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Energy: 50/75 of 983
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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...
'Free Cascadia' banner. Photo: ario_ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Design by Joe Martin.

Fighting the 'Big Club': blockades, strikes, and the fossil fuel blowback

Alexander Reid Ross

2nd February 2015

North America's environment campaigners face a fearsome enemy in the 'Big Club', writes Alexander Reid Ross - the nexus of fossil fuel and infrastructure corporations, government, militarized police, private security contractors, PR agencies, astroturf NGOs and quasi-judicial bodies. But the activists are winning key victories in their battle to halt the industrialization of Cascadia. more...
Low carbon? No way! The planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station would have carbon emissions well above the Climate Change Committee's recommended limit for new power generation. Picture: HayesDavidson.

False solution: Nuclear power is not 'low carbon'

Keith Barnham

5th February 2015

Claims that nuclear power is a 'low carbon' energy source fall apart under scrutiny, writes Keith Barnham. Far from coming in at six grams of CO2 per unit of electricity for Hinkley C, as the Climate Change Committee believes, the true figure is probably well above 50 grams - breaching the CCC's recommended limit for new sources of power generation beyond 2030. more...
Yes, it was about the oil. The Kuwait-Basra 'Highway of Death', 26th February 1991. Photo: samer via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Crude conspiracies? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil

Petros Sekeris & Vincenzo Bove

4th March 2015

A wide-ranging academic study of civil wars in 69 countries from 1945 to 1999 finds that the likelihood of outside intervention increases when the country at war has large reserves of oil, and a potential intervener needs to secure oil imports on favourable terms to meet domestic demand. more...
Nuclear fail: Entergy's 'Vermont Yankee' nuclear plant shut last year because it was running at a loss even with all its capital costs sunk. It now faces a $1.24 billion decommission - of which only $670 million is funded.

Running in reverse: the world's 'nuclear power renaissance'

Dr Jim Green

29th January 2015

The global rebirth of nuclear power was meant to be well under way by now, writes Jim Green. But in fact, nuclear's share of world power generation is on a steady long term decline, and new reactors are getting ever harder to build, and finance. The only real growth area is decommissioning, but that too has a problem: where's the money to pay for it? more...
Nebraska landscape with wind turbines. Photo: Rich via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Red state, red power: Nebraska's publicly-owned electricity system

Thomas M. Hanna

31st January 2015

Republican Nebraska's energy is all publicly owned or cooperative, writes Thomas M. Hanna, and prices are among America's lowest, with great service standards and a strong commitment to renewables. Decentralised and locally accountable, this could be the model that replaces inefficient, unresponsive monopolies - both nationalised and corporate. more...
Fracking in a Denton residential neighborhood. Photo: Gena Felker / Britt Utsler via Frack Free Denton.

Message to the UK: the fracking 'bridge' is burning!

Naomi Klein

27th January 2015

The lesson of fracking in the US and Canada is a simple one, writes Naomi Klein. The fracking industry is vicious, brutal and will stop at nothing to get its way. British anti-frackers can celebrate yesterday's achievements - but the fight ahead will not be an easy one. more...
Undergound coal gasification explained. Image: Bretwood Higman, GroundTruthTrekking.org (CC BY-NC 3.0).

The EAC's plan for a 'fracking moratorium' in Britain doesn't go far enough

Paul Mobbs

26th January 2015

The Environmental Audit Committee today calls for shale fracking in the UK to be 'put on hold', writes Paul Mobbs. But the EAC is missing an even more dangerous technology that the Infrastructure Bill would support - underground coal gasification. 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...
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy, join EDF's top brass to view plans for the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Photo: Number 10 via Department of Energy and Climate Change / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Austria: 'we will launch Hinkley C nuclear subsidy legal challenge by April'

