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Solar roof at Moor Hall Primary School, Sutton Coldfield, completed on 1st November 2012. But with government policy changes and now a new 'solar tax' on commercial property installations including schools, there's no longer much to celebrate. Photo: Birm

Chancellor - stop the solar tax hike!

Solar Trade Association

5th December 2016

Next April the UK government proposes to increase taxes on self-consumed solar electricity installations on schools, offices, warehouses and factories by a whopping 6-8 times, write the STA and undersigned. This inexplicable move, which threatens a once thriving solar industry already on its knees, must be abandoned. more...

New hydroelectric power projects threaten The Valbona Valley in Albania

Laura Briggs

2nd December, 2016

The Valbona Valley in northern Albania faces destruction from the planned works, despite being within the protected area of the Valbona National Park. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
Flaring at the Scott Township fracking well, Pennsylvania. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Climate? What climate? IEA backs fossil-fuelled future

Oliver Tickell

30th November 2016

The International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook is calling for increased investment in new oil and gas, writes Oliver Tickell, while minimising the fast-growing and ever lower-cost contribution to world energy supply of renewables like wind and solar. more...

How Solar power is bringing food security to Africa

Joe Ware

25th November, 2016

Malawi is a country on the front line of climate change. Unlike nations ravaged by a typhoon or rich western cities swamped with floodwater, the kind of impacts Malawians face barely raise a flicker of interest in the media. Compared to a hurricane, a few degrees of temperature rise and shifting rainfall patterns sound mild, but in reality they have the potential to be far more devastating writes JOE WARE more...
To stop any more of these, we must attack the scientific deception that underlies the industry. Nuclear power station, Wylfa, Wales. Photo: Jeremy WILLIAMS via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Stopping Europe's nuclear industry in its tracks: here's how

Christopher Busby

28th November 2016

Article 6 of the Euratom Treaty provides for nuclear industry practices to be rejustified in the light of new scientific evidence of harm to health, writes Chris Busby. We now have that evidence, in particular that radiation exposure even at very low levels causes severe and heritable genetic damage to people and entire families. Now, we must use the law to protect our health from radiation! more...
The Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, UK, seen from Drigg Beach. Photo: Ashley Coates via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

AP1000 reactor design is dangerous and not fit for purpose

Peter Roche

21st November 2016

Three new reactors are planned for the Moorside site next to Europe's biggest nuclear complex at Sellafield, writes Peter Roche, with a combined capacity of 3.8GW. But a new report for Radiation Free Lakeland shows that the chosen AP1000 reactor design, for all its claimed 'advanced passive' safety features, is not fit for purpose - and should be rejected as unsafe by UK regulators. more...
'Wind Power not Wind Bags' rally in Edinburgh on the occasion of Donald Trump's appearance before the Scottish Parliament Energy and Tourism Committee, 25 April 2012. Photo: Friends of the Earth Scotland / Maverick Photo Agency via Ric Lander on Flickr (C

Don't despair about Trump and climate change!

Joe Ware

14th November 2016

The Trump Presidency may not be the climate disaster that many fear, writes Joe Ware. The transition to clean energy is increasingly driven by technology and economics, not politics. it was Obama's 'all of the above' energy policy that enabled the fracking revolution. And pro-fossil fuel measures instituted by Trump will now galvanise massive domestic and international opposition. more...
Up Coal Creek without a solar panel? UP C45ACCTE 7507 leads coal buckets through the s-curve near Coal Creek Junction, on the Orin Sub, Powder River Basin. Photo: Jerry Huddleston via Flickr (CC BY).

President Trump: up Coal Creek without a (solar) panel?

Mark Barteau, University of Michigan

10th November 2016

Trump has pledged to ditch the Paris Agreement, scrap Obama's clean power plan, get coal miners back to work, and 'make America great again' on the back of a huge expansion of fossil fuel production, writes Mark Barteau. But he will run into serious difficulties, not least states going their own renewable ways, cheap natural gas, and weak international demand for coal. more...
'Water is our first Medicine' - Water Protectors locked onto machinery, halting construction two days after the Dakota Access pipeline company bulldozed sacred burial sites. Photo: UnicornRiot.Ninja via Prachatai on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Dakota Access Pipeline: Native American religion matters!

Rosalyn R. LaPier, Harvard University

8th November 2016

The intimate connection between landscape and religion is at the center of Native American societies, writes Rosalyn R. LaPier, and a key reason why thousands of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples from around the world have traveled to the windswept prairies of North Dakota. There is no excuse for the ignorance and disrespect of corporations, and government. more...
Solar farm on Bali, Indonesia. Renewables are a key part of the fight against climate change, but they can't do it on their own! Photo: Selamat Made via Flickr (CC BY).

It will take much more than renewable energy to stop global warming

Steffen Böhm, University of Exeter

7th November 2016

Renewable energy may play a huge part in helping to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, now in force and under discussion at COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, writes Steffen Böhm. But it can never be the whole story, and nor does it relieve the need for deeper changes in how the world works. more...
The Deepwater Horizon fire, 21st April 2010. Photo: Deepwater Horizon Response via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Avoiding catastrophe: the lessons of Deepwater Horizon

Earl Boebert

8th November 2016

We must coldly examine how inherently dangerous systems work and how they fail, writes Earl Boebert, and then apply those insights to reducing the risk of failure through systems design, regulation, and education. That examination must apply the most modern and effective analytic tools. To do otherwise is to almost guarantee a repeat catastrophe. more...
Breath of a Woodwose. Original drawing by Bill Rogers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Beast of Beckermet against the nuclear menace? a Lakeland story for All Hallow's Eve

