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The world's first offshore deployment of two-bladed wind turbines, and Britain's first tidal power array, are both moving forward in Scotland's seas. Images: Crown Estate.

Scotland's double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines

The Ecologist

29th August 2014

Two innovative renewable energy projects are moving forward in Scotland: Britain's first tidal power array, and the world's first deployment of two-bladed wind offshore turbines. The experimental technologies are hoped to achieve significant cost savings and unlock a huge offshore energy resource. more...
Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr.

The nuclear industry today: declining, but not (yet) dying

Jonathon Porritt

25th August 2014

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an account of an industry in decline, writes Jonathon Porritt - with rising operating costs and an ever-shrinking share of world energy production, while the sector loses the race for investment and new generating capacity to fast growing renewable energy technologies. 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...
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.

Green energy co-ops blocked by UK financial regulator

Adam Vaughan / Guardian Environment

15th August 2014

The FCA is accused of undermining official policy by refusing new applications for community energy projects with a co-operative structure, writes Adam Vaughan. The key question: what is a bona fide co-op? Is investment alone a valid form of participation? more...
With batteries and a local microgrid, this PV-powered house near Boston, Massachusetts, could eliminate its dependence on grid-supplied power. Photo: Gray Watson (256.com/solar) / Wikimedia Commons.

For the next energy revolution, we must deregulate power grids

Bill Watkins

14th August 2014

How do we spur more microgrids powered by renewable energy? Deregulate, writes Bill Watkins, ending the monopolies enjoyed by centralized energy companies. The alternative is to keep consumers and micro-generators stuck with the energy equivalent of the 'Princess' phone. more...
Dhursar 40 megawatt solar power plant with First Solar modules in the Thar desert, Rajasthan, India. Photo: Reliance Power.

Solar power to the fore in India's energy revolution

Michael Jacob

12th August 2014

India's economy is hindered by the lack of sustainable and reliable electricity, writes Michael Jacob. But the new government has a plan to bring 24/7 power to every citizen, based on grid renewal, subsidy cuts, and a big rollout of ever-cheaper solar power generation. more...
José Manuel Barroso - whatever's on his mind, it's not the environment. Photo: European Parliament via Flickr.

Exposed: Barroso's EU anti-environment crusade

EuroActiv

5th August 2014

Plans to crack down on endocrine disruptors and illegal timber were buried by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and his secretary-general Catherine Day - while undermining action on climate, renewables and energy efficiency. more...
Mirror, mirror, on the wall ... Solar panels near Dukovany nuclear power station, Czech Republic. Photo: Jiří Sedláček (Frettie) via Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear industry prepares for global boom - or is that doom?

Paul Brown

2nd August 2014

The nuclear industry remains remarkably optimistic about its future, wrties Paul Brown - despite evidence that it is a shrinking source of power as renewables, in particular solar and wind power, compete with increasing success to fill the energy gap. more...
A solar-powered thatch hut. Photo: Ashden.

Reaping the benefits of community energy

Emily Haves

31st July 2014

Donors, NGOs and investors want to help grassroots sustainable energy enterprises grow, so they can bring the myriad benefits of clean and affordable energy to many more people, writes Emily Haves. But just what kind of support is needed? 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.

Will the carbon bubble burst your pension?

Rebecca O'Connor

8th August 2014

What's the biggest threat to your life savings you've never heard of? Rebecca O'Connor shows how the world's exposure to unburnable carbon assets, and competition from clean energy technologies, could hammer your savings, pensions and investments. more...
A common sight in Germany - a solar parking shelter with a generation capacity of approx 0.3MW. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr.

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way

Keith Barnham

26th July 2014

How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better! more...
At the heart of the US oil industry, 'solar sunflowers' just off the I-35 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jim Hutchison via Flickr.

California and Texas are mainstreaming renewable energy

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

20th July 2014

California and Texas continue to break new ground in making electricity generation from renewable sources, writes Mike G. Solar PV in particular has become a vital part of the US' energy mix, accounting for half of new generation capacity. more...

renewable energy : 1/25 of 220
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The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr.

Decarbonising the world energy system without nuclear

David Elliott

17th July 2014

Nuclear power advocates believe the technology is essential to building a fossil fuel free world energy system. In fact it is optional, writes David Elliott - and not even very helpful. Efficiency and the 'new renewables' can do the job faster, and at much lower cost. more...
Dark clouds gather over a sunset industry - represented by a Chevron oil tanker. Photo: Jamie Grant via Flickr.

