo: US Dept of Energy.

Concentrating Solar Power will soon be beating fossil fuels

Chris Goodall

2nd February 2015

CSP, the 'other' solar power technology, has been largely forgotten as solar PV price falls have transformed energy markets, writes Chris Goodall. But it's set to take a big role in the future energy mix, and huge price falls are coming. Just one question - how to reduce CSP's thirst for water? more...
Drax power station by Jonathan Brennan via Flickr, (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Seven ways the Government is pushing up our energy bills

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

15th January 2015

With a million families struggling to stay warm this winter, energy bills will be a hot election issue, writes Doug Parr. But Government actions have repeatedly favoured the 'big six' energy incumbents at the expense of consumers, competition, low-cost renewables and energy efficiency, locking us into high bills for years to come. more...
Smart countries are going for renewables - like Algeria, where these panels are located. Photo: Magharebia via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Only a mug would bet on carbon storage over renewables

John Quiggin

16th January 2015

From Australia to the UK, governments are pinning their hopes on 'carbon capture' technology stuck onto coal power stations, writes John Quiggin. But their choice carries a high risk of failure - the smart money is on renewables, energy storage and responsive power grids. more...
Thanks to the increasing role of solar power, electricity could soon be 'free' - at least while the sun is shining. Solar panels under installation at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Photo: CAT via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Sun and wind could finally make electricity 'too cheap to meter'

Roger Kemp

9th February 2015

Energy 'too cheap to meter? This time it could be true thanks to the fast rising proportion of zero marginal cost renewable power in our electricity system, writes Roger Kemp. But that has profound implications for how we pay for our electricity - indeed the entire electricity market and consumer pricing system must be radically rethought. more...
Gemasolar solar thermal power plant, Spain, uses molten salt storage to run 24 hours per day. Photo: Beyond Zero Emissions via Flickr, CC-BY.

2015 will see nuclear dream fade as wind and solar soar

Paul Brown

30th December 2014

Governments are still spending billions on nuclear research, writes Paul Brown - but 2015 looks like being an unhappy year for the industry as it continues to shrink while renewables grow, amid massive delays and cost over-runs. more...
In September 2010 Vattenfall opened Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, off England’s south east coast - the largest in the world. Photo: Nuon via Flickr.

All over the world, renewables are beating nuclear

David Elliott

18th December 2014

As flagship nuclear projects run into long delays and huge cost overruns, solar and wind power are falling in price, writes David Elliott. Renewables already supply twice as much power as nuclear. It's just too bad the nuclear-fixated UK government hasn't noticed. more...
Male, Maldives, October 2010: President Nasheed installs solar panels on the Presidential Residence in 2010 - 18 months before the coup which brought his term of office to an end.

Move over big power - the micropower revolution is here!

Morgan Saletta

29th November 2014

Small scale renewables are - almost un-noticed by policy makers - providing a quarter of the world's electricity, up from 10% in 2000, writes Morgan Saletta. Forget fracking and nuclear - this is the real energy revolution that's under way, and it's cutting big fossil fuel and centralised power grids out of the picture, while reducing emissions and delivering energy security and resilience. more...

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