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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...
Sunrise on the Balbina hydroelectric dam in Brazil’s Amazon region. Image: Seabirds via Wikimedia Commons.

Deepening drought forces Brazil to embrace solar power

Jan Rocha

6th April 2015

Without water to feed its hydroelectric dams, drought-hit Brazil is turning to solar power - dubbed 'a fantasy' by the country's president just a few years ago, writes Jan Rocha. Now thousands of megawatts of floating solar panel 'islands' are to be installed on dam reservoirs. more...
Wind farm at Palm Springs, CA. Photo: Bonita de Boer via Flickr (CC-BY 2.0).

Wind turbines generating 4.5% of US electricity

Kieran Cooke

20th March 2015

Wind generates almost a twentieth of America's power, writes Kieran Cooke - and that's set to double in five years, despite the phase-out of tax credits. Now the main constraint to future expansion is power line capacity. more...
Doggerland - the perfect place for the world's biggest offshore wind farm? Photo: NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Why a submerged island is the perfect spot for the world's biggest wind farm

Xavier Lemaire

27th March 2015

Way out in the turbulent North Sea, the Dogger Bank may seem like an unlikely place to site a large part of Britain's energy infrastructure. But given the stable sea floor, consistent winds, and distance from sensitive neighbours, it could be the perfect place. Even the fish could come to like it! more...
Photovoltaic cells on the Solar Library and Energy-Optimised House in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Image: Littleha via Wikimedia Commons.

Asia powers into the forefront of solar revolution

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

China has now overtaken the European Union as the largest new market for solar power, writes Paul Brown - as solar PV becomes one of the world's fastest growing industries - and one that's sure to keep on getting cheaper! 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...
Wind turbines like these in Ontario, Canada, are three times more 'annoying' than those on Prince Edward Island - apparently because of Ontario's negative press coverage of wind power. Photo: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr.

Wind turbine noise may be annoying - but it's not making you sick

Tyler Hamilton

25th November 2014

A large-scale independent study by Health Canana finds no link between the noise from wind turbines and health, writes Tyler Hamilton. That's not to say wind turbines can't be annoying - but there's a sure way to deal with that: give locals a financial benefit from their operation. Has Britain's wind industry got something to learn? 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...
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...

wind: 1/25 of 98
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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...
To achieve the 50%+ price drop we need for offshore wind, direct R&D funding will produce the transformational technology developments we need much more economically than price support payments.

We need to rethink how we support renewable energy

Chris Goodall

11th August 2014

Feed-in tariffs are a great way to kick start renewable technologies, writes Chris Goodall. But they suffer from a law of exponentially diminishing returns. It's time for governments to move to direct R&D funding to achieve the transformational changes the world needs. more...
Is Cameron's policy to put an end to onshore wind power an illusion? Double rainbow with wind turbines. Photo: Gordon Robertson via Flickr.com.

Cameron's wind policy - designed by Machiavelli?

Alan Whitehead MP

12th May 2014

David Cameron has promised to suspend incentives for onshore wind farms if he is re-elected in 2015, writes Alan Whitehead. But how exactly will he replace the 8GW of planned wind capacity that will not be built? more...
A sunrise industry: wind turbines in Texas. Photo: Chrishna via Flickr.com.

Wind power booms in oil-rich Texas

Ian Partridge

13th April 2014

One evening in March, wind delivered over 10,000 MW of electricity to Texas's power grid, almost 30% of total demand, reports Ian Partridge, and another 18,500 MW of capacity is under construction. So just why is Texas going so big on wind? more...
Aerial picture of Horns offshore wind farm in Denmark. Photo: Vattenfall via Flickr.com.

Offshore wind could calm hurricanes

Tim Radford

11th March 2014

US scientists say that very large wind farms could not only withstand a hurricane: they would also weaken it and so protect coastal communities. As Tim Radford reports, wind farms could just have saved New Orleans ... more...
Wind turbines near Tow Law, County Durham, UK. Photo: Jonathan Pearson / pearsongraphics via Flickr.com.

Wind turbines - going strong 20 years on

Chris Goodall

3rd January 2014

Anti-wind campaigners claim that wind turbine performance more than halves after 15 years. Chris Goodall analyses the figures and finds that even 20-year old wind turbines in the UK are still going strong ... more...
Offshore wind on the rocks? Photo: Chris Lishman / Shutterstock.com.

Offshore wind is too expensive!

Jim Platts

7th December 2013

Prices paid in the UK to solar and wind generators will change to favour offshore wind at the expense of the others. Jim Platt warns that the policy is doomed to failure - offshore wind is just too expensive, and likely to remain so. more...
Golden eagles were among the birds killed by Duke's wind turbines.

Wind turbine bird deaths - company pays $1m fine

Eco-Watch

29th November 2013

A major US wind energy company is fined $1 million in the country's first-ever settlement over bird deaths caused by wind turbines, after 149 protected birds were killed. more...

UK's largest nature conservation charity objects to wind farm application

Andrea Gear

October 29th, 2013

The RSPB's reaction to a wind farm application in Scotland's Flow Country demonstrates that supporting green energy is not always so straightforward ... more...
Offshore wind farm

Cameron's plan to cut green levies will cost us all

Jane Fae

28 October 2013

The truth is that 'green costs' are an investment that benefit all of us. Yet, to capitalise on that investment will take long-term vision, commitment, and a willingness to make and explain hard decisions. more...

Africa's biggest wind farm opens

Oliver Tickell

26th October 2013

20,000 square kilometres of Ethiopia are suitable for grid-based wind power generation, with a total capacity of 100 GW. more...

National Trust "open" to fracking on its land

Oliver Tickell

24th October 2013

"We all have yet to see what the surface environmental impact of fracking is and when we have seen it, then we would reach a view about it." more...

Oklahoma goes for Wind

Oliver Tickell

22nd October 2013

"Extraordinary pricing opportunities will lower utility costs by an estimated $53 million in the first year and even more thereafter." more...

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