The green fields of Wiltshire have recently become the site of an impressive energy innovation. On the last day of 2015, the Braydon Manor Solar Array was connected to the grid, plugging in 9MW of solar energy, or enough to supply around 2,500 houses.
This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis. It was first posted on her blog.
Goodbye, DECC. I’ve known you for eight years. In that time, you created a world-leading system of national carbon budgeting, and oversaw an impressive growth of renewable energy. It wasn’t always easy – you were a minnow in the Whitehall ocean, and the site of many a pitched battle during the Coalition years. But you fought hard to demonstrate the benefits of a low carbon transition for the UK. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis, it first appeared on her blog.
I’ve never written such a grand title for a blog before. Perhaps I should just have called it ‘the inevitable Brexit blog’. But portentous times call for portentous titles; if there was ever a moment to rethink the big questions, surely this is it. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis, author of our 2014 report Paris 2015: Getting a global agreement on climate change. It is also published on her website.
Six years after the failure of the climate negotiations at Copenhagen, agreement has at last been reached in Paris. Can we call this success? Weighing up the outcome, the answer is emphatically “yes”, but in some senses “no”, and in large part “it depends”, on how the agreement is received, and what happens next. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis and also appears on her website.
I write this in the aftermath of Storm Desmond, which battered my home town of Kendal this weekend. I am lucky to live up a hill and, over the weekend, our house filled with flood refugees. We hunkered down to watch films as the wind howled outside. Today, a sizeable portion of my town is still under water. Schools are closed, which my kids obviously think is brilliant. But across the county of Cumbria, the devastation is truly terrible. It is only this morning, as the waters subside, that the extent of the damage to homes, livelihoods, transport and infrastructure is becoming clear. Read more
This post is by Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis who is working with us on a new research project, in collaboration with Lancaster University.
How often have you heard the lament amongst environmentalists, “what’s lacking is political will”? If only politicians understood enough, and cared enough, to confront and act on environmental issues like climate change, the argument goes, they could implement the solutions (green the economy, fine the polluters) and lead the transition to a sustainable society. Read more
This post is by independent researcher and Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis.
It’s obvious, when you think about it, that emerging industries and innovators have less of a voice in government than established players. Incumbents have a lot of advantages: they have a proven technology or system which regulators understand; they can afford to pay staff or consultants to engage and lobby; and policies and regulations are designed with them in mind. In contrast, innovators put all their effort into getting their new approach off the ground (with little time left for lobbying); regulations aren’t designed for them; and policy makers may not understand what they do. Read more
Poll after poll shows that community energy projects, whether co-operatively owned renewables or local energy action groups, are astonishingly popular. Read more
This post is by Rebecca Willis, independent adviser on environment and sustainability and Green Alliance associate, working with us on our Climate Leadership Programme. This is a shortened version of her recent presentation to the Tyndall Centre’s Radical Emissions Reduction conference.
Crossword fanatics call it the ‘penny-drop moment’, or PDM: the moment when a series of jumbled clues falls into place, and the whole picture becomes clear. I’ve seen it happen. At the end of a long question and answer session between new MPs and a climate scientist, something clicks. The politicians realise that the development of modern societies, economies, and arguably democracy itself, has only been possible because of a stable climate, and that we can’t take the climate for granted any more. There’s a tangible change of mood as this reality sinks in, and the MPs grasp the significance of climate change for the future of politics and, indeed, their own political careers. Read more
When solar panels hit brick walls: what innovation theory tells us about the future of community energy
This post is by Rebecca Willis, an independent researcher, adviser on environment and sustainability and Green Alliance associate.
I don’t envy politicians trying to talk to constituents about climate change. It’s undoubtedly one of the most crucial challenges for modern politics. But, when you’re trying to earn a living and get the kids to school, climate change can seem a remote, theoretical thing. Read more