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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...
It's only a matter of time before solar energy will make all this petroleum infrastructure worthless. But until then, there's money to be made! Dusk view of the Valero Energy Corporation's refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith via Flic

Saudi Arabia's oil price manipulation - let's get rich while we still can!

Karl Grossman

2nd May 2015

The oil industry and oil producers have a long history of market manipulation, writes Karl Grossman, and we see it going on right now with the low oil price that's squeezing fracking and getting America back onto gas-guzzling SUV's. But longer term, solar power is going to win out, and even Saudi Arabia knows it. Its game? To make out big, while the going's good. more...
A demonstration against nuclear power outside the Finnish Parliament, April 2009. Photo: Ulla Klotzer.

Russian roulette? Finland's inexplicable nuclear obsession

Ulla Klötzer

1st May 2015

Does Finland suffer from a nuclear death wish? So it seems, writes Ulla Klötzer. Its government responded to the world's two greatest nuclear disasters by ... ordering a new nuclear plant. And as the Olkiluoto nuclear project descended into face and litigation over a disputed €5 billion, they resolved to build two more. This time, supplied by Russia's nuclear weapon-maker Rosatom. more...
The abandoned reactors 5 and 6 at Chernobyl, under construction at the time of the catastrophe. Photo: Michael Kötter via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) in 2014.

The Chernobyl catastrophe 29 years on: it's not over yet!

Kendra Ulrich / Greenpeace Japan

27th April 2015

The stricken 4th reactor at Chernobyl presents a massive long term hazard, writes Kendra Ulrich. A planned €2.15 billion containment arch remains underfunded, and even if it's ever completed, it will only last 100 years. Meanwhile the intensely radioactive nuclear fuel will remain in place representing a long term risk of further huge radiation releases. more...
Aluminum - the metal these cans are made of - could soon be powering our batteries, and propelling the renewable energy revolution forward. Photo:Ishikawa Ken via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The new battery that could power the renewable revolution

Mark Shwartz & The Ecologist

26th April 2015

A new high-performance 'aluminum-ion' battery could be the technical breakthrough needed to boost the renewable energy takeover. It's safe, uses abundant low-cost materials, recharges in one minute and withstands many thousands of recharge cycles. more...
What lies over the rainbow is not a 100 billion barrels of oil, but a green and prosperous future of decentralised renewable energy. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

The mirage of fossil fuel wealth - our energy future is green, renewable, decentralised

Vicente López-Ibor Mayor

20th April 2015

Hopes of strengthening Britain’s energy security are often pinned on the fossil fuel industry says Vicente López-Ibor Mayor, as exemplified by the hysteria over the claimed 'discovery' of 100 billion barrels of oil beneath Gatwick airport. But the real long-term solution lies with abundant and ever cheaper decentralised renewables. more...
A peaceful protest by the indigenous people fighting the flooding of their land and villages by the Kanhar dam. Photo: Vindhya Bacao (vindhyabachao.org/kanhar).

India: police shoot eight indigenous protestors against illegal dam

Jitendra & Kiran Pandey / Down to Earth

15th April 2015

Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state yesterday opened fire on a 'sit in' by tribal protestors at the construction site of the Kanhar dam, now under construction in open contempt of court orders. Tribal leader Akku Kharwar and eight others were seriously injured by the gun fire. more...
Lake Baikal at Irkutskiy Raion, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Photo: Fedor Stroganov via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Lake Baikal: World Heritage ecosystems at risk from Mongolian dam

Anson Mackay

19th April 2015

Russia's Lake Baikal is under threat by a massive dam and pipeline on the main river that feeds into it, that would supply mines with power and water, writes Anson Mackay. In line to fund the project? The World Bank. more...
The Flamanville nuclear plant in Normandy, France, was already years late and billions of budget - before news emerged that its steel reactor vessel contains serious metallurgical faults. Photo: schoella via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Nuclear reactor flaws raise Hinkley C safety fears

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

14th April 2015

A serious flaw in the steel reactor vessel of a nuclear plant under construction in France raises safety fears for the EPR design, write Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell - and casts a dark shadow over the UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear project. more...
A gigantic dam under construction on the Upper Mekong River.

