Archive | energy and fuels RSS feed for this archive

The ‘big green bang’ in renewable energy

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function” said the late professor Albert Bartlett. We’re just not very good at projecting growth into the future. We tend to underestimate it and then be surprised by how large things have become. Often that’s bad things, ending in shortage or […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →

Is today Britain’s first day without coal?

Coal use has been declining in Britain over the last couple of years, but today could mark another major landmark. Right now there is no electricity from coal going into the national grid. There hasn’t been any all day, and if it continues this way, it’ll be Britain’s first day without coal power since the […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →

Transport innovation of the week: seaweed biofuels

Despite the threat of climate change, the world still consumes almost 100 million barrels of oil a day. Most of that goes on transport, burned in cars and trucks and planes. There’s no source of renewable liquid fuels that comes anywhere near that scale, and so the most obvious solution for transport has been electrification […]

8 Comments Continue Reading →

Transport innovation of the week: solar trains

Solar power is used on the world’s rail networks in a variety of ways. In Britain we have the solar bridge at Blackfriars, and Belgium has a solar tunnel that feeds into the network. Indian railways are pioneering solar power to run train interiors. So far I’m not aware of anyone directly powering the trains […]

10 Comments Continue Reading →

The US states taking action on climate change

Climate change action is firmly off the agenda for America’s new Republican administration. Actually that’s not true. It is on the agenda, but only to water down or remove any current commitments. Though they may change their minds at some point, for now it looks like the US government is only going to make things […]

8 Comments Continue Reading →

Iran’s renewable energy peace dividend

The idea of a ‘peace dividend’ comes from the Cold War. As the decades of tension eased and the threat of conflict receded, world leaders saw a chance to collectively reduce their military budgets. Armed forces could be demobilized, nuclear weapons destroyed, and expensive programmes drawn to a close. There were potentially huge savings, and […]

8 Comments Continue Reading →

Indian Railways is putting solar panels on trains

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the possibilities of self-charging solar vehicles, and just how many solar panels you can stick on a car. Here’s a related concept for this edition of ‘transport innovation of the week‘. Indian Railways has been exploring a variety of ways of saving energy and reducing emissions, and […]

7 Comments Continue Reading →

Building of the week: Princess Elizabeth Antarctica

Heating is the biggest use of energy in a house. That means that generally speaking, the colder the climate, the harder it is going to be to build a zero carbon home. But it should always be possible, and in an age of climate change and rising energy prices, a cold climate is no reason […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

How China is putting the brakes on coal

Last week I wrote about China and the shift in its energy policy. I mentioned that China is over-investing in coal power, and that the number of power stations being built wasn’t necessarily an indicator of coal use to come. This week we saw confirmation of that problem, as the government instructed 11 different regions […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

A map of the countries with the most renewable energy

One of the more popular posts on this blog over the past few years has been the one on countries with 100% renewable energy. It’s a list that surprises people, as there are plenty of unexpected countries on there. Here’s a map that makes the same point. It shows the countries that generate over 80% […]

4 Comments Continue Reading →