Feed-in Tariffs for renewables are what the UK needs to make home-grown energy more attractive. We look at what the 'We Support Solar' coalition is doing to bring about a change, and take a look at the group's new photography competition...
As the Government commits to a high-tech revolution in the home - meters that can be read remotely and may help alter energy habits - questions are raised about data security... and whether any of us will be interested
So you want to go off-grid? Or maybe you want to find out what it’s like before taking the plunge? How about taking one room of your house off grid? It’s a less expensive way of learning the technology, before committing yourself.
Every year, each square metre of the UK receives between 900 and 1200 kWh of solar radiation. Capturing just some of this energy could make a significant contribution to fulfilling our energy requirements.
There is much talk of the possibility of a future ‘hydrogen economy’, which will power all our vehicles and homes. It is important to remember that hydrogen is not an energy source; it is an energy carrier. To obtain hydrogen it must be split from either natural gas or water molecules. The former, most widely used, method not only requires energy but also gives off carbon dioxide (CO2) in the process. Hydrogen produced in this way requires more energy to make than will eventually be returned when it is used. It makes more sense from a climate perspective to burn the natural gas itself than to convert and re-convert it to hydrogen in this way.
Each year, UK livestock produce some 60 million tonnes of collectable faeces. If left to run into water-courses or even spread on fields, this waste can lead to the same problems associated with excessive fertiliser use – algal blooms and aquatic life starved of oxygen.
It’s not what you'd expect to hear from a player in the fiercely competitive utilities sector, but Brian Smith, head of projects at Scottish and Southern Energy, has said that electricity is ‘too cheap’.
Future nuclear power plants, which are to be given the green light in the Government’s Energy White Paper later this week, will be forced to reduce their output as temperatures rise as a result of climate change, the International Herald Tribune has reported.
Do wind turbines provide an affordable means of harnessing a limitless source of clean power, or are they inefficient blots on the landscape that devastate birdlife and are more likely to exacerbate than reduce CO2 emissions?
Costing over $1 billion, the Karahnjukar hydroelectric dam in Iceland is a hugely controversial project. Mark Lynas journeyed to the blasting face, hoping to work out for himself whether this industrial elephant is green or brilliant-white.