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A solar-powered thatch hut. Photo: Ashden.

Reaping the benefits of community energy

Emily Haves

31st July 2014

Donors, NGOs and investors want to help grassroots sustainable energy enterprises grow, so they can bring the myriad benefits of clean and affordable energy to many more people, writes Emily Haves. But just what kind of support is needed? 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...
The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr.

Decarbonising the world energy system without nuclear

David Elliott

17th July 2014

Nuclear power advocates believe the technology is essential to building a fossil fuel free world energy system. In fact it is optional, writes David Elliott - and not even very helpful. Efficiency and the 'new renewables' can do the job faster, and at much lower cost. more...
Dark clouds gather over a sunset industry - represented by a Chevron oil tanker. Photo: Jamie Grant via Flickr.

Fossil fuels the 'new sub-prime crisis'

Nathan Wood

14th July 2014

The UK's conservative Daily Telegraph warns: investors in fossil fuels are 'throwing good money after bad', reports Nathan Wood, as renewable energy takes off leaving a potential $19 trillion of oil assets 'stranded'. more...
Luke Marion, installer Chris Jardine and Barbara Hammond connect the 140kW scheme's last panel, completing Oxford's biggest solar installation.

Pioneering community renewables in Oxford

Wendy Twist

11th July 2014

A partnership between an Oxford-based social enterprise and the local Council provides a blueprint for financing community energy projects, writes Wendy Twist. And with £2.3 million in the bank, things are really starting to move ... more...
Toyota UK Solar Panel Array at its vehicle plant in Derbyshire. Photo: Toyota UK via Flickr.

Why do Ed and Greg hate solar energy?

Jonathon Porritt

8th July 2014

With the Government wilfully undermining the UK's small but fast-growing solar power sector for the second time, Jonathon Porritt wonders ... why the attacks on what is our second lowest cost source of renewable energy, and getting cheaper all the time? more...
Smart new power electronics can keep the lights on, without the need for turbines and flywheels. Photo: Loupiote via Flickr.

Fear of blackouts is no reason to restrict renewable energy

Marek Kubik

13th July 2014

Our current electricity system cannot accept much wind and solar power because they lack the 'inertia' of spinning turbines that stabilises grid voltage, writes Marek Kubik. But that's no reason to limit renewables - there are new, smart solutions ready for deployment. more...
Many more of these to come ... solar panel at Solar panels in Uttaranchal, India. Photo: Barefoot photographers of Tilonia via Flickr.

Renewables boom - $5 trillion to be invested by 2030

Rosie Murray-West

4th July 2014

Two thirds of the world's investment in building new power generation until 2030 may go to renewable energy, reports Rosie Murray-West, causing CO2 emissions to peak at end of the 2020s. more...
The Bakun dam under construction. Photo: pHotosHo0x via Flickr.

Borneo mega-dams threaten indigenous 'ethnocide'

Amanda Stephenson

30th June 2014

Massive dams in Sarawak, Malaysia, threaten to flood over 2,000 square kilometers of the world's oldest rainforests, displace 10,000s of indigenous people, and aggravate climate change, writes Amanda Stephenson - all to generate electricity that no one wants. more...
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...

renewables: 1/25 of 170
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The solar scheme is planned for Ellough airfield, near this g-kart circuit and next to an industrial estate. Photo: Blue Square Thing via Flickr.

Solar farm go ahead after High Court quashes Pickles's unlawful refusal

The Ecologist

26th June 2014

The High Court has overturned a 'fatally flawed' decision by Eric Pickles MP to refuse planning permission for a locally popular 24MW solar farm on former WW2 airfield in Suffolk, England, close to an industrial estate and go-kart circuit. more...
The Bill would undermine regulation of waste from Mountain Top Removal coal mines. Photo: An MTR protest in West Virginia, 2012, by Mark Haller via Flickr.

House Spending Bill's huge dirty energy giveaway

Farron Cousins

24th June 2014

A Spending Bill now under debate in Congress would cut over $100 million from renewable energy, grant extra funds for dumping nuclear waste and fossil fuel research, exempt 'mountain top removal' coal from regulation, and limit the EPA's power to enforce clean water laws. more...
Otero Agamemnon speaking at the Renewable Energy conference, 2013.

