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Aerial view of the completed Hinkley C project. Artists impression by EDF Energy.

Nuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

27th September 2016

With its choice of Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle - its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government's energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition. more...
'Imagine there's no Fracking' - banner at London protest outside Parliament, 26th January 2015. Photo: Ron F. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No fracking in the UK under Labour! Just trade not 'free' trade!

Barry Gardiner

26th September 2016

A future Labour government will ban all fracking in the UK and drive forward a clean, affordable energy revolution, Barry Gardiner promised in his conference speech today. And it will openly negotiate 'Just Trade' agreements that respect the environment, health and labour, boosting small business not just multinational corporations. more...
Wind farm in India. Photo: Sundaram + Annam via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Renewables have the economic advantage over fossil fuels

Alex Kirby

15th September 2016

A new energy market analysis shows the average cost of electricity from renewables is already lower than from fossil fuels, writes Alex Kirby. And as renewables eat deeper into the 'market share' of coal and gas power plants, so the entire economics of fossil fuel power generation will unravel. more...
The pipelines that make up the 3,500km Southern Gas Corridor from the Caspian Sea to Italy’s Adriatic coast. Image: Bankwatch Network.

Azerbaijan-Italy gas pipeline defeats EU energy policy

Terry Macalister

14th September 2016

The European Investment Bank is set to offer €3 billion to build the 3,500 km Southern Gas Corridor pipeline from the South Caucasus to the EU, writes Terry Macalister - even though it would undermine EU climate change targets and exacerbate serious human rights abuses. more...
Jeremy Corbyn addressing a leadership rally, 8th August 2016. Photo: Paul Newport via Flickr (CC BY).

Jeremy Corbyn: my plan for Britain's green industrial revolution

Jeremy Corbyn

8th September 2016

Under my leadership Britain will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, writes Jeremy Corbyn. Meeting our Paris climate targets will be the starting point for a green industrial revolution that will deliver clean, affordable energy to all, create millions of new jobs, and establish the export industries of the future. more...

The Ecologist Environmentalist Interview: Bill McKibben

Joe Ware

8th September, 2016

The irrepressible Bill McKibben, and the movement he founded - 350.org - have been behind two of the biggest climate change victories in recent years: the blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline and the withdrawal of 3.4 trillion dollars of fossil fuel investments. He talks to JOE WARE more...
Before and after: natural wetland forest dominated by Swamp cypress, and an industrial plantation of Lolbolly pine. Both photos via Wikimedia Commons (see details on individual photos); amalgamation by The Ecologist (no rights claimed).

Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?

Almuth Ernsting / Biofuelwatch

18th August 2016

This month wood pellet mills in the southern US that supply the UK's Drax power station were awarded 'sustainability' certificates under a voluntary scheme governed entirely by energy companies. The certificates provide no credible guarantee that the fuel does not come from ecologically valuable natural forests and wetlands, clear-cut and replaced by industrial plantations. more...
Soon the world will be producing its liquid fuels for vehicles from the sun - at a lower cost than mineral petrol / gasoline. Photo: Nick Blackmer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Artificial photosynthesis - how renewable fuels will make oil obsolete

Chris Goodall

22nd August 2016

New technologies are coming on stream that can turn sunlight and wind into liquid fuels for vehicles, homes or power plants, writes Chris Goodall. And by powering the process using 'free' renewable energy on sunny or windy days, the fuel will be as green as can be, and cost less than petroleum. more...
There gold in them thar coffee grounds ... Photo: Dominick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Thanks Hugh - now let's stop throwing away the coffee grounds!

Rhodri Jenkins, University of Bath

2nd August 2016

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has a done a great job exposing the scandal of Britain's billions of non-recyclable coffee cups, writes Rhodri Jenkins. But what about the coffee itself? The grounds can be used for everything from compost and biodiesel to boutique chemicals and supercapacitors - yet the vast majority of the world's 9m tonnes a year of waste coffee ends up in landfill. more...

