Category Archives: Low carbon future

Why isn’t community energy playing a bigger part in the UK’s energy system?

community energy1.jpgIf you passed Norwood School in Lambeth last month, you may have seen an unusual sight: a group of teenagers on the roof. Far from misbehaving, the students were taking part in Repowering Lambeth’s Schools, a community energy project installing solar panels with a total of 264 kWp capacity on five schools and a library in the London Borough of Lambeth. As well as earning the school more money, students and the local area benefit from a community fund and solar panel making workshops.

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A breath of fresh air: the five things we should do to cut air pollution

car fumes.jpg

The right of UK citizens to breathe clean air is routinely violated. In 2018, air pollution in London exceeded the legal limit for the entire year before the end of January. Across the country, toxic air is linked to 40,000 premature deaths each year. And this is not a recent phenomenon. The air in London and most urban areas in the UK has been illegally polluted since 2010.

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Ten years on: reflections from the Grantham Institute on a decade of climate change research

180228-Prince_Albert-Grantham_Lecture-028.jpgThis post is by Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. He reflects on a decade of research and education in climate change and the environment as the institute celebrates its tenth anniversary.

 With a climate sceptic in the White House, record sea ice loss and atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.5 million years, it is easy to feel that attempts to curtail climate change and safeguard the environment have failed. However, reflecting on the past decade, it’s clear that we have come a long way in that time.

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A new springboard for women working in the energy sector

--Fotolia_202056947_S.jpgAs a policy assistant at Green Alliance, and a woman in her mid-twenties starting my career in energy, I am usually in the minority at meetings. My experience so far of the energy sector is that men are nearly always over-representated at meetings and panels, unless the organisers have made a conscious effort to include female speakers and panellists. And some attempts at increasing female representation are less than wholehearted; ‘pinkwashing’, where a woman chairs an all-male panel instead of speaking, is still common.

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Making UK vehicles 100% electric by 2030 will be an economic game changer

Electric car plugged in to electricity

This post was first published by Bright Blue

British car manufacturing history is dominated by iconic vehicles like the original Mini and the Jaguar E-type. Both are recognised and associated with British manufacturing across the world. The only electric vehicle (EV) produced in the UK is the Nissan Leaf, not a brand high on the list of cars people know Britain makes. Nor do people see the UK as a leader in the EV revolution, that credit goes to California, the birth place of Elon Musk’s Tesla.    Read more

Is decarbonising our energy system right… or left?

JCcropIt isn’t a good time to be a private provider of public services. So far, 2018 has seen the collapse of Carillion; the government intervening on the east coast mainline franchise due to imminent failure; and a public debate on the negatives of private finance initiatives. As such, it is understandable that coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech earlier this month focused so much on the nationalisation of the UK’s energy providers and the national grid. Or, as he put it, not 20th century nationalisation, but 21st century public ownership. Read more

Key points from the Committee on Climate Change’s report on the Clean Growth Strategy

34851742134_66b6b7b0e1_bThe Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today published its analysis of the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), the government’s blueprint for meeting the targets it is legally bound to achieve under the Climate Change Act.

The analysis highlights a worrying gap (of 10-65 MTCO2e) between the government’s existing policies and commitments and the requirements set under the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. To bridge this gap and minimise delivery risks, the CCC says, the government must urgently firm up the policies, proposals and intentions laid out in the Clean Growth

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Five expert insights on Brexit and energy

1331541437_ca6433862f_bOn 13 November, we invited the EU’s former director general of DG Energy, Sir Philip Lowe, to speak to a small specialist audience about the likely impacts of Brexit on energy and climate policy. Sir Philip, who was in post from 2010 to 2014, is well qualified to comment: he has deep expertise across key EU institutions and is currently chair of the World Energy Council’s energy trilemma initiative. The meeting sparked interesting conversations, including around Sir Philip’s recent publication, Brexit and energy. This post reports the main insights from our discussion.  Read more

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