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UK renewables: 1/25 of 61
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Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm. Photo: Harald Pettersen / Statoil via Flickr / NHD-INFO (CC BY).

All at sea? Government's strong talk on offshore wind masks feeble ambition

Ian Broadbent & Peter Strachan

26th June 2015

Following premature cutbacks to onshore wind farms the UK's energy security will increasingly depend on large scale offshore wind power, write Ian Broadbent & Peter Strachan. But while energy secretary Amber Rudd talked the sector up in her speech yesterday, she revealed feeble ambition, and said nothing to overcome investors' fears of being left out in the cold. more...
Coming to the UK soon? A fracked landscape in Wyoming, USA. Photo: Simon Fraser University via Flickr (CC BY).

The Tories' energy obsessions will leave us all the poorer

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

24th June 2015

The Government's reckless pursuit of fracking and nuclear power, combined with its irrational hatred of renewables, onshore wind in particular, is taking the UK down a dangerous energy cul-de-sac, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. A redical rethink is due, or we'll be stuck with soaring fuel bills for years to come. more...
Royd Moor wind farm in Yorkshire. Photo: steve p2008 via Flick (CC BY).

It's only government policies that make the UK's wind power expensive

Andrew ZP Smith, UCL

22nd June 2015

The UK has the best wind power resource in Europe, yet it costs far more than in less windy countries like Germany, writes Andrew ZP Smith. That's because of government policies that undermine investor confidence, and fail to recognise that wind power, despite 'subsidies', lower the price consumers pay for electricity. more...
The planned Hinckley C nuclear EPR plant may never be built. But tthe Government wants to press ahead with other reactor designs at other sites - like Wylfa on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Friends of the Earth must come out fighting on nuclear!

Jonathon Porritt

9th June 2015

Friends of the Earth opposes new nuclear power stations in the UK. And that's great, writes Jonathon Porritt, except for their complete failure to campaign about it - even though the government's nuclear obsession is a huge obstruction to the renewable energy future FoE says it wants. Please can we have some action now? more...
Make up of UK power generation from 9am to 9pm, 6th June 2015. The left hand axis is Megawatts (MW). 1 GW is 1,000 MW. Image: Chris Goodall.

43%! New record for UK renewable power

Chris Goodall

8th June 2015

Thanks to the windy, sunny weather conditions on Saturday, the UK's output of renewable power reached an all-time record level of 43%, writes Chris Goodall. At the same time power from coal reached a low of just 7%, it what may be a record low contribution. more...
A nursery of loblolly pine – approx. 500,000 in view, all waiting to be dispatched and planted (c. 1,000 acres). Photo: Drax Group.

Biomass for energy is the common sense option

Matthew Rivers

5th June 2015

Today UK campaigners against burning biomass for power will deliver a 110,000 signature petition to DECC to protest at government subsidies for the practice. But in this 'Right of Reply' article Matthew Rivers, chairman of Drax Biomass, argues that biomass combustion is sustainable, benign, and helps to conserve forests worldwide. more...
A truck pulls into the Enviva Ahoskie wood pellet plant that supplies Drax power station, loaded with whole trees. Photo: Dogwood Alliance.

End support for Drax: stop subsidies for biomass power and phase out coal!

The Undersigned

22nd April 2015

Hundreds of millions of pounds meant to be spent on green energy will soon be lavished on Britain's biggest coal fired power station to reward it for burning 7 million tonnes of wood pellets a year - meant to be 'renewable' but actually driving biodiversity loss and even worse for climate change than coal. DECC must stop this madness! more...
Doggerland - the perfect place for the world's biggest offshore wind farm? Photo: NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Why a submerged island is the perfect spot for the world's biggest wind farm

Xavier Lemaire

27th March 2015

Way out in the turbulent North Sea, the Dogger Bank may seem like an unlikely place to site a large part of Britain's energy infrastructure. But given the stable sea floor, consistent winds, and distance from sensitive neighbours, it could be the perfect place. Even the fish could come to like it! more...
M&S's brand new 6MW solar array at its Castle Donington distribution centre is the largest roof-mounted system in the UK.

After UK's record solar year, government tries to kill the sector

Oliver Tickell

3rd March 2015

The UK will soon complete a record year for solar installations, almost doubling the nation's solar capacity. But drastic and overtly discriminatory changes to support for renewables may see solar installations collapse to 1% of current levels. more...
One of three solar towers at the Ivanpah CSP plant on the Nevada-California border.

Forget nuclear - Saharan sunshine for UK baseload power!

Chris Goodall

25th February 2015

As the UK's nuclear dream fades, writes Chris Goodall, investors are turning to the possibilities of 'Concentrating Solar Power' in the Sahara connected to Europe by HVDC power lines. The cost would be much lower than nuclear or offshore wind, and provide reliable baseload capacity. With the UK government's say so, Tunisian sunshine could soon be powering our grid. 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...
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...

UK renewables: 1/25 of 61
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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...
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...
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...
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...
Owen Paterson meets Hillary Clinton. Photo: from owenpaterson.org.

Keeping the lights on

Owen Paterson

16th October 2014

Last night's speech on Britain's energy choices by former environment secretary Owen Paterson's caused widespread outrage long before it was delivered. But what exactly did he say on the night? Read on, and be surprised to discover that it makes excellent sense - in parts. more...
Greenpeace demonstration in Olkiluoto, Finland. Photo: Greenpeace Finland via Flickr.

Hinkley C will cost Britain dear - if it's ever built

Keith Barnham

15th October 2014

The UK Government promises that the Hinkley C 'EPR' nuclear reactor will lower electricity bills, but Keith Barnham shows that this is the very reverse of the truth. Our best hope is that it will never be built. Legal challenges aside, no sane investor will commit until one of the two EPR prototypes is working, which will be in 2016 at the earliest. more...
Falling costs make renewables such as solar energy competitive in the US without subsidy. Photo: US Bureau of Land Management via Wikimedia Commons.

Investor heavyweights call for climate action

Kieran Cooke

23rd September 2014

At the UN climate summit in New York today, institutional investors managing $24 trillion of assets are demanding stronger, more ambitious policies on climate change, writes Kieran Cooke. These include an effective carbon price and an end to fossil fuel subsidies. more...
Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

Community Energy Fortnight - happening somewhere near you

Hugh Bowring

16th September 2014

Community energy presents a real solution to Britain's energy trap, writes Hugh Bowring. And here's the perfect opportunity to find out more: Community Energy Fortnight is now under way, with over 80 events across the UK - from visits to wind farms and hydro stations, to DIY solar panel workshops and a community share offer festival. more...
Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

While governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom

Paul Brown

6th September 2014

Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless. more...
These insulated pipes now connect a new building to University of Warwick's campus-wide combined heat and power system. Local authorities could deliver many more projects like this, where profit-driven energy companies have failed. Photo: Mike1024 / Wikim

Local authorities are key players in our renewable energy revolution

Councillor Mark Hackett

21st August 2014

Government energy policy is caught between apparently conflicting objectives, writes Mark Hackett. But there is a solution that is already working in the UK and abroad - to encourage the active participation of local authorities in delivering low carbon energy to the communities they serve. more...
These solar panels on a Chiswick back street are

Solar panels: a clear & present threat to this and future generations?

Paula Owen

18th August 2014

An array of solar panels on a Chiswick side street, facing a brewery wall, constitute a threat to the quality of life of future generations, according to the council and a planning inspector. Paula Owen begs to differ, and wonders - exactly what kind of mushroom have they been smoking? more...

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