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The water may be dirty - but the heat is still valuable! Photo: susan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Let's reclaim the free energy in our sewers - we have the technology!

Jan Hofman & Laura Piccinini

9th September 2016

First we heat up cold water for baths, showers and washing, write Jan Hofman & Laura Piccinini. Then we chuck all that precious heat down the plughole. So how about recycling our waste heat to warm up water on its way to the boiler or hot water tank, cutting bills and emissions? Or on a larger scale, use the sewage from entire communities as a free energy source for heat pumps? more...
Mikhail Gorbachev's party member's card issued in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Mikhail Gorbachev: 30 years after Chernobyl, time to phase out nuclear power

Linda Pentz Gunter

26th April 2016

Thirty years after Chernobyl former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev remains haunted by the world's greatest ever industrial catastrophe, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. Now 85 and a committed environmentalist, he's still campaigning to bring the failed nuclear experiment to an end before further disasters follow, and encouraging a clean, efficient and renewable global energy economy. more...
The Thar desert in Rajasthan, India. Photo: Nick Kenrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Protecting God's Creation: churches commit to the green energy transition

Tim Gee / Christian Aid

19th April 2016

Pope Francis's famous encyclical on climate change is part of a broad global shift to environmental awareness among faith communities, writes Tim Gee. Christian churches and congregations are among those joining the fast growing fossil fuel divestment movement, switching to renewable energy, and reaching out to wider society to help protect our home planet, Earth. more...
South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of seven protected areas that make up the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, at risk from oil exploration and drilling. Photo: © Antonio Busiello / WWF-US.

Industrial expansion threatens half of natural World Heritage Sites

The Ecologist

6th April 2016

Precious World Heritage Sites that protect vital biodiversity and human cultures are at risk from oil decelopment and other industries. Under threat are not just nature, wildlife, land and water but the 11 million people who depend on the 114 sites' environmental quality for their livelihoods. more...
Glamorous? More than you think. Hot water heaters that respond to grid signals could be the key to stabilising the grid and using up surplus energy from peaking renewables. Photo: marlb0r0 man via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Water heaters as batteries: as sexy as a Tesla?

Margaret McAll / RMI

6th April 2016

Tesla's Powerwall battery may be the poster-boy of the forthcoming dynamic power grid, writes Margaret McAll. But a far more accessible, low cost solution beckons: grid-interactive water heaters can soak up excess power from peaking renewables, reduce expensive peak demand, and cut power companies' need to invest in generation and distribution. more...
Ffos-Y-Fran open cast mine, Merthyr Tydfil. Photo: Caradog Llywelyn via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Flesh against fossil fuels: let's shut down the UK's largest coal mine!

A Climate Activist

18th April 2016

Next month thousands will gather in Wales to shut down the UK's open cast coal mine at Ffos­y­fran, whose 3,500 acres abut both Merthyr Tydfil, one of Britain's most deprived communities, and the glorious Brecon Beacons national park. It will be one of dozens of coordinated actions across the UK, and around the world, to bring the age of coal to the rapid end it so richly deserves. more...
Turbine at EDF Renewable Energy's Bobcat Bluff Wind Project, spanning approximately 14,000 contiguous acres, in Archer County, Texas. Photo: EDF Renewable Energy.

EDF shows that wind makes better sense than nuclear

Chris Goodall

1st April 2016

EDF in the UK may be propelled by its disastrous nuclear ambitions, writes Chris Goodall. But across the Atlantic it's another story: the company is the US's biggest wind developer, and selling its power, profitably, for under 40% of the price it has been promised for Hinkley C, including federal tax credits. more...
A surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming. This type of  large-scale extraction is exactly what the residents of Montana wanted to avoid. Photo: Greg Goebel via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA)

People power: how Montana stopped the biggest coal mine in North America

Nick Engelfried

29th March 2016

Campaigners are celebrating after defeating plans to build America’s largest open pit coal mine, writes Nick Engelfriend. In an epic 'David and Goliath' battle, Montana activists challenged the project, and all the politicians and businessmen that supported it, with fierce opposition, protests and demonstrations. The outcome spells hope for all in the fight against dirty energy. more...
EDF chief Vincent de Rivaz giving evidence today to Parliament's Energy & Climate Change Select Committee. Photo: still from parliamentlive.tv.

