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What lies over the rainbow is not a 100 billion barrels of oil, but a green and prosperous future of decentralised renewable energy. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

The mirage of fossil fuel wealth - our energy future is green, renewable, decentralised

Vicente López-Ibor Mayor

20th April 2015

Hopes of strengthening Britain’s energy security are often pinned on the fossil fuel industry says Vicente López-Ibor Mayor, as exemplified by the hysteria over the claimed 'discovery' of 100 billion barrels of oil beneath Gatwick airport. But the real long-term solution lies with abundant and ever cheaper decentralised renewables. more...
6,000 sq.km of California are suitable for this 'concentrating solar power' approach shown here at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California’s Mojave Desert. Photo: Jan Maguire via Flickr.

Investors pile in as renewables rise to record level

Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell

16th April 2015

The world's smart money is piling into renewable energy, solar power in particular, write Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell, as renewables pull away from fossil fuels in terms of both investment and new generation capacity added each year. more...
Sunrise on the Balbina hydroelectric dam in Brazil’s Amazon region. Image: Seabirds via Wikimedia Commons.

Deepening drought forces Brazil to embrace solar power

Jan Rocha

6th April 2015

Without water to feed its hydroelectric dams, drought-hit Brazil is turning to solar power - dubbed 'a fantasy' by the country's president just a few years ago, writes Jan Rocha. Now thousands of megawatts of floating solar panel 'islands' are to be installed on dam reservoirs. 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...
Solar power reaches into the places other electricity will never make it to. Solar panels in Tinginaput, Orissa, a region traversed by power lines where local people have no access to power. Photo: UK Department for International Development via Flickr (C

Renewables to transform India's energy landscape in seven years

Areeba Hamid / Greenpeace EnergyDesk & Oliver Tickell

31st February 2015

India's renewable power capacity is set to reach 170GW by 2022, write Areeba Hamid & Oliver Tickell - reducing power shortages and bringing electricity to off-grid of rural communities for the first time. But it may also have an unintended consequence - cutting off investment in India's troubled coal sector as prospects for future profitability evaporate.. more...
Photovoltaic cells on the Solar Library and Energy-Optimised House in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Image: Littleha via Wikimedia Commons.

Asia powers into the forefront of solar revolution

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

China has now overtaken the European Union as the largest new market for solar power, writes Paul Brown - as solar PV becomes one of the world's fastest growing industries - and one that's sure to keep on getting cheaper! more...
Despite the handshake between Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, no deal was done on Indian emissions reductions. Photo: Government of India Press Information Bureau.

100GW solar support in US-India climate talks, but no emissions cuts

Nivedita Khandekar

27th January 2015

India made no promises to cut its CO2 emissions from coal power stations, writes Nivedita Khandekar, and refused to reveal its ambitions for the Paris climate talks - but Obama promised US support for its plans to roll out 100GW of solar power. more...
A typically dark, narrow Cairo street in the Boulaq El Dakrour district. Photo: Patrick Keddie.

Beginning to see the light ... shining the sun's rays into Cairo's dark streets

Patrick Keddie

4th February 2015

Egyptian researchers have come up with a solution to the a lack of sunlight in Cairo's narrow and dingy streets, writes Patrick Keddie: a sine-wave panel that reflects light as soon as the sun rises. Initial tests indicate a potential five-fold increase in light levels. more...
Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA.

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons

Ralph Gottschalg

12th December 2014

Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020. more...
The Waltons are all for subsidies to large, centralised solar installations like this one by First Solar, in which they have a large shareholding. But they want to penalise small scale solar that challenges the corporate monopoly. Photo: Jumanji Solar via

Walmart, Asda owners using their billions to attack rooftop solar

Mike Gaworecki / DeSmogBlog

20th November 2014

The Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, project a 'public environmentalism', writes Mike Gaworecki. But their real agenda is to advance a monopolistic corporate economic model that is threatened by decentralised energy solutions like rooftop solar. The answer? Exterminate! more...
Solar panels in space work very efficiently. But how to get them there? And how to get the power down to Earth? Image: John MacNeil via Greenpeace.

Seven breakthrough solar technologies - but will they work?

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energy Desk

17th December 2014

A bunch of innovations are taking place in the world of solar power, writes Zachary Davies Boren - and one or more of them could just propel the technology from providing just 1% of the world's electricity, to dominating the world's energy supply. Provided they work ... more...

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A commercial solar installation under way in the south of England. Photo: Adrian Arbib / Renewable energy Cooperative - r-eco.coop.

Solar power is getting cheaper quicker than the IPCC thought

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

4th November 2014

The cost estimates for solar PV used by the IPCC in its latest report fail to take into account recent price falls for the technology, reports Helle Abelvik-Lawson, and exaggerate financing costs. The result is to understate the importance of PV in a low carbon future. more...
The answer to Earth's energy needs is floating in the skies above. Photo: Conceptual Image Lab, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Earth photo courtesy of NASA/ISS Expedition 13 crew.

The Burning Answer to our energy needs

Jonathon Porritt

29th October 2014

Keith Barnham's new book reveals the giddying and glorious plethora of the solar technologies that lie at the heart of the all-renewable energy system that awaits us, writes Jonathan Porritt - making it 'one of the most exciting and genuinely hopeful books' that I've read in a long time'. more...
The Solucar PS10 solar tower near Seville in southern Spain. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr.

IEA: Solar could be world's biggest power source by 2050

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

10th October 2014

Solar power could be producing over a quarter of the world's electricity within 35 years, according to the International Energy Agency. But in the US, Congress's failure to extend solar tax credits is causing projects to be withdrawn.
more...
Kagoshima solar power plant: are 'solar islands' the future? Photo: Kyocera.

Japan: 'solar islands' replace nuclear power

Jon Major

13th September 2014

As Japan seeks to end reliance on nuclear power, one of the answers is floating 'solar islands', writes Jon Major. A 70MW solar island opened last year, and two additional plants have just been announced. more...

A Solar Revolution

Jonathon Porritt

5 September 2014

The advance of solar power around the world is bringing instant, dramatic improvements to people's lives, so why aren’t more governments overhauling their dysfunctional energy policies? 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 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...
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...
A large-scale solar farm in the UK. Photo: Trillion Fund.

Solar firms to sue Government for ending support

Rosie Murray-West & Ruth Lumley

9th August 2014.

Four large solar firms are suing the British Government over its decision to end support for 'farm scale' solar generators of 5MW or more. The move reflects ministerial concern about the success of the UK's fast growing solar power sector. more...
Rosetta approaching its destination after a 6 billion km journey. Image: ESA.

Rosetta shows - we can keep space plutonium-free!

Karl Grossman

5th August 2014

Deep space missions have previously run on nuclear power, writes Karl Grossman - and have twice showered Earth with radioactive debris. But the ESA's Rosetta probe, about to reach its destination, is 100% solar-powered - showing that space can be nuclear-free. 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...
MP Liz Truss with wind turbine at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/.

Britain's new Environment Secretary is a breath of fresh air

Oliver Tickell

15th July 2014

Britain's new Environment Secretary is young (38), female, blonde, believes in climate change, and has floated imaginative policies to deal with it from a carbon tax to 'personal carbon allowances'. As for badgers ... her silence on the topic promises well. more...

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