I have some exciting news today. It’s finally happening.
There’s a world-wide renewable energy boom going on.
All the metrics are there. In terms of investment, capacity, jobs and proportion of the total energy mix, renewables are surging ahead and showing no sign of slowing down. About time, hey?
“A flurry of end-of-year reports have revealed rising deployment, record-breaking generation and surging market demand.”
– Business Green
Wind turbines in Iowa, USA. Photography by Samir Luther, Creative Commons Licensing.
Global investments in renewable energy hit an all time high of $329 (£230) billion in 2015. This was 4% higher than 2014.. Well over half of these investments came from the Asia Pacific region, with China leading the way. Investments have increased five-fold over the last decade and renewable energy now accounts for over half of all extra capacity added each year. So all the signs suggest this figure will be even chubbier in 2016. Despite Germany loving up the domestic solar, Europe is no longer the driver of renewable energy worldwide: the emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and South Africa are where the action is happening. Continue reading →
It’s that time again. As we get over our NYE hangovers, it’s time to look back over the last year and look forward to the new one. After 22 years I’m still not 100% used to the way we get periodically tossed into the future like this. But here we go. Continue reading →
The UK is seriously behind the curve on energy policy.
The Tories have just announced they’re going to make true on their manifesto commitment and axe the subsidy for onshore wind turbines a year ahead of schedule, in 2016. And of course they have also cemented their full support for fracking the country to pieces.
Here’s a really cool short video I found on Films for Action about the energy revolution we so desperately need and deserve – a democratised renewable energy system designed to meet all our energy needs sustainably rather than just make a few corporations obscenely rich. And that includes the billion people currently living without power. Give it a watch!
Also – I apologise for my lack of posting recently. I’m two and half months away from finishing my degree, I’m working voluntarily for the Post Growth Institute and the UK’s Green Party and I have a job as a waitress as well. I’m just a bit busy basically. I have loads of ideas I’m dying to put into words though. Come June I’ll be back on to regular blogging.
In dear David Cameron’s so called “reshuffle” of his cabinet, (in preparation for next year’s general election), he appears to have done what we previously thought impossible: made his party even more of a sick joke. Why am I being so harsh? Well, his new environment and energy ministers both oppose green energy. Continue reading →
Yesterday I excitedly posted an article waxing lyrical about a new project to turn roads into solar-panel-covered roads that could generate all the clean energy the US needs if replicated nation-wide.
Solar cycle lane. Artist’s rendition by Katherine Simons.
Apologising for being cynical, one of my lovely environmentally-conscious friends commented that he didn’t think it was a practical idea, and directed me to this article that dismisses solar roadways as a wild fancy. Well, I think they have a couple of fair points, and a fair few not-so-valid points. Let’s walk through them. Continue reading →
This is just about the best idea I’ve heard of in a very long time.
Solar Roadways are pretty much what they say on the tin: solar panels that cover the roads, generating clean electricity. They can also cover car parks, pavements, cycle lanes and any other impenetrable surface. The solar panels are encased in modular, hexagon-shaped tiles that can be replaced individually and are topped with a special kind of glass which can withstand even the heaviest trucks driving over it. The tiles are partly made with recycled materials, and they heat up slightly so as to melt snow and ice – meaning less snow-clearing costs, safer winter roads and of course year round functionality of the solar panels.
And the best bit?
How much energy these things could actually generate. The calculations, which use conservative estimates based on one of the least sunny states, show that if all roads in the USA were solar roads,each year they would generate three times the power the whole country used in 2009.
Hey everyone, hope you’re enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine.
In my last post I mentioned how busy I’ve been working on my new radio show, Future Focus – a talk show all about sustainability for an online community radio station. I’m so excited to tell you that the first episode is ready for your listening-pleasure!
Unfortunately they somehow forgot to tell me when it’d be broadcast, so I was sitting here waiting for the heads up when they actually aired it six days ago without telling me. No worries though, because they mixcloud all their shows. Here’s the link to the episode, which centres around sustainable energy in the UK.
This is the first time I’ve worked with the radio so it’s a learning process! I’ve already learnt buckets of stuff that’ll help me out in the next episode, so I’m sure I’ll improve my presenting skills as I go along.
Please have a listen, share with interested friends, and let me know what you think!
The next episode is going to be about sustainable food, so watch this space.
Radio Free Brighton – an online community radio station.