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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...
The Government displaces small farmers, imposes outsiders, robs our resources, divides our peoples - leave us in peace! Photo: Asoquimbo.

El Quimbo, Colombia: Enel-Endesa's 'low carbon' hydroelectric racket

Philippa de Boissière

13th January 2015

For the world's multinational corporations, the climate crisis is just another business opportunity, writes Philippa de Boissière. One example is Enel-Endesa's 'climate friendly' 217m high El Quimbo dam in Colombia - a huge exercise in expropriation at taxpayer expense, backed by police violence against strong local resistance. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
Burning money? North Dakota flaring of gas out of the Bakken Formation. Photo: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Fracking's future is in doubt as oil price plummets, bonds crash

Kieran Cooke

7th January 2015

Increased production from US fracking operations is a major reason for the drop in oil prices, writes Kieran Cooke. But there are warnings that the industry now faces an existential crisis from which it may never recover, as the financial sector faces the prospect of worthless shares and $100s of billions of defaulted debt. more...
Thanks to the increasing role of solar power, electricity could soon be 'free' - at least while the sun is shining. Solar panels under installation at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Photo: CAT via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Sun and wind could finally make electricity 'too cheap to meter'

Roger Kemp

9th February 2015

Energy 'too cheap to meter? This time it could be true thanks to the fast rising proportion of zero marginal cost renewable power in our electricity system, writes Roger Kemp. But that has profound implications for how we pay for our electricity - indeed the entire electricity market and consumer pricing system must be radically rethought. more...
Anti-fracking protest at Balcombe, Sussex. Photo: Robin Webster via geograph.org.uk, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Fracking in the UK: what to expect in 2015

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

2nd January 2015

The government appears as determined as ever to push ahead with fracking as a central plank of its energy policy, writes Richard Heasman - ignoring growing evidence of health and environmental harm. But with the economics of fracking undermined by heavy energy price falls, the UK industry may never get off the ground. more...
LED lights. Photo: youngthousands from usa via Wikimedia Commons.

Blinded by the lights? How power companies just stole £1 billion - from us

Alan Simpson

31st December 2014

The UK government celebrated Christmas by donning Santa suits and throwing a £1 billion subsidy down the fuming smoke stacks of the UK's biggest power companies, writes Alan Simpson - a massive payment at the expense of UK energy users, for doing what they should be doing anyway. Have a Brave New Year! more...
Gemasolar solar thermal power plant, Spain, uses molten salt storage to run 24 hours per day. Photo: Beyond Zero Emissions via Flickr, CC-BY.

2015 will see nuclear dream fade as wind and solar soar

Paul Brown

30th December 2014

Governments are still spending billions on nuclear research, writes Paul Brown - but 2015 looks like being an unhappy year for the industry as it continues to shrink while renewables grow, amid massive delays and cost over-runs. more...
Black smoke at Fukushima Daichi, 24th March 2011. Photo: deedavee easyflow via Flickr.

Fukushima and the institutional invisibility of nuclear disaster

John Downer

20th December 2014

The nuclear industry and its supporters have contrived a variety of narratives to justify and explain away nuclear catastrophes, writes John Downer. None of them actually hold water, yet they serve their purpose - to command political and media heights, and reassure public sentiment on 'safety'. But if it's so safe, why the low limits on nuclear liabilities? more...
In September 2010 Vattenfall opened Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, off England’s south east coast - the largest in the world. Photo: Nuon via Flickr.

All over the world, renewables are beating nuclear

David Elliott

18th December 2014

As flagship nuclear projects run into long delays and huge cost overruns, solar and wind power are falling in price, writes David Elliott. Renewables already supply twice as much power as nuclear. It's just too bad the nuclear-fixated UK government hasn't noticed. more...
A reminder to conservation scientists: not only can one little nuclear bomb ruin your whole day, it can also wipe out a whole lot of biodiversity.

Nuclear power and biodiversity - don't forget WMD proliferation!

Dr Jim Green

18th December 2014

Nuclear energy is essential to preserve the world's biodiversity, according to 69 conservation scientists. But there's a mysterious omission in their analysis, writes Jim Green: nuclear weapons proliferation. And after a major exchange of nuclear bombs, and the 'nuclear winter' that would follow, exactly how much biodiversity would survive? more...
Reduced to one meagre bar of an electric fire, an old lady fights to keep warm in Perth, Scotland. Meanwhile Centrica's CEO rakes in £3.7 million a year. Photo: Ninian Reid via Flickr.

Reclaim the power! It's time to deprivatise Britain's energy

Sam Lund-Harket

16th December 2014

Privatised energy has failed us, writes Sam Lund-Harket. While energy company chiefs earn millions of pounds a year, one in ten English households live in fuel poverty. But there is another way. All over the world countries and communities are taking energy, water and other essential public services back under democratic control. more...

energy: 25/50 of 943
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If you want one of these, best put a good distance between you and the nearest fracking well. Photo: Adriano Aurelio Araujo via Flickr.

Miscarriage and stillbirth linked to fracking chemical exposure

Tamsin Paternoster

15th December 2014

Fracking for oil and gas uses a wide range of chemicals that disrupt reproductive function in both sexes, writes Tamsin Paternoster. Now an academic study has found a powerful correlation between stillbirth, miscarriage, low sperm count, and exposure to fracking chemicals. more...
Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA.