TTIP: The most dangerous weapon in the hands of the fossil fuel industry

Andreas Sieber & Pavlos Georgiadis

27th July, 2016

The European Union and the USA have been negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) behind closed doors since 2013. Negotiators kept insisting that their secret talks would work in the best interest of the public and the environment. But since Greenpeace leaked the TTIP draft negotiating documents it became clearer than ever, that this trade agreement could become one of the most dangerous weapons in the hands of the fossil fuel industry in its effort to kill Climate Action for the 21st century. The elephant in the room is here and it is huge: the word "climate" means something totally different in the TTIP papers. more...
New 'solar leaves' will be able to produce ethanol directly from sunlight - the perfect liquid fuel for automotive use - with just enough methanol to stop you drinking it. Photo: Eric Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Goodbye gasoline: we can Get It From The Sun

Keith Barnham

21st July 2016

Traveling in the US by boat and train visiting solar laboratories and environmental groups, Keith Barnham found many successful community initiatives in renewable electricity, and brings news of progress towards the ultimate renewable challenge: a solar fuel that could eventually replace gasoline in cars, trucks, buses, trains and aircraft. more...
A bottomland hardwood clearcut that Dogwood Alliance have linked to Enviva, the company that runs the Ahoskie pellet mill, which supplies the UK's Drax power station. Photo: Matt Adam Williams.

Dirtier than coal: burning forests for 'green' energy

Matt Williams

19th July 2016

The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for 'climate friendly' electricity, writes Matt Williams. But his recent visit to the southern US showed him that this practice is devastating beautiful, natural forests rich in wildlife - while the UK government's own research shows that it's worse for the climate than the coal it replaces. more...

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Offshore wind turbine under construction at Burbo Bank, North Sea. Photo: The Danish Wind Industry Association / Vindmølleindustrien via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Offshore wind powers ahead as prices drop 30% below nuclear

Kieran Cooke

19th July 2016

The cost of offshore wind power in the North Sea is 30% lower than that of new nuclear, writes Kieran Cooke - helped along by low oil and steel prices, reduced maintenance and mass production. By 2030 the sector is expected to supply 7% of Europe's electricity. more...

The Unfair Narrative on Global Warming and Development: Why it must be challenged

Mark Kernan

18th July, 2016

The industries that have primarily caused, are still causing, and will continue to cause climate change, are the recipients of huge subsidies. Whilst the marginalised are promised a paltry and relatively insignificant amount to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of the problem they did little or nothing to bring about. That's just plain wrong says MARK KERNAN more...
Behind the beach and dunes of Druridge Bay, planning permission for a 350 hectare opencast coal mine has been granted. But if turned into a solar power farm, the same land would produce as much electricity as the coal after 70 years. Photo: Doug Belshaw v

Solar on the best UK sites is competitive with cheap coal

Chris Goodall

15th July 2016

Last week a massive 350 hectare open cast coal mine at Druridge Bay took an important step towards winning panning permission. This got Chris Goodall wondering: what if the land was turned into a solar farm instead? His surprise discovery: solar power on England's south coast already costs no more than coal - and it's only getting cheaper. more...
Photo: hit thatswitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Higher fuel bills, less renewables, an end to nuclear power: Brexit's energy shakeout

Chris Goodall

28th June 2016

The economic impacts of the Brexit vote will very soon make themselves felt to British consumers, writes Chris Goodall - kicking off with higher fuel bills and pump prices. The good news is that nuclear power is now looking increasingly unaffordable. But renewables and green energy research are also likely to suffer, especially if under a right-wing Brexit government. more...
Without EU directives and regulations to protect us, could scenes like this become common in the UK countryside. Waste water pond in the Pilliga Forest, NSW, Australia, June 2011. Photo: Kate Ausburn / Lock the Gate Alliance.

Brexit could lead to a bonfire of fracking regulations

Zachary Davies Boren / Energydesk

21st June 2016

Almost all UK laws that regulate fracking's impact on the environment emanate from EU directives and regulations, writes Zachary Davies Boren. Once out of the EU, the UK would be free to amend them, scrap them or simply ignore them. And given the UK's record of support for fracking and lobbying in Brussels for deregulation, that may be exactly what the Brexiteers have planned. more...
Tina Rothery of The Nanas on an anti-fracking protest. Photo: The Nanas.

