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This PV farm near Sevilla, Spain, includes sun-tracking devices that double the daily output from the panels. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

WEF: Big energy CEOs don't get the renewable revolution

Chris Goodall

23rd January 2015

Launched at Davos this week, a WEF report on electricity generation predicts that solar power will cost twice as much in 2030, as the lowest cost sources today, writes Chris Goodall. It's sources? WEF isn't telling. But if 'facts' like these are driving the decisions of big energy CEOs, heaven help their companies in years to come. more...
Tagebau Garzweiler strip mine, Germany. Photo: Bert Kaufmann (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Coal's dark cloud hangs over Germany's energy revolution

Henner Weithöner

22nd January 2015

Germany cut emissions and boosted renewables to record levels last year, writes Henner Weithöner. Yet the country's coal burn remains the EU's highest - and ambitious emissions targets can only be met by closing coal-burning power stations. more...
The Abengoa at Gila Bend, AZ, uses an innovative thermal energy storage system with molten salt as the energy storing media, combined with concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. Photo: US Dept of Energy.

Concentrating Solar Power will soon be beating fossil fuels

Chris Goodall

2nd February 2015

CSP, the 'other' solar power technology, has been largely forgotten as solar PV price falls have transformed energy markets, writes Chris Goodall. But it's set to take a big role in the future energy mix, and huge price falls are coming. Just one question - how to reduce CSP's thirst for water? more...
Drax power station by Jonathan Brennan via Flickr, (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Seven ways the Government is pushing up our energy bills

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

15th January 2015

With a million families struggling to stay warm this winter, energy bills will be a hot election issue, writes Doug Parr. But Government actions have repeatedly favoured the 'big six' energy incumbents at the expense of consumers, competition, low-cost renewables and energy efficiency, locking us into high bills for years to come. more...
Smart countries are going for renewables - like Algeria, where these panels are located. Photo: Magharebia via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Only a mug would bet on carbon storage over renewables

John Quiggin

16th January 2015

From Australia to the UK, governments are pinning their hopes on 'carbon capture' technology stuck onto coal power stations, writes John Quiggin. But their choice carries a high risk of failure - the smart money is on renewables, energy storage and responsive power grids. 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...
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...
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...
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...
The wind turbine at the end of the rainbow. Photo: geogrpah.org.uk / Wikimedia Commons.

Community renewable energy in the UK needs co-ops!

Tammy Calvert / Energy4All

26th November 2014

The UK's community energy sector was badly hit by the financial regulator's sudden decision this summer to disallow renewable energy co-operatives, writes Tammy Calvert. A consultation on the topic ends tomorrow, Friday - so get your views in quickly while you can! 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...
Solar reflectors being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project. Photograph: Dana Smillie / World Bank.

World Bank to focus on 'all forms of renewable energy'

John Vidal / the Guardian

25th November 2014

The president of the World Bank has promised to back out of financing coal developments, and instead target its finance at 'every dimension of renewable energy' under a new climate-friendly strategy. more...

renewables: 50/75 of 275
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The Waltons are all for subsidies to large, centralised solar installations like this one by First Solar, in which they have a large shareholding. But they want to penalise small scale solar that challenges the corporate monopoly. Photo: Jumanji Solar via

Walmart, Asda owners using their billions to attack rooftop solar

Mike Gaworecki / DeSmogBlog

20th November 2014

The Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, project a 'public environmentalism', writes Mike Gaworecki. But their real agenda is to advance a monopolistic corporate economic model that is threatened by decentralised energy solutions like rooftop solar. The answer? Exterminate! more...
Solar panels in space work very efficiently. But how to get them there? And how to get the power down to Earth? Image: John MacNeil via Greenpeace.

Seven breakthrough solar technologies - but will they work?

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energy Desk

17th December 2014

A bunch of innovations are taking place in the world of solar power, writes Zachary Davies Boren - and one or more of them could just propel the technology from providing just 1% of the world's electricity, to dominating the world's energy supply. Provided they work ... more...
'Don't shoot me - I'm only the Senate Leader!' US Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

China leads the world in green energy - despite US Senate Leader 'do nothing' claims

John Mathews and Hao Tan

18th November 2014

The Leader of the US Senate says that under the China-US climate deal, China can 'do nothing at all for 16 years'. John Mathews and Hao Tan examine the claim - and find it's the very reverse of the truth. China is leading the world in greening its energy supply, and has committed to add a massive 1.3GW of renewable power capacity every week for 15 years. Now Mitch - beat that! more...
Wind turbines in Powys, Wales. Even if you don't like them, would an open-pit coal mine, or landscape dotted with fracking wells, be an improvement? Photo: vicirabi via Flickr.

