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How long before all filling stations go this way? Photo: Wayne Stadler vis Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The new 'peak oil'? A dollar invested in solar yields more energy than a dollar invested in oil

Chris Goodall

13th February 2016

According to oil company executives, oil is going to be a major energy source to 2100 and beyond. So after hearing an oil man make his case, Chris Goodall went home and crunched some numbers. Money invested in solar power already produces more energy than if it's put into oil exploration and production, and the gap is only going to widen from here. Is this the new 'peak oil'? more...
From the poster for the 1962 film 'Les Quatre Cavaliers de l'Acopalypse'. Photo: CartelesCine via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Arms, agribusiness, finance and fossil fuels: the four horsemen of the neoliberal Apocalypse

Colin Todhunter

15th February 2016

The world is in the grip of a structural war against people, land, economies and ecosystems, writes Colin Todhunter. It is being waged by a quartet of organised criminal interests bent on monopolizing energy, money, food and violence across the globe. But a deep-rooted resistance against their 'neoliberal' doctrine of death and destruction is fighting back. more...
A solar-paneled shoebox on West 123rd Street, Central Harlem, Manhattan Island. Photo: Matt Green via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Five US states are leading the way in solar power initiatives

Aaron Viles / DeSmogBlog

3rd March 2016

State action on solar power can make a big difference, writes Aaron Viles. Driven by ambitious renewable energy targets and the need to generate local growth industries of the future, five states stand out for their trend-setting policies that are accelerating the US's clean energy transition. more...
Kaoto Kan, as prime minister of Japan, responding to the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe on live television, 14th August 2013. Image: NNK World TC via Youtube.

Fukushima PM Naoto Kan: 'if you love your country, let nuclear go!'

Linda Pentz Gunter

12th February 2016

Nuclear power is a uniquely hazardous technology that can destroy entire nations, Japan's prime minister at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has warned British MPs. The lessons of from such catastrophes must be heeded in other countries that believe that nuclear fission can be harnessed safely, writes Linda Pentz Gunter - or they, and the world, will reap the whirlwind. more...
Artist's impression of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which would, if built, generate almost 500 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. Image: preconstruct.com.

A green Wales is taking off - in spite of UK government policies

David Clubb

16th February 2016

Despite Cameron's promise to lead the 'greenest Government ever', the environment has taken a heavy bashing since the 2015 election, writes David Clubb - whether on oil, fracking, renewable energy or planning policy. But Wales is doing its best to follow a sustainable path, and demonstrating badly needed environmental leadership that the whole UK would do well to follow. more...
Earth and Moon. Photo: NASA ESA via Wikimedia (Public Domain).

A sustainable UK needs a 'one planet' Budget

Alan Simpson

5th February 2016

When Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget next month, we can be sure that climate and environment won't take a high priority, writes Alan Simpson. All the more reason for the Labour leadership to develop a new 'one planet' economics for the 21st century that delivers social justice and respects ecological limits. more...
Wind farms such as these in Palm Springs, California could be the answer to low-cost energy throughout the US. Photo: Prayitno Hadinata via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

'Renewable energy highways' offer quick fix for US emissions

Tim Radford

2nd February 2016

Scientists say interstate energy 'highways' offer a simple approach to delivering low-cost electricity to where it’s needed throughout the US, writes Tim Radford. The best part? It's using clean, renewable energy sources, and it can be achieved in the near future using only existing, mature technologies. more...
Which can you trust to tackle America's toxic legacy of crumbling nuclear plants? Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Artwork: DonkeyHotey via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Bernie and Hillary - speak out on America's dying nuclear reactors!

