The Ecologist


energy: 75/100 of 1106
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Will all this come to an end now? Photo: Centre for Alternative Technology ( via Flickr (CC BY).

Senseless and damaging: UK's solar cuts

The Ecologist

22nd July 2015

The UK government has announced massive cuts in support for solar roofs and farms that appear designed to undermine investor confidence just as the technology is on track to be subsidy-free by 2020. more...
Workers at Cuadrilla's fracking site near Preston, Lancashire, September 2011. Photo: JustinWoolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Lancashire's fracking victory was even greater than we knew

Damien Short

21st July 2015

The anti-fracking movement scored a great victory when Lancashire councillors refused planning permission for two fracking wells, writes Damien Short. But dig deeper and the triumph was all the greater, as it overcame not just Cuadrilla, but a morass of pro-fracking bias and legal and scientific misrepresentation from those meant to be providing impartial advice. more...
Roofscape: the 'BedZED' (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK's largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community, was completed in 2002. Photo: Tom Chance from Peckham via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Scrapping 'zero carbon' homes is policy vandalism

Gordon Walker

20th July 2015

The UK Government has ditched the requirement for new homes to be 'zero carbon' from April 2016, writes Gordon Walker. With builders already geared up to meet the challenge, this needless reversal will raise energy bills and carbon emissions for a century or more to come, and send out all the wrong signals for the Paris climate talks. more...
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd at the launch of Kingspan Energy’s latest solar PV project on their warehouse roof in Selby, 7th October 2014. The array spans 30,000 sq.m, making it largest rooftop solar renovation project in UK. Photo: DECC via Flickr (CC

Government turns fire on solar power

Kyla Mandel /

20th July 2015

Energy secretary Amber Rudd promised 'a new solar revolution' for the UK, writes Kyla Mandel. But now the industry is braced for a massive round of cuts that could kill off the sector, just as it's on course to be the UK's first subsidy-free renewable power source in 2020. more...
The Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia, where two AP1000 reactors are under construction, and subject to long delays and cost overruns. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Nugen's AP1000 nuclear reactor - is it any better than the EPR?

Chris Goodall

17th July 2015

As nuclear projects using the EPR design run into long delays and huge costs overruns, industry hopes are pinned on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, writes Chris Goodall. But with eight AP1000 projects around the world going the way of the EPR, is it really a wise choice for the UK's Moorside nuclear site? more...
Now it could be fracked: North Meadow, a traditional uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres, contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fracking go-ahead in SSSI wildlife sites, groundwater sources

Adam Vaughan / Guardian Environment

17th July 2015

Breaking a clear pre-election promise, the government will allow fracking to take place in the UK's most precious wildlife sites and in vital groundwater source areas, writes Adam Vaughan. more...
David Lavalee out in the field, filming 'To the Ends of the Earth'.

To the ends of the Earth: a filmmaker's journey

David Lavallee

4th September 2015

It's tough being a filmmaker on the front line of environmental defense, writes David Lavallee - challenging corporate control of the Earth's resources, not to mention governments and security services, all of them intent on extracting every last drop of oil and gas from the world's most pristine places. All the more so when holding a camera makes you an instant 'eco-terrorist'. more...
The very picture of a statesman: David Cameron at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 28th January 2011. Photo: WEF via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

David Cameron is losing the plot on climate change

Doug Parr / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

16th July 2015

David Cameron is gunning for a strong climate agreement in Paris this December, writes Dr Doug Parr. Meanwhile his government is doing all it can to undermine renewable energy and energy efficiency in the UK, and lock us into a high carbon, fossil-fuelled future. Can he really have it both ways? more...
GMB would better serve its members by promoting our renewable future, not the nuclear past. Photo: Walnet offshore wind farm by David Dixon via Wikimedia / Geograph (CC BY-SA).

GMB - as Hinkley C collapses, it's time to get over nuclear!

David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt et al

15th July 2015

The GMB trade union has called on the UK government to press ahead with the Hinkley Point C power station despite legal challenges and serious technical failures. In this Open Letter, David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt and colleagues tell the union that its members' interests lie in our renewable future, not the nuclear past. more...
He won't be pleased: UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressing Hinkley B workers as part of his visit to the Hinkley Point C site on 21st October 2013. Photo: Number 10 / DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Green energy suppliers launch Hinkley C nuclear challenge

The Ecologist

15th July 2015

A second legal challenge to the UK's proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant in Somerset was launched this morning by ten renewable and municipal power suppliers in Germany and Austria, citing grave distortions to European energy markets. more...
Repower Balcombe members launch their solar coop in April 2014. Photo: RePower Balcombe via Facebook.

Beyond fracking: Balcombe's renewable future

Joe Nixon / RePowerBalcombe

13th July 2015

When fracking came to Balcombe in West Sussex in 2013, it divided village opinion, writes Joe Nixon. But the community is now united in its commitment to locally owned renewable energy, with solar projects on schools and farm buildings, and plans just in for a new 5MW solar farm. more...
Tax breaks for oil and gas, cuts for renewables. Oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth. Invergordon, Scotland, UK. Photo: Berardo62 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Whatever happened to the 'greenest ever' Conservative Party?

Steffen Böhm

11th July 2015

Just when the UK's government might want to be boosting its green credentials it has chosen to do the precise opposite, writes Steffen Böhm: giving tax breaks and subsidies to oil and gas, while attacking renewables and energy efficiency. We must unite to oppose these destructive and short-sighted policies more...

