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Gemasolar solar thermal power plant, Spain, uses molten salt storage to run 24 hours per day. Photo: Beyond Zero Emissions via Flickr, CC-BY.

2015 will see nuclear dream fade as wind and solar soar

Paul Brown

30th December 2014

Governments are still spending billions on nuclear research, writes Paul Brown - but 2015 looks like being an unhappy year for the industry as it continues to shrink while renewables grow, amid massive delays and cost over-runs. more...
Black smoke at Fukushima Daichi, 24th March 2011. Photo: deedavee easyflow via Flickr.

Fukushima and the institutional invisibility of nuclear disaster

John Downer

20th December 2014

The nuclear industry and its supporters have contrived a variety of narratives to justify and explain away nuclear catastrophes, writes John Downer. None of them actually hold water, yet they serve their purpose - to command political and media heights, and reassure public sentiment on 'safety'. But if it's so safe, why the low limits on nuclear liabilities? 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...
A reminder to conservation scientists: not only can one little nuclear bomb ruin your whole day, it can also wipe out a whole lot of biodiversity.

Nuclear power and biodiversity - don't forget WMD proliferation!

Dr Jim Green

18th December 2014

Nuclear energy is essential to preserve the world's biodiversity, according to 69 conservation scientists. But there's a mysterious omission in their analysis, writes Jim Green: nuclear weapons proliferation. And after a major exchange of nuclear bombs, and the 'nuclear winter' that would follow, exactly how much biodiversity would survive? more...
Reduced to one meagre bar of an electric fire, an old lady fights to keep warm in Perth, Scotland. Meanwhile Centrica's CEO rakes in £3.7 million a year. Photo: Ninian Reid via Flickr.

Reclaim the power! It's time to deprivatise Britain's energy

Sam Lund-Harket

16th December 2014

Privatised energy has failed us, writes Sam Lund-Harket. While energy company chiefs earn millions of pounds a year, one in ten English households live in fuel poverty. But there is another way. All over the world countries and communities are taking energy, water and other essential public services back under democratic control. more...
If you want one of these, best put a good distance between you and the nearest fracking well. Photo: Adriano Aurelio Araujo via Flickr.

Miscarriage and stillbirth linked to fracking chemical exposure

Tamsin Paternoster

15th December 2014

Fracking for oil and gas uses a wide range of chemicals that disrupt reproductive function in both sexes, writes Tamsin Paternoster. Now an academic study has found a powerful correlation between stillbirth, miscarriage, low sperm count, and exposure to fracking chemicals. 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...
This roman aqueduct near Haifa in modern-day Israel took water to Caesaria, the civilian and military capital of Judaea. But ultimately, most of the water flowed to Rome itself - if in virtual form. Photo: C. J.™ via Flickr.

The food-water-energy nexus defeated the Romans. It could defeat us too

Jonathan Bridge

13th December 2014

As well as being masters of water engineering, the Romans also engaged in a long distance trade in water across the Mediterranean - embodied in grain, oil, wine, cloth, metals and other goods. They also discovered the food-water-energy nexus - and not in a good way. We need to heed the warnings from Roman history. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

UK's €46 billion bid for EIB nuclear loan

The Ecologist

11th December 2014

The UK is bidding for a massive €46 billion loan from the European Investment Bank to finance the construction of three new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point, Wylfa and Moorside - while Poland is seeking €8bn for huge new coal mines and power plants and €12bn for new nuclear. more...
Downtown East Liverpool. Photo: Caitlin Johnson.

Appalachia: a small city's fight against toxic waste incineration

Caitlin Johnson

5th December 2014

East Liverpool, a small city by the Ohio river, is a cancer-ridden dumping ground for the detritus of the global economy, writes Caitlin Johnson. With its filthy power station, coal ash lake, 1,300 fracking wells, silica sand mountains and a huge toxic waste incinerator, the city's people need your help in their fight for environmental justice. more...
Under the new 'capacity market' regulations, Britain's dirtiest coal-fired plants are set to benefit. Photo: Dom Atreides via Flickr.

UK's 'unlawful' £35 billion support to fossil fuels in ECJ challenge

Oliver Tickell

4th December 2014

The UK Government plans to lock consumers into a 2.5bn a year, 15-year spend to support peak-time fossil power generation - while undermining energy demand savings capable of achieving the same purpose more cleanly and cheaply. But today the 'unlawful' system has been hit by an ECJ lawsuit. more...
Even with double glazed windows, it's well worth closing blinds and curtain on winter nights. Photo: Roland Ennos, Author provided.

Five easy ways to keep your home warm this winter

Roland Ennos

2nd January 2014

As the warmth of Christmas fades and winter proper sets in, Roland Ennos shares his tips for keeping warm in winter without spending a fortune on fuel. Simple, low-cost measures include closing curtains and blinds at night, leaning sheets of cardboard against cold outside walls, and and exploiting the insulating power of books. more...

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The Real Costs of Fracking - front cover.