Harvey Wasserman

8th February 2016

America's crumbling nuclear power plants, dozens of them built to the design that spectacularly failed at Fukushima, must be closed down to prevent catastrophe, writes Harvey Wasserman. So let's hear Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton speak out on the topic and make it a core issue in the Presidential race! more...
Photo: K.H.Reichert via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The cheapest way to scale up wind and solar? A US-wide high-tech power network

Christopher Clack / NOAA

16th February 2016

Not only can the US save money on its electricity by moving to a 48-state power network based on high voltage DC power lines, writes Christopher Clack. It's also the key to increasing the penetration of renewables as the lowest cost energy source, with wind and solar delivering 55% of the nation's electricity demand - and a 78% reduction in carbon emissions. more...
Another Chernobyl? The Centrale Nucléaire de Tihange in Belgium was closed down a year ago after the discovery of 16,000 cracks in its reactor vessel. Now the government wants to start it up again. Photo: grotevriendelijkereus via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Nuclear renaissance? Failing industry is running flat out to stand still

Dr Jim Green

30th January 2016

Despite the endless rhetoric about a 'nuclear renaissance', there are fewer power reactors today than there were a decade ago, writes Jim Green. The one country with a really big nuclear build program is China, but no one expects it to meet its targets. And with over 200 reactor shut-downs due by 2040, the industry will have to run very hard indeed just to stay put. more...
The future is clean, inexpensive and renewable - if only the government can get over its nuclear obsession. Westmill Solar Park, with wind turbines behind. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Government's nuclear fixation could ruin us all

Caroline Lucas MP

28th January 2016

EDF's unfolding fiasco over the Hinkley C nuclear power station proves that nuclear power can come only at enormous financial cost to consumers and taxpayers, writes Caroline Lucas - and even then, investors are scared off by the risks. The government must get over its nuclear obsession and seize our renewable future. more...
Hinkley C as it would look, if ever built: 'like building a cathedral inside a cathedral', says one nuclear engineer. Artwork: EDF.

Unable to raise Hinkley C nuclear cash, EDF turns to French government

Oliver Tickell

26th January 2016

Just as EDF was due to make its 'final investment decision' on Hinkley C, writes Oliver Tickell, another delay. In spite of incredibly generous subsidies, the company is unable to finance it. Its last hope is to persuade the French state to take a 10% stake in the doomed project. more...

Energy: 75/100 of 1278
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Now many members of EDF's board and most employees are agreed with this protestor in wanting EDF to drop its doomed Hinkley C project. Site blockade in October 2012. Photo: GLOBAL 2000 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

EDF's Hinkley C decision 'on a knife edge' as problems crowd in

Oliver Tickell

26th January 2016

The EDF board is meeting tomorrow to reach its 'final investment decision' on Hinkley C. It was meant to be a rubber stamp but now it's anything but, as EDF's share price sinks to a new low, unions and employee directors harden their opposition to the project, and projects in France, Finland and China run way over time and cost with severe technical problems and safety concerns. more...
Woe betide any politician with a bad word to say about wind power in Iowa, where it's big, getting bigger, and everyone loves it. Photo: Andrew Huff via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Politicians take note: Iowa is the US's most wind-powered state - and everyone loves it!

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energydesk

30th January 2016

As presidential contenders gather in Iowa for the beginning of the party selection season, they may have noticed a lot of wind turbines, writes Zachary Davies Boren. And if they have any sense, they will find only nice things to say about them. Wind supplies 30% of the state's power, more than any other US state, and Iowans are all for it. Ted Cruz, mind your words! more...
Installation of solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the Hongqiao Passenger Rail Terminal in Shanghai, China. Photo: Jiri Rezac / The Climate Group via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

China's renewables drive down CO2 emissions

Lauri Myllyvirta / Greenpeace Energydesk

21st January 2016

China's 2015 carbon emissions fell for the second year running, by an amount equal to all of Poland's, while total power consumption increased, writes Lauri Myllyvirta. Credit goes to the massive expansion in renewable energy, with a record-breaking 47GW of wind and solar capacity added. more...
Alice Hooker-Stroud, leader of the Wales Green Party, on a hill overlooking her home town of Machynlleth in West Mid-Wales. Photo: Alex Randall via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Communities at the heart of a Green Wales

Alice Hooker-Stroud

21st January 2016

This May the Greens are hoping to win their first seats in the Welsh Assembly, and become a strong force for social and ecological progress, writes Alice Hooker-Stroud, newly elected leader of the Wales Green Party. At the heart of the vision: sustainable, prosperous, empowered communities. more...
The aftermath of a tornado in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, 7th May 2015. Photo: Dave Malkoff via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Mother Nature's 'invisible hand' strikes back against the carbon economy

JP Sottile / Truthout

20th January 2016

According to classical economics Adam Smith's 'invisible' hand' of free markets produces the greatest good for us all, writes JP Sottile. But what happens when rip-roaring 'external costs' are left out of the equations? Wars, repression, pollution, resource destruction and climate change. And because that invisible hand is connected to Mother Nature, it's coming back to strike us. more...
Chart 1: Electrical power by source, June 2015. Image: Grant Wilson / energy-charts.org.