EDF promises MPs: 'we will build Hinkley C!' But still no 'final investment decision'

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2016

MPs today grilled EDF Energy supremo Vincent de Rivaz over the troubled Hinkley C nuclear plant in Somerset. He insisted that the project was definitely going ahead - but refused to say when the 'final investment decision' was due. Confused? Bewildered? Frustrated? So were the MPs. more...
Artist's impression of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. Image: EDF Energy.

Hinkley C 'secret documents' may have to be disclosed

Terry McAlister / Guardian Environment

21st March 2016

Backed up the Information Commissioner, DECC refuses to release the documents it sent to the European Commission to support its massive subsidy package for the Hinkley C nuclear plant, writes Terry McAlister. But now the case will go before a tribunal which could order their release. more...
Global emissions trajectory 1975-2015, showing standstill in 2014 and 2015. Image: IEA.

Global emissions stand still as temperatures soar

Alex Kirby

18th March 2016

For the second year running CO2 emissions flatlined even as the global economy was growing at around 3%, writes Alex Kirby. But sharply rising temperatures show the need for further massive renewable energy deployment to actually bring emissions down. more...
What? You must leave us? So soon? US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Meet the Koch-affiliated fracker behind Marco Rubio's energy policy

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energydesk

15th March 2016

Barring a miracle Marco Rubio is set to be Trumped in the Republican primary tomorrow in Florida, his home state, putting an effective end to his campaign. But it's not for want of support from one of the US's biggest frackers, Devon energy, and its politically active CEO Larry Nichols. And with or without Rubio, Nichols's influence on the red states' energy policy is only going to get bigger. more...

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Anti-nuclear demonstration in the wake of the Fukushima disaster at Meji Koen, Tokyo, 19th September 2011. Photo: jordi olaria jané via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The flight from Fukushima - and the grim return

Linda Pentz Gunter

11th March 2016

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster began to unfold, the searing psychological effects are still being felt among the 160,000 refugees who fled the fallout, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But now there's growing pressure to return to contaminated areas declared 'safe' in efforts to whitewash the disaster's impacts. Why the rush? To clear the way for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, complete with events in Fukushima City. more...
The Xindayang D2 at its launch last June. Photo: Geely Holdings / Xindayang.

China's electric vehicle boost drives global transport revolution

Kieran Cooke

10th March 2016

Improved technology and falling costs are moving electric car sales into the fast lane as manufacturers seek achieve significant economies of scale, writes Kieran Cooke. And now China is leading the EV charge with its plans for 5 million plug-in vehicles by 2020. more...
This wind farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern allows the entire state to run on 100% renewable energy. Photo: Clemens v. Vogelsang via Flickr (CC BY).

Dispelling the nuclear 'baseload' myth: nothing renewables can't do better!

Mark Diesendorf

10th March 2016

The main claim used to justify nuclear is that it's the only low carbon power source that can supply 'reliable, baseload electricity', writes Mark Diesendorf - unlike wind and solar. But not only can renewables supply baseload power, they can do something far more valuable: supply power flexibly according to demand. Now nuclear power really is redundant. more...
Exxon, one of the largest fossil fuel companies is surrounded in controversy. Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY)

Scandal! Exxon knew about climate change, boosted denialism, misled shareholders, went carbon heavy

Bill McKibben

9th March 2016

One of the world's biggest energy companies has been caught out in what may be the biggest ever climate scandal, writes Bill McKibben. Way back in the 1980s ExxonMobil knew of the 'potentially catastrophic' and 'irreversible' effects of increasing fossil fuel consumption, but chose to cover up the findings, spread misinformation on climate change, and go for high carbon energy sources. more...
For some decades to come, old and new energy systems will have to maintain an uneasy coexistence - as at Interstate 10 near Palm Springs, California. Photo: Kevin Dooley via Flickr (CC BY).

The transition to 100% renewable energy: because we have no choice

Richard Heinberg

18th March 2016

It will take decades to completely leave fossil fuels, writes Richard Heinberg. But we can do it, starting with the easy stuff: going big time for wind and solar, raising energy efficiency, replacing oil-fuelled vehicles, and moving to organic farming. But deeper changes will follow as we transition to a more enduring sustainability - consuming better, and much less. more...
Solar heating evacuated tubes being installed on a roof in Thorton Heath, England. Photo: szczel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Would you believe it? Yet another UK solar energy cut!