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What doesn't he like about renewables? Photo of George Osborne by altogetherfool via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Osborne's £3.9bn stealth attack on renewables

Oliver Tickell

9th July 2015

The UK government kicked away one of the main financial supports for renewable energy in yesterday's budget. The surprise move will cost the sector £3.9 billion over the next five years and undermines any prospect of the country meeting its EU renewable energy targets. more...
No, not a fracking rig: a biogas purification plant in Lund, Sweden. Photo: Petter Duvander via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Safe, low carbon, inexpensive: the renewable alternatives to fracking

Keith Barnham

8th July 2015

In its haste to get fracking, the UK Government is neglecting safe, clean alternatives that could be providing low-carbon gas and heat energy, writes Keith Barnham. The technologies are already well established in other European countries and are picking up fast here too - so why the insistence that only fossil fuels can deliver the UK's energy needs? more...
If Hinkley C is allowed, then other will follow in Poland, Czech, Hungary and UK. The Dukovany nuclear complex, Vysocina Region, Czech Republic. Photo: Zruda via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Austria files Hinkley Point C legal challenge in European Court

Oliver Tickell

6th July 2015

Austria today filed its legal challenge to the UK's €108 billion support package for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, writes Oliver Tickell. A second such challenge at the European Court is due from green energy suppliers in Germany and Austria who fear unfair competition from subsidised nuclear power in Poland, Czech and Hungary if the Hinkley C precedent stands. more...
'After all, we are betting the planet!' Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD. Photo: OECD via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

OECD chief: World must ditch coal, go renewable

Alex Kirby

5th July 2015

The secretary general of the OECD group of the world's 34 richest nations has issued a dramatic plea to its members to act now to end 'unabated coal' burning, writes Alex Kirby, and invest in renewables around the world to prevent climate disaster. more...
A lignite-burning power station in Greece. Photo: Greenpeace-Greece.

Greece’s anti-solar, coal-based energy policies underlie its economic collapse

Takis Grigoriou / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

3rd July 2015

As Greece prepares for its referendum, Takis Grigoriou takes Greece to task for its highly polluting lignite power sector, its ditching of a successful solar program in favour of more coal, the minimal insulation in its buildings that locks in high fuel bills, and Syriza's failure to tackle these issues. The good news? Greece's latest €1.4bn coal project looks like going unfunded. more...
China has chosen its energy future - and it will be renewable. A huge windfarm in Xinjiang. Photo: Mike Locke via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

China's climate pledge for green growth spells doom for coal exporters

John Mathews

3rd July 2015

Renewable energy is all go in China, as set out in its climate pledge this week, writes John Mathews, with huge growth planned for wind and solar. The one big loser - coal exporters who can expect falling sales volumes in coming years. Wake up Australia! more...
Frack off! Photo: JustinWoolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Secret report: fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment

Adam Vaughan & Rowena Mason / Guardian Environment

2nd July 2015

House prices could fall 7% near fracking rigs, according to the 'secret' Defra report on fracking in rural areas, only published in full after a legal battle, while leakage of waste water could damage human health and contaminate food. more...
Canunda wind farm, near Millicent, south-eastern South Australia. A composite of three photos, combined using Photomatix Pro. Early morning. Photo: David Clarke via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Coal closures give South Australia the chance to go 100% renewable

Mark Diesendorf

18th July 2015

Moving to 100% clean, renewable energy is a win-win option for South Australia, writes Mark Diesendorf. First of all it's highly doable over a 25-year transition period. It will also bring lower power prices, more employment, better health and a cleaner environment. What's not to like? more...
Coming to an end - renewables in the UK. Soon there will be no money to finance solar farms like this one at Haslingfield. Photo: BELECTRIC UK / Solar Trade Association via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Treasury to axe UK renewables, low carbon transition

David Toke & The Ecologist

6th July 2015

Britain's renewable energy surge will hit the buffers as funding dries up, writes David Toke - while cuts to the energy department's budget will wipe out its ability to guide the UK's low carbon energy transition. more...
The small scale solar sector is also taking off around the tropics, as at this shop for solar cell panels in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Photo: Wegmann via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Global emissions stay flat thanks to renewable energy surge

Alex Kirby

30th June 2015

The world economy and energy use both grew in 2014 - but carbon emissions did not, writes Alex Kirby. The reason? The worldwide surge in renewables, especially in China, has reduced demand for coal in power generation. more...
Just don't bring a nuclear power plant! Mission to Mars as envisioned by Pat Rawlings in 1985 for NASA. Image: Pat Rawlings / NASA.

NASA's warning - SpaceX crash highlights dangers of nuclear power in space

Karl Grossman

2nd July 2015

Sunday's SpaceX crash sends a powerful warning of the dangers of nuclear power on spacecraft, writes Karl Grossman. But will NASA listen? Despite the success of solar-powered missions, it's planning to use plutonium to power future missions and a new report asserts a continuing need for the technology - even as Russia ditches the idea. more...
The Hinkley Point nuclear site from the boundary fence near Stolford. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Will the Hinkley C fiasco rouse Labour from its nuclear dream?

Dr Ian Fairlie

30th June 2015

Will Labour turn against nuclear power? As Chancellor, Ed Balls would have cancelled Hinkley C due to its massive cost, writes Ian Fairlie. But he never got the chance, and now the party remains muted even though the Government's nuclear enthusiasm is completely out of kilter with reality. To end nuclear's grip on Labour there's only one choice of leader: Jeremy Corbyn. more...
'We've bloody won!' Image via Frack Free Lancashire / Facebook.

Cuadrilla's fracking application defeated

The Ecologist

29th June 2015

In a dramatic decision this morning, Lancashire county councillors voted 9:3 to reject Cuadrilla's planning application to frack at Preston New Road, defying the warnings of their own planning officers. more...


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