2015: Renewable power breaks British records

Grant Wilson, University of Sheffield

18th January 2016

Wind, solar and hydro together generated 14.6% of Britain's electrical energy in 2015, the highest ever, writes Grant Wilson. They also peaked at 22% of electricity over the week of Christmas - another British record. more...
A schematic of how hydrogenase catalyst can be used reversibly to produce hydrogen, and 'burn' it in a fuel cell. Image: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin.

'Green platinum' catalyst promises cheap fuel cells, emission-free fuels

Tim Radford

11th February 2016

Advanced new catalysts are poised to stimulate a clean energy revolution, writes Tim Radford. An organic replacement for the precious metal platinum would allow surplus electricity to be cheaply converted into hydrogen fuel, then burnt in low cost fuel cells to propel 'green' vehicles and generate power on demand. more...
A survivor of Typhoon Haiyan, Leyte, Philippines, 10th November 2013. Photo: Arlynn Aquino / EU ECHO via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Are fossil fuel giants violating human rights? The Philippines will decide

Ellen Baker / ClientEarth

13th January 2016

The Philippines is taking a huge leap forward in the climate wars, writes Ellen Baker, with the world's 'top 50' energy giants standing accused of violating international human rights law as a result of their fossil fuel production. This is the first such investigation ever to take place anywhere in the world - and it just opened up a whole new front of corporate vulnerability. more...
D12: on Saturday 12th December thousands of protestors marched from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower for climate action and climate justice. Photo: Takver via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

After Paris, the year of Climate Insurgency

Jeremy Brecher

13th January 2016

The Paris Agreement provides a clear mandate to limit global warming, writes Jeremy Brecher. And with governments doing nowhere near enough, it's up to ordinary citizens - through civil disobedience if needs be - to make sure the world breaks free from fossil fuels. Let's make 2016 the year of 'Climate Insurgency'! more...
The Trident missile bearing nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Trident, nuclear submarines and the UK's nuclear power imperative

Andy Stirling & Phil Johnstone

15th January 2016

The UK's nuclear power programme is driven by military demands, write Andy Stirling & Phil Johnstone - but not in the way you might think. The most essential need is not for plutonium or tritium, but for a nuclear industrial sector to design, build and maintain the reactors that power nuclear submarines. Without them, the Trident missile system would have no military credibility. more...
'I shall show you Life in a handful of jewels'. A cut gemstone of Blue Apatite. Photo: Captain Tenneal via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

What Life is

Christopher Busby

29th January 2016

The origin of life has long been the deepest of mysteries, writes Chris Busby. But in fact, the spontaneous arising of life from molecules in Darwin's 'warm little pond' is the inevitable result of their selective energisation by quantized infra-red radiation. Now, some four billion years after life first developed, precisely the same processes continue to drive the operation of all living systems at a cellular level. more...
Photovoltaic power station Kosh-Agachsky District, Russia. Photo: Darya Ashanina via Wikimedia (CC-BY-SA).

Asia's low-cost path to 100% renewable power in 15 years

Paul Brown

11th January 2016

Renewable energy could supply Russia and Central Asian countries with 100% of their electricity needs by 2030, writes Paul Brown - and cut costs significantly compared to nuclear power and CO2-abated fossil fuels. more...
EPR nuclear plant under construction at Olkiluoto in Finland in 2009 - the year it was due for completion. It may finally be ready in 2018 - or then, it may not. Photo: kallerna via Wkimedia (Public Domain).

EDF may sell €3bn stake in UK nuclear to fund Hinkley C

Terry Macalister / the Guardian & Oliver Tickell

8th January 2016

The cash-strapped French energy giant EDF may sell off profitable stakes in its in its eight existing UK nuclear reactors to raise money for the Hinkley Point C project. But with no example of the EPR design planned for Hinkley even near completion, it may all prove a risk too far. more...

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