Oliver Tickell

7th March 2016

After ten massive renewable energy cuts that are leaving the UK falling well short of EU renewable energy targets, an eleventh! The axe is now falling on solar heating, writes Oliver Tickell - even though it's meant to be at the core of the government's renewable energy strategy. more...
Oil pollution in Ogoniland, Niger Delta. Photo: Milieudefensie via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

53,000 Nigerian oil spill victims press new Shell lawsuits

Oliver Tickell

2nd March 2016

A year after Shell was forced into a £55 million settlement with an indigenous community in Nigeria devastated by oil spills, a UK High Court judge has allowed two new such cases to proceed on behalf of some 43,000 subsistence farmers and fishers whose livelihoods have been wiped out by the same cause. more...
The technology is neat - but can it ever be industrialised? JBEI researcher using synthetic biology to engineer microbes to ferment complex sugars into advanced biofuels. Photo: Roy Kaltschmidt / Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-

Oil: $30-35 per barrel. Synthetic biology diesel: $3,180 to $7,949 per barrel. Game over?

Almuth Ernsting

29th February 2016

A synthetic biology plant producing the anti-malarial drug artemisinin has just shut down as it's much cheaper to use wormwood grown by African farmers, writes Almuth Ernsting. The technology is even further from making affordable diesel, with a production cost of $20-50 per litre. No wonder investors are losing patience - and confidence - in loss-making synbio companies. more...
Running from Nuclear Zombies. Photo: Clement127 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

EDF's leaked Board Agenda: Zombie nuclear projects and 'beyond the grave' reactors

Jonathon Porritt

29th February 2016

French nuclear parastatal EDF is facing problem after problem - zombie nuclear projects in the UK, Finland, China and France, a fleet of 'beyond the grave' reactors, a dropping share price and its drooping credit rating. But is it really as bad as all that? Jonathon Porritt has exclusive access to the leaked Agenda of its latest board meeting. And the answer is - no. It's even worse. more...
A female solar engineer from Rajasthan, India - just one of many who could have benefitted from the work to create the National Solar Mission. Photo: Knut-Erik Helle via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

World Trade Organisation smashes India's solar panels industry

Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert

28th February 2016

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has found India's huge solar initiative 'guilty' of breaking trade rules, write Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert, because it gives domestic manufacturers a small 10% quota for the supply of panels, leaving up to 90% for foreign competitors. It's a warning for perils of the entire WTO system, and of even harsher trade rules like those in TPP, TTIP and CETA. more...
Landscape in South Wales, near Varteg, scarred by slag heaps from deep coal mining. Now coal mining companies want to start all over again with open pit mines. Photo: Nicholas Mutton via geograph.org.uk (CC BY-SA).

Coal companies trying to revive 'zombie' open cast mines in Wales

Guy Shrubsole / Greenpeace Energydesk

24th February 2016

A tangle of undercapitalised companies are coming forward to cash in on old deep coal mines in Wales, writes Guy Shrubsole - by digging them all out from above from huge open cast pits. But local communities, alarmed at the noise, pollution and destruction of landscape, increasingly see coal as an industry that's best consigned to the scrapheap. more...
Poster for the film 'The Plague of the Zombies'. Photo: Huysamen Engelbrecht via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Nuclear zombie? Hinkley C build won't start until 2019 - if at all!

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

20th February 2016

Nuclear giant EDF can't afford to write off the £2 billion sunk into the Hinkley C nuclear plant, write Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell. So its cunning plan is to turn it into a 'nuclear zombie' - officially a live project, but actually stone cold dead - until EDF can find a way out of the hole it has dug itself into. more...
IAEA fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman visits the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on 27 May 2011 to assess tsunami damage. Photo: Greg Webb / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

No bliss in this ignorance: the great Fukushima nuclear cover-up

Linda Pentz Gunter

20th February 2016

The Japanese were kept in the dark from the start of the Fukushima disaster about high radiation levels and their dangers to health, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. In order to proclaim the Fukushima area 'safe', the Government increased exposure limits to twenty times the international norm. Soon, many Fukushima refugees will be forced to return home to endure damaging levels of radiation. more...

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