October 30th, 2015 by Richard Lord
Frenchman Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting, didn’t mince words when he spoke at the Business for Environment conference in London in September 2015.
“We absolutely need to save more energy than we do today and we need to do it faster,” he said.
There’s an absolute sense of urgency to this quest because of two striking facts.
The climate is changing and our demand for energy is increasing because the global population is growing, people are moving from rural areas to cities, there is a rising middle class, and an ageing population.
Demand for energy is growing twice as fast as the rate that we are currently saving energy.
The good news is that there are financially viable technologies available to save energy. Continue reading
October 23rd, 2015 by Richard Lord
Trevor Hutchings, Director of Advocacy at the WWF-UK, and formerly leading the low carbon economy programme at the UK government’s Department of Energy & Climate Change, had the last word at the B4E Climate Summit conference in London in September 2015 by making a clarion call to conference delegates to promote the need and opportunity for energy efficiency and energy productivity.
He praised the fact that in many countries economic growth had been decoupled from carbon emissions but recognised that although momentum for energy productivity was building, the pace and scale of progress wasn’t rapid enough.
He highlighted the huge opportunities for improved energy efficiency in the UK economy.
“Energy efficiency should be an infrastructure priority,” he said.
Implementing cost-effective energy efficiencies, such as the installation of energy efficient street lighting, could represent a saving of 10% of the UK’s overall energy consumption, which would displace the need for some new power stations. Continue reading
October 6th, 2015 by Richard Lord
Speaking at the Business for the Environment Climate Summit in London on 9 September 2015, George Ferguson CBE, the architect and charismatic Mayor of Bristol, gave an impassioned speech about the imperative and urgency to make cities and communities more energy efficient.
He wrote the booklet “Races Against Time” in 1983 and said that action to become more energy efficient and resilient was more urgent now than ever as ‘we haven’t moved far enough’.
During his short tenure as Mayor of Bristol he has been a strong advocate for action to tackle climate change.
Mayor Ferguson holds the portfolio for Energy, Climate Change and Resilience with the Core Cities which include ten Core cities in the UK from Glasgow to Cardiff, and eight of the principal English cities that are not London.
He described Bristol as a historic, complex and hilly city of 500,000 people with a third of its area covered with greenery and water. Continue reading
September 25th, 2015 by European Climate Foundation
According to the Arabella Advisors report published on 22 September 2015, the movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy and climate solutions has grown 50-fold in the last year to reach $2.6 trillion.
More than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals have pledged to divest from fossil fuel investments.
Recent pledges have come from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Norway Pension Fund, the Canadian Medical Association, the World Council of Churches, and the University of California system.
These commitments include governments and investors from 43 countries and multiple sectors, including pension funds, health, education, philanthropy, faith, entertainment, climate justice and municipalities. Continue reading
May 6th, 2015 by DCNS
The Irish headquartered business is planning delivery of two of the world’s first grid connected tidal arrays in France and Canada in 2015.
OpenHydro will also install two grid-connected, 16 metre turbines at EDF’s Paimpol–Bréhat site off the Brittany coast.
The company has almost one gigawatt of projects under development – equivalent to 25% of Ireland’s electricity demand.
OpenHydro’s commercial portfolio comprises projects in Scotland, the Channel Islands, Canada, Northern Ireland and France, with utility partners including SSE Renewables, Alderney Renewable Energy (ARE), Emera, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and EDF. Continue reading
September 10th, 2014 by Nature
In a comment piece in this week’s Nature, Professor John Mathews and Dr Hao Tan write that countries should follow China’s lead and boost markets for water, wind and solar power technologies to drive down costs.
The authors argue that by placing the emphasis on production scale and market growth, China is driving down costs and thereby “contributing more than any other country to a climate-change solution.”
As the scale of Chinese manufacturing has grown — production of solar cells has expanded about 100-fold since 2005 — the costs of renewable-energy devices have plummeted.
Countries such as Germany and South Korea, like China, are boosting their national renewable-energy industries and markets.
But others, including the USA and the UK, seem yet to notice this shift and are pursuing ineffective energy policies, including considering alternative fossil-fuels sources, putting trade tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels, and importing energy technologies.
“As in China, renewables must be seen as a source of energy security, not just of reduced carbon emissions,” the authors wrote in their comment piece.
The authors also highlight the need for international climate and energy discussions to address the role of markets and financial drivers in delivering renewable technologies and energy to everyone.
September 7th, 2014 by RenewableUK
Leading UK renewable energy trade bodies have come together to launch “key tests” for the UK political parties ahead of the next UK general election.
The grouping, which includes ADBA (Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association), the British Photovoltaic Association, the Renewable Energy Association, RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables, and the Solar Trade Association, has launched a renewables manifesto statement and campaign hosted on the Action for Renewables website.
Action for Renewables encourages public support for more renewable energy and is chaired by leading environmentalist Dr Tony Juniper.
Renewable energy provides 15% of Britain’s power today and is set to provide nearly a third by 2020. Continue reading
September 4th, 2014 by RenewableUK
RenewableUK said that August 2014 was an exceptional month for wind energy, with new records set and electricity generation levels exceeding both nuclear and coal generation, according to official National Grid statistics.
On five separate occasions, wind energy overtook coal-fired plants for electricity generation over a single day, which is the first time this has ever happened in the UK.
Electricity produced by UK wind energy exceeded the electricity generated from coal on the 3, 9, 11, 12 and 17 August 2014.
This strong performance continued towards the end of the month when onshore and offshore wind generated more than Continue reading
March 30th, 2014 by Chalmers
Greenhouse gas emissions from food production may threaten the UN climate target of limiting global warming to 2° Celsius, according to research at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, which is published in “The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets” in the Journal of Climate Change.
On Monday 31 March 2014 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents their report on the impacts of climate change.
Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy and transportation sectors currently account for the largest share of climate pollution.
However, a study from Chalmers now shows that eliminating these emissions would not guarantee staying below the UN limit.
Emissions from agriculture threaten to keep increasing as global meat and dairy consumption increases.
March 25th, 2014 by World Meteorological Organization
The year 2013 demonstrated the dramatic impact of droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones on people and property in all parts of the planet, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate.
The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend.
It provided a snapshot of regional and national temperatures and extreme events as well as details of ice cover, ocean warming, sea level rise and greenhouse gas concentrations – all inter-related and consistent indicators of our changing climate.
Thirteen of the fourteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, culminating with 2001-2010 as the warmest decade on record. Continue reading