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Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA.

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons

Ralph Gottschalg

12th December 2014

Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020. more...
The Waltons are all for subsidies to large, centralised solar installations like this one by First Solar, in which they have a large shareholding. But they want to penalise small scale solar that challenges the corporate monopoly. Photo: Jumanji Solar via

Walmart, Asda owners using their billions to attack rooftop solar

Mike Gaworecki / DeSmogBlog

20th November 2014

The Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, project a 'public environmentalism', writes Mike Gaworecki. But their real agenda is to advance a monopolistic corporate economic model that is threatened by decentralised energy solutions like rooftop solar. The answer? Exterminate! more...
Solar panels in space work very efficiently. But how to get them there? And how to get the power down to Earth? Image: John MacNeil via Greenpeace.

Seven breakthrough solar technologies - but will they work?

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energy Desk

17th December 2014

A bunch of innovations are taking place in the world of solar power, writes Zachary Davies Boren - and one or more of them could just propel the technology from providing just 1% of the world's electricity, to dominating the world's energy supply. Provided they work ... more...
A commercial solar installation under way in the south of England. Photo: Adrian Arbib / Renewable energy Cooperative - r-eco.coop.

Solar power is getting cheaper quicker than the IPCC thought

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

4th November 2014

The cost estimates for solar PV used by the IPCC in its latest report fail to take into account recent price falls for the technology, reports Helle Abelvik-Lawson, and exaggerate financing costs. The result is to understate the importance of PV in a low carbon future. more...
The answer to Earth's energy needs is floating in the skies above. Photo: Conceptual Image Lab, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Earth photo courtesy of NASA/ISS Expedition 13 crew.

The Burning Answer to our energy needs

Jonathon Porritt

29th October 2014

Keith Barnham's new book reveals the giddying and glorious plethora of the solar technologies that lie at the heart of the all-renewable energy system that awaits us, writes Jonathan Porritt - making it 'one of the most exciting and genuinely hopeful books' that I've read in a long time'. more...
The Solucar PS10 solar tower near Seville in southern Spain. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr.

IEA: Solar could be world's biggest power source by 2050

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

10th October 2014

Solar power could be producing over a quarter of the world's electricity within 35 years, according to the International Energy Agency. But in the US, Congress's failure to extend solar tax credits is causing projects to be withdrawn.
more...
Kagoshima solar power plant: are 'solar islands' the future? Photo: Kyocera.

Japan: 'solar islands' replace nuclear power

Jon Major

13th September 2014

As Japan seeks to end reliance on nuclear power, one of the answers is floating 'solar islands', writes Jon Major. A 70MW solar island opened last year, and two additional plants have just been announced. more...

A Solar Revolution

Jonathon Porritt

5 September 2014

The advance of solar power around the world is bringing instant, dramatic improvements to people's lives, so why aren’t more governments overhauling their dysfunctional energy policies? more...
Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

While governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom

Paul Brown

6th September 2014

Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless. more...
These solar panels on a Chiswick back street are

Solar panels: a clear & present threat to this and future generations?

Paula Owen

18th August 2014

An array of solar panels on a Chiswick side street, facing a brewery wall, constitute a threat to the quality of life of future generations, according to the council and a planning inspector. Paula Owen begs to differ, and wonders - exactly what kind of mushroom have they been smoking? more...
Dhursar 40 megawatt solar power plant with First Solar modules in the Thar desert, Rajasthan, India. Photo: Reliance Power.

Solar power to the fore in India's energy revolution

Michael Jacob

12th August 2014

India's economy is hindered by the lack of sustainable and reliable electricity, writes Michael Jacob. But the new government has a plan to bring 24/7 power to every citizen, based on grid renewal, subsidy cuts, and a big rollout of ever-cheaper solar power generation. more...
A large-scale solar farm in the UK. Photo: Trillion Fund.

Solar firms to sue Government for ending support

Rosie Murray-West & Ruth Lumley

9th August 2014.

Four large solar firms are suing the British Government over its decision to end support for 'farm scale' solar generators of 5MW or more. The move reflects ministerial concern about the success of the UK's fast growing solar power sector. more...

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Rosetta approaching its destination after a 6 billion km journey. Image: ESA.

Rosetta shows - we can keep space plutonium-free!

Karl Grossman

5th August 2014

Deep space missions have previously run on nuclear power, writes Karl Grossman - and have twice showered Earth with radioactive debris. But the ESA's Rosetta probe, about to reach its destination, is 100% solar-powered - showing that space can be nuclear-free. more...
A common sight in Germany - a solar parking shelter with a generation capacity of approx 0.3MW. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr.