Fossil fuels the 'new sub-prime crisis'

Nathan Wood

14th July 2014

The UK's conservative Daily Telegraph warns: investors in fossil fuels are 'throwing good money after bad', reports Nathan Wood, as renewable energy takes off leaving a potential $19 trillion of oil assets 'stranded'. more...
Toyota UK Solar Panel Array at its vehicle plant in Derbyshire. Photo: Toyota UK via Flickr.

Why do Ed and Greg hate solar energy?

Jonathon Porritt

8th July 2014

With the Government wilfully undermining the UK's small but fast-growing solar power sector for the second time, Jonathon Porritt wonders ... why the attacks on what is our second lowest cost source of renewable energy, and getting cheaper all the time? more...
Smart new power electronics can keep the lights on, without the need for turbines and flywheels. Photo: Loupiote via Flickr.

Fear of blackouts is no reason to restrict renewable energy

Marek Kubik

13th July 2014

Our current electricity system cannot accept much wind and solar power because they lack the 'inertia' of spinning turbines that stabilises grid voltage, writes Marek Kubik. But that's no reason to limit renewables - there are new, smart solutions ready for deployment. more...
Many more of these to come ... solar panel at Solar panels in Uttaranchal, India. Photo: Barefoot photographers of Tilonia via Flickr.

Renewables boom - $5 trillion to be invested by 2030

Rosie Murray-West

4th July 2014

Two thirds of the world's investment in building new power generation until 2030 may go to renewable energy, reports Rosie Murray-West, causing CO2 emissions to peak at end of the 2020s. more...
Lambrigg Wind Farm near Kendal in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK. Photo: Steve Oliver via Flickr.

Eric Pickles' war on wind farms could blow UK renewable energy targets

David Elliott

27th June 2014

The UK Government's self-declared war on onshore wind farms will make it very difficult for the UK to meet its EU renewable energy targets, writes David Elliott - especially as it cuts support for solar PV. Is the UK's energy policy being written by UKIP? more...
The Bill would undermine regulation of waste from Mountain Top Removal coal mines. Photo: An MTR protest in West Virginia, 2012, by Mark Haller via Flickr.

House Spending Bill's huge dirty energy giveaway

Farron Cousins

24th June 2014

A Spending Bill now under debate in Congress would cut over $100 million from renewable energy, grant extra funds for dumping nuclear waste and fossil fuel research, exempt 'mountain top removal' coal from regulation, and limit the EPA's power to enforce clean water laws. more...
The future is coming ... and for electric utilities, it'll hurt. Photo: Mike Lewinski via Flickr.

Barclays: solar power threatens US utilities

Tyler Hamilton

13th June 2014

As renewables grow in scale, and fall in price, the threat to electric utilities becomes ever more clear, writes Tyler Hamilton. The last thing they needed was Barclays downgrading their corporate bonds ... more...
England needs Scotland's wind power to keep the lights on. Photo: wind farm at Ardrossan by Gordon Cowan via Flickr.

Government hostility to renewables and Scottish independence may put the lights out

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

1st August 2014

As the UK's electricity supply margins drop to new lows, the government's punitive approach to renewables will only make matters worse, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. Likewise its threats to boycott Scotland's wind power is utterly irrational - we will need it to keep our lights on. more...
Beware wolves in sheep's clothing! Photo: public domain.

Beware environmental wolves in sheep's clothing!

William Laurance

9th June 2014

What do the Australian Environment Foundation, the Renewable Energy Foundation and the Global Warming Policy Foundation have in common? They are all fiercely anti-environment, writes William Laurance - and we must beware their 'eco-doublespeak'. more...
To achieve the 50%+ price drop we need for offshore wind, direct R&D funding will produce the transformational technology developments we need much more economically than price support payments.

We need to rethink how we support renewable energy

Chris Goodall

11th August 2014

Feed-in tariffs are a great way to kick start renewable technologies, writes Chris Goodall. But they suffer from a law of exponentially diminishing returns. It's time for governments to move to direct R&D funding to achieve the transformational changes the world needs. more...
What house builders will no longer have to do - the 'BedZED' Beddington Zero Carbon Development in south London. Photo: BioRegional via Flickr.

Government caves in to developers on 'zero carbon' homes

Oliver Tickell

4th June 2014

The Government has gutted its 'zero carbon home' standard - builders will be able to 'zero the carbon' through an offsetting scheme - rather than by installing more insulation, or renewable technologies like solar PV or solar water heating. more...

World Future Council going global with 100% renewable energy

Anne Reis

23rd May 2014

A new global campaign that advocates 100% renewable energy aims to change the political mindset and make renewable energy 'the new normal'. more...

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