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The way of the future? Photo: smart meters array by Green Energy Futures - David Dodge via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Smart meters the way to a new age of clean energy

Claire Maugham

3rd April 2017

Dynamic power pricing that responds to supply and demand could transform the way we manage our electricity systems, writes Claire Maugham, opening the door to the mass integration of renewables like wind and solar. But smart meters are essential to making that happen. more...

Energy Storage Solutions will help tackle Climate Change

Ian Larive

31st March, 2017

The UK is placing energy storage at the heart of its new Modern Industrial Strategy, due to its potential to support smart energy systems and the automotive sector. As the energy industry moves away from carbon-heavy production, the twin-approach of renewable energy and storage will be critical for delivering on the demand while securing the future of UK energy, writes IAN LARIVE more...
Where Toshiba's $10bn nuclear debt came from: the Vogtle AP1000 construction site in Georgia, under inspection by NRC Commissioner Svinicki. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY).

Toshiba's nuclear flagship goes bust after $10 billion losses

Jim Green

30th March 2017

News that one of the world's biggest nuclear power constructors, Westinghouse, has filed for bankruptcy in with debts of over $10 billion has put the entire sector on notice and issued a dire warning to nuclear investors everywhere, writes Jim Green. Among the likely casualties: the UK's Moorside nuclear complex in Cumbria. more...
Coal mining on our lands comes with serious environmental consequences that we can no longer afford - as seen at the Black Thunder mjne in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Photo: courtesy of Ecoflight.

Executive Order removes climate safeguards - now, the fightback

Trip Van Noppen / EarthJustice

29th March 2017

In a potentially devastating blow to the Earth's climate, President Trump's new executive order ends the Interior Department's moratorium on coal mining on public land and begins a repeal of the landmark Clean Power Plan, writes Trip Van Noppen. But this reckless move will not pass unchallenged - the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA must tackle climate pollution, and clean energy policies can still be defended and advanced at state level. more...
Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (Bakken / DAPL) near New Salem, North Dakota, August 2016. Photo: Tony Webster via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Colonialism, climate change and the need to defund DAPL

Amy Hall

10th April 2017

British firms lie deep at the heart of the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, writes Amy Hall. Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland have lent $800m to Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidaries, London-based Commercial Bank of China has loaned $120m, and RBS $250m, while HSBC and Barclays own over $110m worth of shares in project partner Phillips 66. more...
Coyote Springs Natural Gas Plant, Oregon, USA. Photo: Portland General Electric via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought

Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog

22nd March 2017

Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions. more...
So-called 'smart meters' add up to little but cheaper meter reading for power companies, unless we make them, and the grid, able to deliver variable pricing that reflects the balance of electricity demand and supply. Photo: DeptfordJon via Flickr (CC BY).

Green groups must denounce the sham 'smart meter' scandal

David Toke

22nd March 2017

So-called 'smart meters' are being rolled out across the UK, writes David Toke, but they don't support the dynamic pricing that's essential to expand renewable energy and decarbonise our electricity. It's time for green NGOs to get campaigning - and not leave vital decisions to a hostile government, a failing regulator and industry insiders. more...
Radiation hotspot in Kashiwa following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Abasaa via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Fukushima court ruling holds 'reckless' Tepco and government liable

Shaun Burnie / Asia Times

2ist March 2017

A Japanese court has found the government and Tepco culpable for the Fukushima nuclear disaster for failing to act on clear warnings of the dangers of seismic shocks, writes Shaun Burnie. The ruling is sending a shockwave through Japan's 'nuclear village' and may end all prospects of any mass restart of reactors. more...
Scanning electron microscope (SEM) photograph of a plutonium-americium 'hot particle', the width of a human hair, found in the Esk estuary mud flats near Sellafield, producing about 150,000 Bq of alpha radiation and 500,000 Bq of beta radiation. Photo: Cu

Killer 'hot particle': Sellafield coast 'like Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones'

Chris Busby

20th March 2017

The discovery of a tiny but deadly radioactive 'hot particle' in mud from the Esk estuary near Sellafield has highlighted the dangers the nuclear site poses to residents and visitors, writes Chris Busby. Independent measures of radiation show far higher levels that those of regulators, similar to readings in the Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones. Local villages should be evacuated. more...
Fukushima: the third IAEA mission to review Japan's plans and work to decommission the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, February 2015, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Terminal decline? Fukushima anniversary marks nuclear industry's deepening crisis