Agamemnon Otero, renewable dynamo

Lucy Anna Scott

23rd June 2014

Repowering London is an energising force - not just making renewable energy projects happen, but engaging communities to finance them, training young people to install them, and ensuring the benefits stay local. Lucy Anna Scott meets the dynamic Agamemnon Otero ... more...
The future is coming ... and for electric utilities, it'll hurt. Photo: Mike Lewinski via Flickr.

Barclays: solar power threatens US utilities

Tyler Hamilton

13th June 2014

As renewables grow in scale, and fall in price, the threat to electric utilities becomes ever more clear, writes Tyler Hamilton. The last thing they needed was Barclays downgrading their corporate bonds ... more...
A Canadian Solar installation in NSW, Australia - the same company's panels are planned for the jenin Charitable Hospital in Gaza. Photo: Canadian Solar.

Gaza hospital 'goes solar' to combat power shortages

Rami Almeghari

7th June 2014

The Jenin Charitable Hospital is going 100% solar in order to combat the power cuts and shortages that afflict the Palestinian Territory - and in the process save a small fortune on energy bills. more...
Power to the People! - delegates voice their demand at the UNFCCC meeting in Bonn. Photo: Volveremos.

Negotiating a global climate agreement - Power to the People!

Maruska Mileta & Jamie Gorman

7th June 2014

At last year's climate talks in Warsaw the corporate fossil fuel lobby was firmly in charge - and the result was catastrophic failure. At the talks now under way in Bonn, it's our turn to set the agenda - the billions of people crying out for positive action on climate and energy. more...
Beware wolves in sheep's clothing! Photo: public domain.

Beware environmental wolves in sheep's clothing!

William Laurance

9th June 2014

What do the Australian Environment Foundation, the Renewable Energy Foundation and the Global Warming Policy Foundation have in common? They are all fiercely anti-environment, writes William Laurance - and we must beware their 'eco-doublespeak'. more...
What house builders will no longer have to do - the 'BedZED' Beddington Zero Carbon Development in south London. Photo: BioRegional via Flickr.

Government caves in to developers on 'zero carbon' homes

Oliver Tickell

4th June 2014

The Government has gutted its 'zero carbon home' standard - builders will be able to 'zero the carbon' through an offsetting scheme - rather than by installing more insulation, or renewable technologies like solar PV or solar water heating. more...
Toyota Solar Panel Array at its vehicle plant in Derbyshire, where Auris Hybrid, Auris and Avensis cars are built. Photo: Toyota UK via Flickr.

Government reforms will 'probably kill stand-alone solar PV in the UK'

Chris Goodall

17th May 2014

By publishing its 'reform' proposals for the support of large scale solar PV in two separate documents on the same day, the Government managed to conceal its true intent from the industry, writes Chris Goodall. The truth is much worse than anyone realised. more...
Bentley Motors rooftop array is the largest of its kind in the UK. But Government policy is restricting the growth of the sector. Photo: DECC via Flickr.com.

Government attacks UK's 'big solar'

The Ecologist

13th May 2014

Not only does the Government hate onshore wind, now it's turning against large scale solar. Its latest 'big idea' is to lock projects above 5MW out of the Renewables Obligation, while keeping tight limits on rooftop schemes. more...
Barton Moss anti-fracking protestors outside Manchester Court, where cases have recently collapsed against five protestors. Photo: Climate James / SalfordStar.com.

The Noble Lords are wrong - fracking is a dead end for Britain

Tony Bosworth

9th May 2014

Large-scale fracking is a must for the UK economy, says a new report from the House of Lords. But it confuses opinion with fact, cherry-picks data, and six of its authors have a stake in the industry. The real solutions, writes Tony Bosworth, lie in energy efficiency and renewables. more...
Solar-powered water pumps take the pain, and expense, out of water collection. Photo: Chhavi Sharma / Ashden.

India rising to sustainable energy challenge

Chhavi Sharma

19th May 2014

Three very different sustainable energy projects from India are among the finalists in this year's Ashden Awards, writes Chhavi Sharma - all of them inspiring and showing this vast country the way to a clean, secure, affordable energy future for all. more...
The Carajas mine in the Brazilian Amazon. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Holli Riebeek. Wikimedia Commons.

Industrializing Amazon at risk of 'ecosystem collapse'

David Hill

15th May 2014

The Amazon basin faces 'ecosystem collapse' according to a new report about hundreds of major dams and other mega-projects planned for the region - home to the world's greatest rainforest. David Hill reports. more...

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