efficiency

Prime Minister Theresa May signed her Article 50 setting out the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union, 28th March 2017. Photo: Jay Allen / Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Revealed: May's secret EU mission to weaken climate and energy targets

Zachary Davies Boren
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 30th May 2017
When Prime Minister Theresa May went to Brussels to hand in her 'Article 50' Brexit notice, she was also pursuing a separate, covert objective, writes Zachary Davies Boren. Leaked papers show that the UK was lobbying to gut new EU rules and targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency - even though they will only come into force after Brexit.

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Jeremy Corbyn at a political rally in North London, 15th August 2016. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Corbyn's green vision wins: leaked manifesto promises huge environmental gains

Oliver Tickell
| 11th May 2017
A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament.

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This is what we need more of to save money and energy and reduce CO2 emissions: closed cell foam insulation installed between the rafters of this roof will keep the occupants warm for many years to come. Photo: Bryn Pinzgauer via Flickr (CC BY).

Set up for failure and corporate profit? The rotten core of the Green Deal

Sue Roberts
| 18th May 2016
The UK's 'Green Deal' energy efficiency scheme was a massive failure, writes Sue Roberts. But few knew just how bad until the NAO's report - which reveals that its main effect was to line the pockets of the Big Six energy companies, load the public with expensive loans, create a tangle of red tape, and engineer the collapse of the UK's nascent energy efficiency sector.

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The key to further big increases in wind and solar capacity is to store surplus power as gas, then burn it CCGT gas power stations when needed to meet demand. Photo: Royd Moor wind farm, Yorkshire, by steve p2008 via Flickr (CC BY).

Renewable energy can 'keep the lights on' - here's how

David Elliott
| 6th May 2016
Critics of renewable energy sources like wind and solar claim that they are inefficient, unreliable and need to be backed up by coal and gas, writes David Elliott. But we have the technology to match green power supply and demand at affordable cost without fossil fuels - by deploying the 'smart grid', using 'green gas' made from surplus power, and raising energy efficiency.

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New building in Masdar City with an old twist. Photo: André Diogo Moecke via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Traditional architecture offers relief from soaring temperatures in the Gulf

Amin Al-Habaibeh
Nottingham Trent University
| 8th November 2015
As temperatures soar in the Persian Gulf, modern buildings rely on energy-guzzling air-conditioning to maintain tolerable temperatures, writes Amin Al-Habaibeh. But traditional buildings stay cool passively using shade; wind and thermally driven ventilation; and naturally insulating, reflective materials. For a sustainable future, modern architects must revive the ancient knowledge.

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Reduced to one meagre bar; old lady fighting to keep warm in Perth, Scotland. Photo: Ninian Reid via Flickr (CC BY).

As tens of thousands die, the UK must act on fuel poverty

Mari Martiskainen
University of Sussex
| 16th October 2015
Fuel poverty is a complex problem with many causes, writes Mari Martiskainen, but it is also a deadly one for some 25,000 thousand people every year. And there is one surprisingly simple solution: a huge upgrade in the energy efficiency of our housing stock.

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Wylfa or windmills? Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, along with some greener alternatives. Photo:  Eifion via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Do the UK government's sums on Hinkley and climate change add up?

Doug Parr
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 20th August 2015
It's a fair question, writes Doug Parr, but one to which we are getting no answers - the government is keeping its sums and energy models secret. It looks as if the energy department, DECC, is making things up as it goes along to justify its pro-nuclear, anti-efficiency and anti-renewables policies. And when it all goes disastrously wrong, who will end up paying for the mess? We will.

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Green deal renovations under way. Photo: Sue Roberts.

The Green Deal is dead. Long live Fossil Fuel Freedom!

Sue Roberts
| 13th August 2015
The Green Deal was expensive, bureaucratic, complex, inefficient and so badly designed it could have been set up to fail, writes Sue Roberts. Yet it was the UK's only national home insulation scheme and its intentions were sound. What it needed was rethink and reform, not scrapping - and with it gone, there's a huge gap that desperately needs to be filled.

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Somerton wind farm, Norfolk. Photo: Lordspudz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Tories' attack on green energy threatens climate and prosperity

Noam Bergman
Lee Stapleton
Mari Martiskainen
| 5th August 2015
With the US, China, Germany and other countries firmly fixing their aim on a low carbon, renewable energy future, the UK government has chosen precisely the opposite track, write Noam Bergman, Lee Stapleton & Mari Martiskainen. Its mission to destroy wind and solar power, undercut energy efficiency and boost nuclear power and fracking threatens serious, lasting damage.

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Roofscape: the 'BedZED' (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK's largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community, was completed in 2002. Photo: Tom Chance from Peckham via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Scrapping 'zero carbon' homes is policy vandalism

Gordon Walker
| 20th July 2015
The UK Government has ditched the requirement for new homes to be 'zero carbon' from April 2016, writes Gordon Walker. With builders already geared up to meet the challenge, this needless reversal will raise energy bills and carbon emissions for a century or more to come, and send out all the wrong signals for the Paris climate talks.

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Green and pleasant - GPT head office, Sydney. Photo: Woods Bagot.

Putting people at the heart of climate-friendly buildings

John Alker
| 24th September 2014
Energy efficiency in office buildings struggles to gain the attention of top management, writes John Alker - because energy is too cheap to really matter. But with 90% of operating costs spent on staff, show that green building design makes employees happier and more productive, and you're really onto something ...

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Even with double glazed windows, it's well worth closing blinds and curtain on winter nights. Photo: Roland Ennos, Author provided.

Five easy ways to keep your home warm this winter

Roland Ennos
| 2nd January 2014
As the warmth of Christmas fades and winter proper sets in, Roland Ennos shares his tips for keeping warm in winter without spending a fortune on fuel. Simple, low-cost measures include closing curtains and blinds at night, leaning sheets of cardboard against cold outside walls, and and exploiting the insulating power of books.

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Infra-red image showing how open shop doors pour heat into our streets. Image: closethedoor.org.uk

Shut that door!

Jeannie Dawkins
| 20th December 2013
As we embark on our final splurge of Christmas shopping, spare a thought for all those heaters blasting hot air in customers' faces, set above wide open doors. Jeannie Dawkins says the waste of energy is a national disgrace that must be ended!

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Efficiency be Damned

Nicols Fox
| 19th January 2009
Far from being a silver bullet for climate change, efficiency is the driving force for ever more gluttonous consumption patterns and all the health and environmental consequences they entail

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