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

10th March 2017

With the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster falling tomorrow, nuclear lobbyists are arguing over solutions to the existential crisis facing nuclear power, writes Jim Green. Some favour a multinational consolidation of large conventional reactor designs, while others back technological innovation and 'small modular reactors'. But in truth, both approaches are doomed to failure. more...
EDF's 4x900MW Nuclear power plant at Dampierre-en-Burly, commissioned in 1980, will soon turn from a money machine into a monstrous financial drain. Photo: Pymouss via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

EDF facing bankruptcy as decommissioning time for France's ageing nuclear fleet nears

Paul Dorfman

16th March 2017

Soon EDF will have to start the biggest, most complex and costliest nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management programme on earth, writes Paul Dorfman. But whereas Germany has set aside €38 billion to decommission 17 nuclear reactors, France has set aside only €23 billion to decommission its 58 reactors. When the real costs come in, they could easily bankrupt the company. more...
IAEA technicians examine Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the only one of four reactors to be stabilised - because it was  defuelled at the time of the earthquake and tsunami. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fukushima catastrophe unfolds ... key facts and figures for an unhappy sixth anniversary

L'ACROnique de Fukushima & Hervé Courtois

10th March 2017

The 2011 Fukushima catastrophe is an ongoing disaster whose end only gets more remote as time passes. The government is desperate to get evacuees back into their homes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the problems on the ground, and in the breached reactor vessels, are only getting more serious and costly, as unbelievable volumes of radiation contaminate land, air and ocean. more...

energy: 25/50 of 1394
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Druridge Bay, Northumberland - just the place for an opencast coal mine? Photo: SAGT via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The end is nigh for coal - the UK must stop digging!

Deniz Kemal

6th March 2017

The UK Government is planning a coal-free energy future by 2025, writes Deniz Kemal. But it has failed to take the first step to make it happen: give clear guidance to local planners to block new coal mines on climate change grounds - like one application going to public inquiry this summer for a huge opencast mine on the Northumberland coast. more...
Fossil fuels are already a huge money pit for US taxpayers, costing them $170 billion a year. Photo: open pit coal mine in West Virginia by Elias Schewel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Trump, think again! US subsidies for fossil fuels are already worth $170 billion a year

Radek Stefanski, University of St Andrews

2nd March 2017

We must not let President Trump's vocal support for the US fossil economy eclipse the dismal record of his predecessors, writes Radek Stefanski. Under Clinton, Bush and Obama fossil fuels subsidies reached $170 billion per year, pushing up US emissions by some 11% - and that's the real problem we have to solve. more...

Ecologist Special Report - Bhutan's stumbling block to becoming the greenest nation on the planet

Michael Buckley

1st March, 2017

Bhutan is well on its way to becoming the greenest nation on the planet. In his Special Report for the Ecologist, photojournalist MICHAEL BUCKLEY explores the reasons why the country's ecosystems and dazzling biodiversity remain intact - and highlights the one thing that threatens this admirable integrity... more...
Wind and solar power at work on the Westmill Cooperative Open Day 2015. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Budget 2017 - wind and solar are essential to combat climate change!

Ervin Bossanyi

1st March 2017

David Cameron's Conservative government did its best to kill off the UK's lowest-cost renewable energy technologies, onshore wind and solar. But in next week's budget, the Chancellor can put that right. Renewables are low carbon, quick to deploy, have low environmental impacts, and enjoy high public support, writes Ervin Bossanyi. It's time to give them a break! more...
The nuclear dream is turning into a nightmare! EDF's Cattenom 5.5 GW nuclear plant in Lorraine, France, built on the border with Luxembourg. Photo: Matthieu Nioufs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

'Picking losers' - UK must not risk taxpayers' billions on failed nuclear dream

David Toke

27th February 2017

With the world's leading nuclear corporations facing bankruptcy due to ever escalating costs, 'unconstructable' reactor designs and financing risks, there's an easy way to finance the UK's new nuclear power stations, writes David Toke: pin the cost onto taxpayers. As for schools, hospitals, pensions, housing, social care and other public services, who needs 'em? more...
EURATOM was once a symbol of Europe's nuclear future. But it's true role may be to supervise the sector's decline. Photo: Euratom Inspectors inspecting URENCO, Almelo, Netherlands, 13 October 2015. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The nuclear fallout from 'Brexatom': threat, opportunity, or plain bonkers?