Marianne Birkby

31st October 2016

As the nuclear juggernaut drives the destruction of the Cumbria coast at Sellafield with nuclear waste dumps, boreholes, dredged-out rivers and a massive new nuclear power station, Marianne Birkby recalls ancient legends of the Woodwose, the Green Man, and the Beast of Beckermet. Can these forces of untamed nature be called upon to combat the growing nuclear menace? more...

energy: 1/25 of 1328
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Longleaf Pine Regeneration in South Carolina. Photo: Justin Meissen via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

UK biomass power industry is a vital part of the renewable energy mix

Nina Skorupska / Renewable Energy Association

27th October 2016

Contrary to arguments advanced in a recent Ecologist article, the biomass industry supplying the Drax power station in North Yorkshire is a model of sustainability, writes Nina Skorupska, and delivers genuine, substantial emissions reductions compared to coal. more...

Biofuels from seaweed?

Laura Briggs

12th October, 2016

Seaweed is known for its culinary uses and has seen a renaissance in past years thanks to its health claims and a distinctive taste - but there are more ecological benefits to seaweed that currently remain untapped. more...

Feeding the Insatiable

7th October 2016

An international summit exploring real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet, taking place at Schumacher College, Dartington, on 11th November 2016 more...
No place for oil drilling: lonely Mountain in the Sierra del Divisor national park, Peru. Photo: Diego Pérez / El Taller / Ministerio del Ambiente via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Peru: national park 'Master Plan' opens uncontacted tribe's land to oil drilling

Lewis Evans & Sarina Kidd

7th October 2016

Full credit to Peru for creating the Sierra del Divisor national park in one of the most precious areas of the Amazon, write Lewis Evans & Sarina Kidd. But not for leaving it open to oil drilling, risking the future of uncontacted indigenous tribes that depend on their pristine rainforest environment to survive. more...
Much, much more of this to come? Anti-fracking campaigners at Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe, West Sussex. Photo: Sheila via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Cuadrilla fracking decision: shale industry's battle is beginning, not ending

Michael Bradshaw

7th October 2016

Sajid Javid's decision to allow shale gas wells to go ahead in Lancashire marks a new phase in the industry's development, writes Michael Bradshaw. But it will also trigger a new phase of organisation, protest and resistance among impacted communities. Cuadrilla, IGas and other companies may just find the 'social licence' they thought they didn't need is essential, after all. more...
Abandoned, and going nowhere: Japan's the Monju 'fast' nuclear reactor. Photo: Nuclear Fuel and Power Reactor Development Corporation (PNC) / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream

Dr Jim Green

6th October 2016

'Fast breeder' reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan's decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart? more...
Wall to wall solar panels on industrial buildings in Birmingham, UK, where the Aurora report was published this week. Photo: h080 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Cheap as chips! 'Negligible' cost of integrating big solar into UK grid

Oliver Tickell

4th October 2016

A new study shows that the cost of 'integrating' the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system. more...
The Drax coal and biomass fired power station in North Yorkshire, one the UK's biggest point source emitters of greenhouse gases. Photo: Andrew Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

#AxeDrax: campaigners unite for climate justice against coal and biofueled deforestation

Almuth Ernsting

18th October 2016

The Drax power station in North Yorkshire is among Britain's greatest greenhouse gas emitters, writes Almuth Ernsting. Not only is it burning some 6 million tonnes of coal every year, it is also burning its way through forests in the USA and other countries as it converts to biomass-fired units, rewarded by £1.3 million a day in subsidies. Join the #AxeDrax protest this weekend! more...
These yurts on Mongolia's 'sea of grass' are powered through a miniature solar microgrid that is both compact and lightweight for easy carriage on to the next site. Photo: Shutterstock.

Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access

Adnan Z. Amin / IRENA

4th October 2016

Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors - including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations - are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off. more...
Sadiq Khan speaking against Heathrow expansion at a protest at Parliament Square, London, 10th October 2015. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

London's 'Greenest Mayor ever'? Sadiq Khan still has a lot to prove

Caroline Russell

30th September 2016

London Mayor Sadiq Khan promised electors that he would be the 'Greenest Mayor ever'. In spite of his apparent support for a new Thames road crossing in East London and an expanded London City Airport, he still has huge opportunities to make good his pledge. And Green Assembly Members will be working hard to make sure he does. more...
Among the 28 EDF nuclear power stations at risk: Sizewell B in Suffolk, England. Photo: Simon James via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants 'at risk of catastrophic failure'

Oliver Tickell

29th September 2016

A new report finds that 28 nuclear reactors, 18 of them EDF plants in France and one at Sizewell in the UK, are at risk of failure 'including core meltdown' due to flaws in safety-critical components in reactor vessels and steam generators, writes Oliver Tickell. The news comes as EDF credit is downgraded due to a growing cash flow crisis and its decision to press on with Hinkley C. more...
Aerial view of the completed Hinkley C project. Artists impression by EDF Energy.

Nuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

27th September 2016

With its choice of Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle - its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government's energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition. more...
During April 14 - 23, 2014, WIPP recovery teams made multiple trips into the WIPP underground, eventually reaching Panel 7, Room 7 - the suspected location of the radiological event. Photo: WIPP.

WIPP nuclear waste accident will cost US taxpayers $2 billion

Dr Jim Green

20th September 2016

The clean-up after the February 2014 explosion at the world's only deep underground repository for nuclear waste in New Mexico, USA, is massively over budget, writes Jim Green - and full operations won't resume until at least 2021. The fundamental cause of the problems: high level radioactive waste, poor regulation, rigid deadlines and corporate profit make a dangerous mix. more...

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