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way

Keith Barnham

26th July 2014

How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better! more...
At the heart of the US oil industry, 'solar sunflowers' just off the I-35 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jim Hutchison via Flickr.

California and Texas are mainstreaming renewable energy

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

20th July 2014

California and Texas continue to break new ground in making electricity generation from renewable sources, writes Mike G. Solar PV in particular has become a vital part of the US' energy mix, accounting for half of new generation capacity. more...
MP Liz Truss with wind turbine at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/.

Britain's new Environment Secretary is a breath of fresh air

Oliver Tickell

15th July 2014

Britain's new Environment Secretary is young (38), female, blonde, believes in climate change, and has floated imaginative policies to deal with it from a carbon tax to 'personal carbon allowances'. As for badgers ... her silence on the topic promises well. more...
Toyota UK Solar Panel Array at its vehicle plant in Derbyshire. Photo: Toyota UK via Flickr.

Why do Ed and Greg hate solar energy?

Jonathon Porritt

8th July 2014

With the Government wilfully undermining the UK's small but fast-growing solar power sector for the second time, Jonathon Porritt wonders ... why the attacks on what is our second lowest cost source of renewable energy, and getting cheaper all the time? more...
Many more of these to come ... solar panel at Solar panels in Uttaranchal, India. Photo: Barefoot photographers of Tilonia via Flickr.

Renewables boom - $5 trillion to be invested by 2030

Rosie Murray-West

4th July 2014

Two thirds of the world's investment in building new power generation until 2030 may go to renewable energy, reports Rosie Murray-West, causing CO2 emissions to peak at end of the 2020s. more...
Lambrigg Wind Farm near Kendal in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK. Photo: Steve Oliver via Flickr.

Eric Pickles' war on wind farms could blow UK renewable energy targets

David Elliott

27th June 2014

The UK Government's self-declared war on onshore wind farms will make it very difficult for the UK to meet its EU renewable energy targets, writes David Elliott - especially as it cuts support for solar PV. Is the UK's energy policy being written by UKIP? more...
The solar scheme is planned for Ellough airfield, near this g-kart circuit and next to an industrial estate. Photo: Blue Square Thing via Flickr.

Solar farm go ahead after High Court quashes Pickles's unlawful refusal

The Ecologist

26th June 2014

The High Court has overturned a 'fatally flawed' decision by Eric Pickles MP to refuse planning permission for a locally popular 24MW solar farm on former WW2 airfield in Suffolk, England, close to an industrial estate and go-kart circuit. more...
The women farmers of Edamalakudi. Photo: Madhuraj, Mathrubhumi Weekly.

Solidarity, group farming and solar panels in the jungles of Kerala

P. Sainath

1st August 2014

A social solidarity movement is transforming the lives of millions of poor women in Kerala, south India, writes P. Sainath - and among the greatest beneficiaries are indigenous adivasi women who dwell deep in the the forests, and their historically marginalized communities. more...
A Canadian Solar installation in NSW, Australia - the same company's panels are planned for the jenin Charitable Hospital in Gaza. Photo: Canadian Solar.

Gaza hospital 'goes solar' to combat power shortages

Rami Almeghari

7th June 2014

The Jenin Charitable Hospital is going 100% solar in order to combat the power cuts and shortages that afflict the Palestinian Territory - and in the process save a small fortune on energy bills. more...
What house builders will no longer have to do - the 'BedZED' Beddington Zero Carbon Development in south London. Photo: BioRegional via Flickr.

Government caves in to developers on 'zero carbon' homes

Oliver Tickell

4th June 2014

The Government has gutted its 'zero carbon home' standard - builders will be able to 'zero the carbon' through an offsetting scheme - rather than by installing more insulation, or renewable technologies like solar PV or solar water heating. more...
Toyota Solar Panel Array at its vehicle plant in Derbyshire, where Auris Hybrid, Auris and Avensis cars are built. Photo: Toyota UK via Flickr.

Government reforms will 'probably kill stand-alone solar PV in the UK'

Chris Goodall

17th May 2014

By publishing its 'reform' proposals for the support of large scale solar PV in two separate documents on the same day, the Government managed to conceal its true intent from the industry, writes Chris Goodall. The truth is much worse than anyone realised. more...
Bentley Motors rooftop array is the largest of its kind in the UK. But Government policy is restricting the growth of the sector. Photo: DECC via Flickr.com.

Government attacks UK's 'big solar'

The Ecologist

13th May 2014

Not only does the Government hate onshore wind, now it's turning against large scale solar. Its latest 'big idea' is to lock projects above 5MW out of the Renewables Obligation, while keeping tight limits on rooftop schemes. more...

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