Britain's 'energy policy' - carried out by Tories, made by UKIP?

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

17th November 2014

As the governing conservative party lurches ever further to the right, writes Kyla Mandel, it feels like UKIP has already won the election - six months before it's even happened. Tory ministers are already executing UKIP policies, with their ignorant but implacable hatred of renewable energy in all its forms. more...
Democratic energy: wind turbines under An Sgurr, Eigg, Scotland. Photo: W. L. Tarbert / Wikimedia Commons.

Reclaim the power! Democratic energy must replace corporate capture

PLATFORM

18th November 2014

Democratising energy would save thousands of lives a year in Britain alone - releasing us from the clutches of corporate utilities, and building an energy commons in which we are all owners and participants, no longer captive, exploited consumers. More than that, it would be a big step forward in saving the planet. more...
Wind turbines like these in Ontario, Canada, are three times more 'annoying' than those on Prince Edward Island - apparently because of Ontario's negative press coverage of wind power. Photo: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr.

Wind turbine noise may be annoying - but it's not making you sick

Tyler Hamilton

25th November 2014

A large-scale independent study by Health Canana finds no link between the noise from wind turbines and health, writes Tyler Hamilton. That's not to say wind turbines can't be annoying - but there's a sure way to deal with that: give locals a financial benefit from their operation. Has Britain's wind industry got something to learn? more...
A stronger power grid will increase Europe's energy security and give a big boost to renewable energy. Photo: Kenneth Spencer via Flickr.

Supergrid will build EU resilience and boost renewables

Paul Brown

9th September 2014

The EU, nervous about disruption to gas supplies across an increasingly unstable Ukraine, is planning a European 'supergrid' linking all 28 member states to increase resilience, writes Paul Brown. The development will be a boon to renewable energy generation, and cut emissions from fossil fuels. more...
A public tour of the Hepburn Community Wind Farm on its launch day, 5th November 2011. Photo: Tibor Hegedis / Hepburn Wind via Flickr.

Putting community energy at the heart of our renewables revolution

Julia Groves

7th November 2014

This is an exciting time for community energy, writes Julia Groves. New guidance will make it easier for local people to invest in local renewable power projects, while other opportunities are opening up for risk averse investors. And the more of us join in, the sooner we can displace the Big Six who dominate UK energy markets. more...
A commercial solar installation under way in the south of England. Photo: Adrian Arbib / Renewable energy Cooperative - r-eco.coop.

Solar power is getting cheaper quicker than the IPCC thought

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

4th November 2014

The cost estimates for solar PV used by the IPCC in its latest report fail to take into account recent price falls for the technology, reports Helle Abelvik-Lawson, and exaggerate financing costs. The result is to understate the importance of PV in a low carbon future. more...
An artist's impression of the Searaser at work. Photo: DWE Ltd.

New wave generator brightens ocean power prospects

The Ecologist

27th October 2014

A new wave power generator has moved closer to reality after successful testing in simulated marine conditions. An array of the 1.5MW 'Searaser' devices could be deployed on Britain's coast within a few years. more...
Researcher Mike Murphy holding laminaria saccharina sugar kelp algae, SE Alaska. Photo: David Csepp, NOAA / NMFS / AKFSC / Auke Bay Lab via NOAA Photo Library on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Seaweed problem could provide biofuel solution

Paul Brown

14th March 2015

Biofuels are controversial because they are often produced from food crops or grown on farmland, writes Paul Brown, creating extra pressure on land and forests. But a common algae found in abundance around coastlines and clogging up beaches may be the answer.
more...
Landscape with hundreds of wind turbines close to the North Sea in Ostfriesland, Germany.

Germany's green power surges ahead - at a price that's finally falling

Gert Brunekreeft

22nd October 2014

Germany's transition to a renewable power system is on track, writes Gert Brunekreeft. But it's costing households €218 a year in surcharges, causing voter enthusiasm to wane. That may be about to change though. The surcharge is about to fall, while targets stay the same - a sign that renewable energy costs may be falling faster than expected. more...
The answer to Earth's energy needs is floating in the skies above. Photo: Conceptual Image Lab, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Earth photo courtesy of NASA/ISS Expedition 13 crew.

The Burning Answer to our energy needs

Jonathon Porritt

29th October 2014

Keith Barnham's new book reveals the giddying and glorious plethora of the solar technologies that lie at the heart of the all-renewable energy system that awaits us, writes Jonathan Porritt - making it 'one of the most exciting and genuinely hopeful books' that I've read in a long time'. more...

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