Cuadrilla versus The Nanas - #IamTinaRothery

Tina Rothery

23rd June 2016

Thanks to fracking company Cuadrilla, grandmother Tina Rothery will be in court tomorrow over a £55,000 'debt' imposed on her for joining a peaceful occupation of a fracking site in Lancashire. But as she explains, she can't pay, she won't pay, and even if she could pay, she wouldn't. Someone has to stand up to corporate vandalism and abuse of justice - and in this case, it's her, no matter what the consequences. more...
Prime Minister David Cameron visiting an IGas site in Gainsborough on 13th January 2014. Photo: Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK fracking policy founded on scientific fraud, misrepresentation and prevarication

Nick Cowern

15th June 2016

The key study that justifies the Government's claim that fracking is a climate change 'solution' is based on serious scientific errors, writes Nick Cowern. Not only has the Government failed to correct them, but it is now delaying the publication of a new official report that would reveal the truth - that fracking is considerably worse for the world's climate than coal. more...
Gas tanks at a fracking well on the Marcellus Shale in North Central Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal - will the Climate Change Committee ban it?

Dr Robin Russell-Jones

9th June 2016

The UK government is all for fracking, writes Dr Robin Russell-Jones, but on climate grounds alone it should be banned. Evidence from the US shows that shale gas is twice as dirty as coal from a climate viewpoint due to 'fugitive emissions' of methane. That makes fracking incompatible with the UK's climate change commitments and the Paris Agreement - as the CCC may soon rule. more...
Wind farms such as these in Palm Springs, California could be the answer to low-cost energy throughout the US. Photo: Prayitno Hadinata via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Renewable Energy Closes ‘The Gap'

2nd June, 2016

The REN 21 Renewables Global Status Report

The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report just published by REN21 - The Renewables Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century - shows that renewables are now firmly established as competitive, mainstream sources of energy in many countries around the world, closing the gap between the energy haves- and have-nots more...

Who gets to influence the climate negotiations?

Pavlos Georgiadis, Renee Karunungan and Anna Pérez Català

1st June, 2016

The influence of fossil fuel corporations was strongly questioned by developing countries in the post-Paris meeting of the climate change negotiations in Bonn last week. Climate Trackers Pavlos Georgiadis, Renee Karunungan and Anna Pérez Català highlight the key issues that were debated more...
A small settlement in Bangladesh's Sundarbans, which extends into India to make the world's greatest mangrove forest - a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Area that is home for both people and countless wildlife species. Photo: Marufish via Flickr (CC BY-S

Exim Bank of India - stop support for the Rampal Coal Power plant!

Johan Frijns / Banktrack

26th May 2016

The Rampal coal power plant in Bangladesh, near the world's greatest mangrove forest, is a deeply misconceived project that must be abandoned, writes Johan Frijns in this Open Letter to the Exim Bank of India - which is planning to finance its construction. It would severely damage the precious local environment and wildlife, while adding to global climate change and sea level rise. more...
Demonstration against granting planning permission for fracking in Ryedale. Photo: Guy Shrubsole.

Return of the Frack

Victoria Seabrook / DeSmog.uk

24th May 2016

Conservative councillors have passed an application to frack in the Yorkshire Dales by Third Energy, signalling the return of shale gas exploitation in the UK after a five year break, writes Victoria Seabrook. Campaigners vow: 'We will fight on!' more...
Paying coal power stations like this one at Ratcliffe-on-Soar near Junction 24 of the M1 to stay open is not the answer. Photo: UniversityBlogSpot via Flickr (CC BY).

To keep the lights on, pay people to use less electricity

Chris Goodall

17th May 2016

Government plans to pay coal and diesel generators to stay open the winter after next to 'keep the lights on' betray dangerously old-fashioned thinking, writes Chris Goodall. Not only would it subsidise our dirtiest electricity - it's also incredibly costly. Why not just pay people to reduce their demand when power supplies are stretched? more...

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