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons

Ralph Gottschalg

12th December 2014

Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020. more...
This roman aqueduct near Haifa in modern-day Israel took water to Caesaria, the civilian and military capital of Judaea. But ultimately, most of the water flowed to Rome itself - if in virtual form. Photo: C. J.™ via Flickr.

The food-water-energy nexus defeated the Romans. It could defeat us too

Jonathan Bridge

13th December 2014

As well as being masters of water engineering, the Romans also engaged in a long distance trade in water across the Mediterranean - embodied in grain, oil, wine, cloth, metals and other goods. They also discovered the food-water-energy nexus - and not in a good way. We need to heed the warnings from Roman history. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

UK's €46 billion bid for EIB nuclear loan

The Ecologist

11th December 2014

The UK is bidding for a massive €46 billion loan from the European Investment Bank to finance the construction of three new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point, Wylfa and Moorside - while Poland is seeking €8bn for huge new coal mines and power plants and €12bn for new nuclear. more...
Downtown East Liverpool. Photo: Caitlin Johnson.

Appalachia: a small city's fight against toxic waste incineration

Caitlin Johnson

5th December 2014

East Liverpool, a small city by the Ohio river, is a cancer-ridden dumping ground for the detritus of the global economy, writes Caitlin Johnson. With its filthy power station, coal ash lake, 1,300 fracking wells, silica sand mountains and a huge toxic waste incinerator, the city's people need your help in their fight for environmental justice. more...
Under the new 'capacity market' regulations, Britain's dirtiest coal-fired plants are set to benefit. Photo: Dom Atreides via Flickr.

UK's 'unlawful' £35 billion support to fossil fuels in ECJ challenge

Oliver Tickell

4th December 2014

The UK Government plans to lock consumers into a 2.5bn a year, 15-year spend to support peak-time fossil power generation - while undermining energy demand savings capable of achieving the same purpose more cleanly and cheaply. But today the 'unlawful' system has been hit by an ECJ lawsuit. more...
Even with double glazed windows, it's well worth closing blinds and curtain on winter nights. Photo: Roland Ennos, Author provided.

Five easy ways to keep your home warm this winter

Roland Ennos

2nd January 2014

As the warmth of Christmas fades and winter proper sets in, Roland Ennos shares his tips for keeping warm in winter without spending a fortune on fuel. Simple, low-cost measures include closing curtains and blinds at night, leaning sheets of cardboard against cold outside walls, and and exploiting the insulating power of books. more...
The Real Costs of Fracking - front cover.

Exposed: what fracking really does to you, your family, pets and food

Allison Wilson

25th February 2015

America's shale gas boom threatens families, pets, and food, writes Allison Wilson. Fresh from her reading of 'The Real Costs of Fracking', she finds a host of adverse health impacts on those living near fracking sites, the toxic pollution of the food chain, and a wall of corporate and official secrecy. more...
A 'net zero carbon' development of 780 homes at Graylingwell Park, Chichester, with a centralised gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) system run by an independent energy services company. Photo: Zero Carbon Hub.

Critics denounce latest 'zero carbon homes' exemptions as 'nonsensical'

Alex Stevenson

2nd December 2014

With continuing Coalition in-fighting over the troubled 'zero carbon homes' programme, writes Alex Stevenson, a plan is afoot to allow homes on smaller developments to meet a less demanding energy performance standard - but still carry the 'zero-carbon' label. Critics denounce the plan as 'nonsensical'. more...
Villagers stand in the ruins of their house after the 2001 eviction of Tabaco. Photo: London Mining Network.

Stop forced displacements by Cerrejon Coal in Colombia!

Richard Solly

3rd December 2014

Las Casitas is a small community living on the edge of one of the world's largest coal mines, writes Richard Solly - one inhabited by the descendants of escaped slaves, located in the poorest region of Colombia. The village is under imminent threat of forced displacement by the brutal corporation that runs the Cerrejón coal mine. more...
Male, Maldives, October 2010: President Nasheed installs solar panels on the Presidential Residence in 2010 - 18 months before the coup which brought his term of office to an end.

Move over big power - the micropower revolution is here!

Morgan Saletta

29th November 2014

Small scale renewables are - almost un-noticed by policy makers - providing a quarter of the world's electricity, up from 10% in 2000, writes Morgan Saletta. Forget fracking and nuclear - this is the real energy revolution that's under way, and it's cutting big fossil fuel and centralised power grids out of the picture, while reducing emissions and delivering energy security and resilience. more...
Nuclear power station 1 at Three Mile Island, still in operation now long after the partial meltdown in the TMI-2 reactor in 1979. Photo: joelsp via Flickr.

There's no place for nuclear in the 'Clean Power Plan'

Tim Judson / NIRS

28th November 2014

The EPA's plan for 'clean power' are welcome, writes Tim Judson - except for its inclusion of nuclear, and economic distortions and serious omissions that favour the technology. In this open letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, he and co-signatories call on her to ditch the 'false and irrational assumptions' used to justify both new and existing nuclear power. more...
Sheep enjoying the shade created by solar panels at Conergy Solar Park at Fohren in Germany. Photo: Conergy.

The UK's farms can generate as much power as Hinkley C by 2020 - renewably!

Jonathon Porritt

26th November 2014

A new report shows that the UK's farms can easily generate as much power as the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, writes Jonathan Porritt. Not only would it all be renewable, but if could all be in place by 2020. Here he offers some friendly - but strictly confidential - advice for Energy Secretary Ed Davey. more...

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