Damming Tibet: China's destruction of Tibet's rivers, environment and people

Michael Buckley

13th April 2015

When Michael Buckley took a white water rafting trip in Tibet in 2005, he had no idea of the adventure he was embarking on - a ten-year investigation of China ruthless exploitation of Tibet's mineral and hydroelectric resources, and its systematic attack on indigenous Tibetans, their culture and their survival on the land. more...
After more than century of colliery dumping, there's still plenty of coal to be picked up at Seaham Harbour. But now a far more toxic form of pollution is on its way, thanks to UGC - underground coal gasification. Photo: David Robson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-

'Underground coal gasification' hell-fires threaten Tyneside and the North Sea

Paul Mobbs

3rd April 2015

After over a century of coal ash and colliery waste dumping, the Tyne and Wear coastline is no stranger to industrial pollution. But soon a horrific new technology - underground coal gasification (UCG) - will endanger human health and the environment, backed by unflinching Government support and generous lashings of taxpayers' money. more...
Donna Ann Ward, co-founder of CoWatchingOil LA, overlooks the Murphy Oil fracking site in residential Los Angeles. She and many other Angelinos believe that fracking wells in the city are responsible for severe public health impacts. Photo: Sarah Craig /

Health professionals call: ban fracking for five years

Paul Mobbs

31st March 2015

Medact, the organization of health professionals for a safer, fairer and better world, has called for a five year moratorium on fracking due to its serious hazards to public health, writes Paul Mobbs. Their new report is a powerful challenge to government policy that cannot be ignored. more...

Energy: 1/25 of 965
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Now it's Japan's press that's muzzled. Residents of Iitate village, about 40 kilometers from the radiation-spewing Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, prepare fopr evacuation, 13th April 2011. Photo: Kyodo News via Irish Typepad on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

After Fukushima: Japan's 'nuclear village' is back in charge

Jim Green

28th March 2015

Public opposition to nuclear power in Japan remains strong, writes Jim Green, but piece by piece, Shinzo Abe's right-wing government has been putting the country's infamous 'nuclear village' back in control - boosted by draconian press censorship laws, massive interest-free loans, and a determination to forget all the 'lessons' of Fukushima. Is another big accident inevitable? more...
Local impacts matter too! Fracking fluid and other drilling wastes are dumped into an unlined pit located right up against the Petroleum Highway in Kern County, California. Photo: Faces of Fracking via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Policy makers warned on UK shale gas - assume there won't be any

The Ecologist

25th March 2015

High ranking academics have issued a stark warning to policy makers on the future of Britain's shale gas - your best bet is that we have none that can be recovered consistent with policy objectives. more...
A swamp forest in Louisiana, of the same kind that's already being clear-felled and chipped to supply fuel to Drax power station in Yorkshire on a fatuous 'low carbon' promise. Photo: J E Theriot via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

UK plans first new coal power station since 1974 - and it burns forests too!

Almuth Ernsting

17th March 2015

A new coal and biomass-fired power station could soon be built at Drax in Yorkshire, already the UK's biggest coal burner, writes Almuth Ernsting. It comes with a weak promise of possible 'carbon capture and storage' - an expensive, inefficient technology shunned elsewhere. As the Government's nuclear dream fades, could this be its equally flawed replacement? more...
Destruction driven by the 20% VAT penalty on property refurbishment? Demolition of Wychwood House on the Woodberry Down Estate, London in June 2007. Photo:  Sarflondondunc via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Use VAT to reward 'green' refurbishment - not demolition

Duncan Baker-Brown

19th March 2015

Another budget, another missed opportunity: the VAT system charges the full 20% on home upgrades, but 'zero-rates' developers who demolish and rebuild, writes Duncan Baker-Brown. Instead we should target VAT to reward those who meet 'green' criteria for energy efficiency and sustainability. Chancellors in waiting, listen up! more...
Sunset over Hinkley Point. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The end is nigh: last rites for Hinkley C