Arthur Neslen / the Guardian Environment

23rd January 2015

Austria will launch its legal challenge against the UK's massive support package for the planned 3.2GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by April, writes Arthur Nelsen. The move will add years of delay to the controversial project, and may well finish it off altogether as fears over the troubled EPR reactor design grow, and renewables continue to fall in cost. more...
Ribble Estuary against Fracking demo, August 2014. Photo: Victoria Buchan-Dyer via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Fracking policy and the pollution of British democracy

Paul Mobbs

20th January 2015

UK politicians and officials are studiously ignoring the growing evidence that fracking is an economic and environmental disaster, writes Paul Mobbs. As the circle of 'acceptable' view spins ever smaller, industry PR is dominating a phoney debate that's increasingly remote from reality, public opinion and core democratic principles. 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...

Energy: 50/75 of 983
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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...
Burning oil field in Kuwait, Gulf War 1. Photo: VA Comm via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Oil prices and the devil's ransom

Alexander Reid Ross

15th January 2015

The global economic shake-down of low oil prices continues apace, writes Alexander Reid Ross, causing environmentalists to celebrate the collapse of dirty energy projects. But the oil price collapse is the manifestation of a multi-layered conflict being fought out on the political, military and ideological battlefields of the Middle East - and it may not last much longer. 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...
Another advantage of vertical axis turbines is that they can be placed closer together. Image: Vertax Wind.

Going vertical: offshore wind power must find a new axis

Maurizio Collu & Michael Borg

14th January 2015

Offshore wind turbines are trying to reproduce at sea what works on land, write Maurizio Collu & Michael Borg. But it's proving a costly and high maintenance exercise. It's time to switch to new 'vertical axis' designs that promise to be cheaper to build and operate. more...
The Government displaces small farmers, imposes outsiders, robs our resources, divides our peoples - leave us in peace! Photo: Asoquimbo.

El Quimbo, Colombia: Enel-Endesa's 'low carbon' hydroelectric racket

Philippa de Boissière

13th January 2015

For the world's multinational corporations, the climate crisis is just another business opportunity, writes Philippa de Boissière. One example is Enel-Endesa's 'climate friendly' 217m high El Quimbo dam in Colombia - a huge exercise in expropriation at taxpayer expense, backed by police violence against strong local resistance. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
Burning money? North Dakota flaring of gas out of the Bakken Formation. Photo: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Fracking's future is in doubt as oil price plummets, bonds crash

Kieran Cooke

7th January 2015

Increased production from US fracking operations is a major reason for the drop in oil prices, writes Kieran Cooke. But there are warnings that the industry now faces an existential crisis from which it may never recover, as the financial sector faces the prospect of worthless shares and $100s of billions of defaulted debt. 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...
Anti-fracking protest at Balcombe, Sussex. Photo: Robin Webster via geograph.org.uk, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Fracking in the UK: what to expect in 2015

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

2nd January 2015

The government appears as determined as ever to push ahead with fracking as a central plank of its energy policy, writes Richard Heasman - ignoring growing evidence of health and environmental harm. But with the economics of fracking undermined by heavy energy price falls, the UK industry may never get off the ground. more...
LED lights. Photo: youngthousands from usa via Wikimedia Commons.

Blinded by the lights? How power companies just stole £1 billion - from us

Alan Simpson

31st December 2014

The UK government celebrated Christmas by donning Santa suits and throwing a £1 billion subsidy down the fuming smoke stacks of the UK's biggest power companies, writes Alan Simpson - a massive payment at the expense of UK energy users, for doing what they should be doing anyway. Have a Brave New Year! 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...
Black smoke at Fukushima Daichi, 24th March 2011. Photo: deedavee easyflow via Flickr.

Fukushima and the institutional invisibility of nuclear disaster

John Downer

20th December 2014

The nuclear industry and its supporters have contrived a variety of narratives to justify and explain away nuclear catastrophes, writes John Downer. None of them actually hold water, yet they serve their purpose - to command political and media heights, and reassure public sentiment on 'safety'. But if it's so safe, why the low limits on nuclear liabilities? 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...

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