Exposed: what fracking really does to you, your family, pets and food

Allison Wilson

25th February 2015

America's shale gas boom threatens families, pets, and food, writes Allison Wilson. Fresh from her reading of 'The Real Costs of Fracking', she finds a host of adverse health impacts on those living near fracking sites, the toxic pollution of the food chain, and a wall of corporate and official secrecy. more...
A 'net zero carbon' development of 780 homes at Graylingwell Park, Chichester, with a centralised gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) system run by an independent energy services company. Photo: Zero Carbon Hub.

Critics denounce latest 'zero carbon homes' exemptions as 'nonsensical'

Alex Stevenson

2nd December 2014

With continuing Coalition in-fighting over the troubled 'zero carbon homes' programme, writes Alex Stevenson, a plan is afoot to allow homes on smaller developments to meet a less demanding energy performance standard - but still carry the 'zero-carbon' label. Critics denounce the plan as 'nonsensical'. more...
Villagers stand in the ruins of their house after the 2001 eviction of Tabaco. Photo: London Mining Network.

Stop forced displacements by Cerrejon Coal in Colombia!

Richard Solly

3rd December 2014

Las Casitas is a small community living on the edge of one of the world's largest coal mines, writes Richard Solly - one inhabited by the descendants of escaped slaves, located in the poorest region of Colombia. The village is under imminent threat of forced displacement by the brutal corporation that runs the Cerrejón coal mine. more...
Male, Maldives, October 2010: President Nasheed installs solar panels on the Presidential Residence in 2010 - 18 months before the coup which brought his term of office to an end.

Move over big power - the micropower revolution is here!

Morgan Saletta

29th November 2014

Small scale renewables are - almost un-noticed by policy makers - providing a quarter of the world's electricity, up from 10% in 2000, writes Morgan Saletta. Forget fracking and nuclear - this is the real energy revolution that's under way, and it's cutting big fossil fuel and centralised power grids out of the picture, while reducing emissions and delivering energy security and resilience. more...
Nuclear power station 1 at Three Mile Island, still in operation now long after the partial meltdown in the TMI-2 reactor in 1979. Photo: joelsp via Flickr.

There's no place for nuclear in the 'Clean Power Plan'

Tim Judson / NIRS

28th November 2014

The EPA's plan for 'clean power' are welcome, writes Tim Judson - except for its inclusion of nuclear, and economic distortions and serious omissions that favour the technology. In this open letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, he and co-signatories call on her to ditch the 'false and irrational assumptions' used to justify both new and existing nuclear power. 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...
Australia’s official forecasts for expanding fossil fuel exports don’t match up with what’s needed to avoid severe climate change. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr, CC BY.

Wake up Australia! Your coal exports are being left stranded

Stephen Bygrave

30th November 2014

Australia is betting the farm on huge increases in coal exports, writes Stephen Bygrave - just as key markets in China, India, Korea and Japan are drying up, with rising tariffs and huge renewable energy and efficiency programs. The policy is totally out of touch with reality - and will lead to revenue shortfalls in the AU$100 billions. more...
Early stages of construction on the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in France, which was due to open in 2012, but is running five years late. Photo: Schoella via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C hovers on the brink - Europe's nuclear giants face meltdown

Paul Brown

25th November 2014

Doubts are growing doubts that the Hinkley C nuclear power station, the EU's biggest construction project, will get the final go-ahead from the UK government, writes Paul Brown. And that's leaving the European nuclear industry, already in serious financial difficulties, facing a struggle for survival. more...
Solar reflectors being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project. Photograph: Dana Smillie / World Bank.

World Bank to focus on 'all forms of renewable energy'

John Vidal / the Guardian

25th November 2014

The president of the World Bank has promised to back out of financing coal developments, and instead target its finance at 'every dimension of renewable energy' under a new climate-friendly strategy. 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...
Looks like they got it right: the 2014 People's Climate March in New York City. Photo: South Bend Voice via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

UNEP calls for world to be carbon neutral in 40 years

Helle Abelvik-Lawson / Greenpeace Energy Desk

3rd January 2014

If the world is to hit crucial climate change targets, emissions must reach 'net zero' much sooner than previously thought, by 2055-2070, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson - and then go into reverse as we pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. more...
'So can you build this bloody power station or can't you?' Cameron gets tough with EDF workers on a visit to the Hinkley Point C site. Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr.

Hinkley C hit by surprise treble whammy - is it all over for EDF?

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

20th November 2014

EDF has already moved heavy earth moving gear onto the Hinkley C nuclear power station construction site, writes Doug Parr - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. On the contrary, a host of intractable problems are coming home to roost, and the increasingly troubled project is looking shakier than ever. more...
At 7.40 am on 2nd May 2012 a Greenpeace activist flew over the Bugey power station on a yellow paraglider. But this time, it's something different! Photo: Greenpeace video / Youtube.

Mystery drones are buzzing around French nuclear plants - should we be worried?

Daniel Salisbury & Christopher Hobbs

20th November 2014

With unidentified drones regularly overflying French nuclear power plants, Daniel Salisbury and Christopher Hobbs warn that despite the dismissive responses of nuclear operators, they have cause for concern: the drones may be unable to cause serious damage in themselves, but they compromise site security and open the way to future attacks. more...

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