Pete Roche

24th February 2017

The UK's inability to import radio-isotopes for cancer therapy is just the latest outcome of the UK's decision to leave EURATOM to hit the headlines, writes Pete Roche. It may also put a brake on the UK's plans to build new nuclear plants, and import and export nuclear fuel and wastes. The UK's exit from the treaty, as a strongly pro-nuclear state, could also mark an EU-wide anti-nuclear swing. more...
Artwork: Shea Huening via Flickr (CC BY-ND). See also full version with this article.

Appropriate civilization versus 'new despotism': one month into the Trump Presidency

Jeremy Leggett

22nd February 2017

Believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues are empowered to bring about the polar opposite, writes Jeremy Leggett. A new despotism rooted in isolationist nationalism and conflict is gaining strength. The battle is not lost: but first we must understand the dangers. more...
The Amazonian manatee, considered 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, is among the species at risk if oil drilling goes ahead. Photo: susy freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

BP, Total oil drilling would endanger newly discovered Amazon coral reef

Lawrence Carter / Energydesk

23rd February 2017

A unique and pristine coral reef in the mouth of the Amazon is threatened by oil drilling planned by oil giants Total and BP, say the scientists who recently explored it. But the oil companies are determined to press ahead despite the risks, writes Lawrence Carter, and Brazil's environment ministry is set to give its approval. more...
Luz Ángela Uriana Epiayu with her son, Moisés Daniel. Photo: Bianca Bauer via Coal Action Network.

RWE npower, Colombian coal is killing our children! Close Aberthaw!

Luz Ángela Uriana Epiayu

16th February 2017

The coal power station at Aberthaw is not just polluting much of South Wales with its filthy emissions. It could also be seriously damaging the health of children in Colombia with coal dust from BHP Billiton's massive Cerrejón coal mine. In this open letter, Luz Ángela Uriana Epiayu implores RWE npower to shut down its stinking, obsolete and illegal power station. more...
The Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, next to which the 3-reactor Moorside nuclear project is planned. Photo: Bellona Foundation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Keep UK taxpayers off the hook for Moorside nuclear black hole!

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

14th February 2017

The main company due to build UK's 'flagship' nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant. more...
Red state Iowa is very big on wind - showing there is no contradiction between conservative politics and clean energy! Photo: the 145-turbine Century Windfarm near Blairsburg, Iowa, by brian.abeling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Carbon dividends - the conservative solution to climate change

Climate Leadership Council

9th February 2017

A new carbon 'tax and dividend' climate strategy would strengthen our economy, reduce regulation, help working class Americans, shrink government, promote national security, and reduce emissions, write eight senior US conservative politicians, financiers and academics. Now Republican control of all branches of the US government makes it an opportunity not to miss! more...
Artist's impression of the Moorside nuclear complex, built on a green field site next to the Sellafield nuclear complex. Image: Nugen.

Not just Toshiba - the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere

Jim Green

3rd February 2017

Global nuclear power capacity grew slightly in 2016, writes Jim Green, but it was more a dead cat bounce than the promised 'nuclear renaissance'. The collapse of Toshiba, the direct result of its failing nuclear ventures, is indicative of the crisis faced by nuclear contractors and utilities worldwide. Another sign of the industry's poor outlook: no major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium. more...
Could your household gas come from wildflower rich meadows, like this Culm Grassland at Knowstone Moor, Devon? Photo: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere via Flickr (CC BY).

It beats fracking - but can we believe Ecotricity's vision of 'green gas from grass'?

Almuth Ernsting

27th January 2017

Just imagine: gas for your cooking and heating made by composting home-grown British grass, writes Almuth Ernsting. What's not to like? Well, it would need almost all the UK's grassland to match our gas demand, leaving cows and sheep to starve or forcing them into sheds to eat foreign-grown feeds. And methane leakage could easily wipe out any climate benefit. more...

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