Category Archives: Low carbon future

Onshore wind is cheap and popular, the government needs to catch up

onshore wind smallThis post is by Sarah James, a volunteer and trustee of Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust.

I’ve shown a lot of people around Westmill Wind Farm in Oxfordshire and its neighbouring solar farm.  Thousands of people have visited the wind farm for tours and open days in its ten year life,  wanting not just to see the wind turbines, but to get up close and touch them, hear them and sometimes even lie under them, watching the blades whirl overhead.

The media and politicians have described onshore wind as controversial and unpopular in the UK. And yet our experience at Westmill is quite the opposite. It is a popular local asset that people like to visit, are curious to understand and view affectionately. Is there some reason that Westmill is unusual? Read more

The secret to warmer, greener homes lies in going Dutch

energiesprong smallReinventing Retrofit was published yesterday by Green Alliance, with support from the Zero Energy Buildings Catalyst (ZEBCat) programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. 

This blog was first posted by Business Green. 

In 2017, buildings were responsible for 22 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, compared to just 19 per cent from electricity supply. With declining coal power generation and the rise in electric vehicles, the climate impact of buildings is becoming increasingly important in the effort to cut carbon emissions. The current housing stock represents 80 per cent of the houses that will be standing in 2050 and retrofitting them to be low carbon will be a major challenge for the future. Read more

As nuclear strategy falters, the Brexit deal must prioritise electricity trading

english channel_nasa's marshall flight space center acknowledge_880The collapse of government talks with Hitachi this week takes almost 3GW of future nuclear capacity off the table. While opinion on nuclear is polarised, the UK had been relying on it to meet long term climate targets. With this week’s announcement, 9GW of proposed nuclear capacity has now been suspended. This leaves an increasing low carbon energy gap which will have to be filled by 2030 to meet legal carbon targets. Read more

It’s time to include land use in climate policy

land use smallThis post is by Sir Graham Wynne, Green Alliance trustee and chief executive of the RSPB from 1998 to 2010. 

As Professor Jim Skea said at a recent Green Alliance event, it is no longer a choice between doing big things or little things to address climate change, we have to do everything. The IPCC says we have twelve years to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees and every sector has to play a full part. Read more

How can we make sure the low carbon energy transition is fair?

small energyThis post is by Sivapriya Mothilal Bhagavathy of the University of Oxford, Samantha Crichton of the Sustainable Energy Association, Melanie Rohse of the Global Sustainability Institute and Daisy Goaman of the Centre for Sustainable Energy. 

It has been ten years since the Climate Change Act, and the UK has made significant progress in reducing emissions from the power sector, dropping them by nearly 60 per cent on 2008 levels. While five years ago fossil fuels contributed nearly two thirds of the UK’s power, by August 2018 over 60 per cent came from zero carbon sources. This is an excellent example of what clear goals, well designed policies and technological innovation can achieve. Read more

Five ways community energy provides social benefits to local people

westmill_solar_coop_photo_by_adrian_arbib_credit.jpgA recent National Trust report highlights that it is difficult to measure the tangible social benefits of community energy but that doing so is worthwhile to encourage a shift in the policy landscape to support its uptake and innovation. One thing is clear: wherever you find successful community energy projects, you will see real benefits for the local area. Here are five areas where projects are adding value:

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