Jonathon Porritt

11th March 2015

The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant never made sense, writes Jonathon Porritt, but as legal challenges gather, finance fails to materialize, the cost of renewable energy keeps on falling, and the 'dead duck' EPR design is prepared for burial, even nuclear fanatics are turning against the doomed project. more...
Fukushima damage showing Unit 3, left, and Unit 4, right, 16th March 2011. Photo: deedavee easyflow via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Fukushima: an unnatural disaster that must never be repeated

Arnie Gundersen

11th March 2015

The Fukushima catastrophe four years ago today was no natural disaster, writes Arnie Gundersen. Operator TEPCO and nuclear regulators were well aware of the danger of tsunamis, but put money before safety. Nuclear power remains the only energy source that can destroy a country overnight - and it's time to ditch it! more...
The Peoples' Climate March in New York City, 22nd September 2014. Photo: Light Brigading via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

It's here, and it's growing: the self-assembling Coalition of the Radical Left

Alexander Reid Ross

6th March 2015

Naomi Klein famously called for a 'grand coalition' of the progressive left to fight climate change and Earth-destroying capitalism, writes Alexander Reid Ross. And now it's happening, drawing together diverse strands that encompass the fight for social and racial justice, the right to work, health, clean air and fresh water, and our freedom to be alive and thrive on this our one planet. more...
The damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as seen during a sea-water sampling boat journey, 7 November 2013. Photo: David Osborn / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

All fouled up - Fukushima four years after the catastrophe

Jim Green

11th March 2015

Four years ago today the world's biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl took place at Fukushima, Japan. Total clean-up costs are estimated around $0.5 trillion, writes Jim Green - but work to defuse the dangers has barely begun, the site is flooded with radioactive water making its way to the sea, and underpaid and illegally contracted workers are suffering a rising toll of death and injury. more...
The Westmill renewable energy cooperative in Oxfordshire - a new model for the UK's energy future? Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

With corporate energy, we're stuck in the dark ages - let's switch to public ownership

Calum McGregor

23rd March 2015

Britain's corporate energy oligarchy has failed us, writes Calum McGregor. It's given us widespread fuel poverty, unfair tariffs, constant price hikes, billions siphoned off to shareholders, and chronic under-investment in renewables. Now is the time for a new model: public and co-operative ownership of energy infrastructure under participative democratic control. more...
Oil pipelines in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. Photo: Tim Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Where there's war, oil, gas and pipelines are never far away

John Foster

4th March 2015

Look beneath the surface of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, and what do you find? Oil, gas, and contested pipeline transit routes. Never mind high-sounding talk of human rights, national sovereignty, international law and UN Resolutions, writes John Foster - fossil energy is the world's main driver of armed conflict. more...
The rate of growth in China's emissions from fossil fuels has been declining for a decade - but in 2014 it switched into reverse.

China's fossil fuel emissions fell 3% in 2014

Lauri Myllyvirta / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

27th February 2015

China has just recorded its first fall in emissions from burning fossil fuels in 15 years, writes Lauri Myllyvirta. The sharp decline has surprised analysts, and reflects the fast growing proportion of renewables in the country's power supply. more...
New technological advances could make the power of Atlantic waves into a competitive source of renewable energy. Photo: Albert Bridge via Wikimedia Commons.

New technologies promise cheap wave power

Paul Brown

23rd February 2015

Scandinavian inventors are hoping that efficient new waves power technologies will for the first time make the sector competitive with other renewable energy sources, writes Paul Brown - opening up a massive new clean energy resource around the world. more...
Too good to frack? Spogen Lake lies in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Carbon County, Montana. Photo: Troy Smith via Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Montana's Carbon County farmers sue for protection from fracking

The Ecologist

22nd February 2015

Montana legislators have brushed off the attempts of farmers, ranchers and landowners to effect 'zoning' regulations to protect them, their land, their water and their livestock from the toxic impacts of fracking. Now they say: 'See you in Court!'. more...

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