Sally Hill | 09.07.10
It has been a week of exciting events and developments for sustainable transport.
Here in the UK, Greenhouse kept a close eye on the Eco Rally, which showcased a hoard of new alternativelly-fuelled vehicles.
And more fascinating still, there was news of a solar-powered plane which took a 24hr flight in the darkness. The story was first reported here by Inhabitat that the plane, the Solar Impulse, was about to embark on a trial journey. The plane successfully completed the trip and landed in Switzerland 26 hours later.
The flight will progress investment in solar-powered aircraft, with particular emphasis given to the fact that the plane was able to store enough energy to fly in darkness. While a commercial solar flight is still a long way off, this is a trail-blazing design and a huge step forward, and shows that the seemingly impossible can be done. You can follow Solar Impulse flights in real time on Solar Impulse TV.
Here are the links we loved this week:
'Glastonbury's Call to Eco-Conscious Arms'
Daisy Dumas seeks out 'eco-ness' at the festival and discovers it is built into the design of the festival.
(The Evening Standard)
'Eco Rally: A Green Car Race from London to Brighton'
Profile of Dale Vince's wind car entry into the 2010 Rally.
'Healthier Office Spaces Benefit Everyone'
The 'Living Office' at the Chelsea Flower Show designed around research that shows the link between plants and fresh air and productivity.
'What Does the UK Public Want to Drive?'
Gap exists between those who want to be sustainable and those who would be willing to buy an electric vehicle.
'Greenpeace Names, Shames Companies Over Deforestation'
Tesco named among those responsible for large scale forest destruction and species loss in Indonesia
'Take Up of School Lunches Rises in 2009-2010'
Release of figures shows uptake growing in both primary and secondary schools
(School Food Trust)
'Eco Rally Sparks Conversation About the Future of Transport'
What participants had to say about the 2010 Eco Rally and what it means for transport.
'European Union Could Cut Emissions by 95% With Renewables - Greenpeace'
Report from Greenpeace says savings would easily outweight investment in renewables.
'Gordon Brown's Vegetable Patch Goes to Seed'
The Brown's beloved vegetable patch has been overlooked by David and Samantha Cameron.
Oh My God What Happened
'The Book for Everyone Who Wants to Move Into the Digital Era of Awesomeness'
Sally Hill | 03.09.10
This week saw a number of stories about energy companies investing in projects driven by the new feed-in tariff. We heard that Eaga is looking for 250,000 sunny roofs to power profit and Centrosolar joined the UK feed-in tariff gold rush.
At the same time, an open letter to Chris Huhne from a coalition of green groups urged the Energy secretary was not to cut the feed-in tariff subsidies, after suggestions they may be slashed.
The exciting announcements from the Bristol Organic Food Festival continue with star chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to appear at the festival and present the Soil Association's organic food awards.
If you want to be there, you can still win one of 20 pairs of tickets by entering Yeo Valley's competition.
Another story looking at the mainstreaming of organic asked 'Why is Organic Food More Expensive, and When Will it Change?', and Greenhouse put together a quick guide to 'Why (and how) to Choose Organic'.
Here are the links we loved this week:
Sally Hill | 01.10.10
The mini-movie 'No Pressure' is the latest from the clever campaigners at 10:10. While the film is a bit gory, it will definitely have a wide reach and a high impact, which is great news.
Here are the links we loved this week:
Greta Jonyniate | 04.08.11
It might seem crazy, but solar energy has been harnessed by humans since the ancient times: the Greeks and Romans used magnifying glasses to burn the sails of enemy ships, the ancient Chinese used concentrated solar power for heat energy and Native Americans used hot springs as renewable geothermal sources for cooking and healing.
So many centuries have passed and yet we are still learning new ways to use what Mother Nature has given us. Whilst roofs with solar panels might not surprise us anymore (although we would like to see more of them!), here are a few inventions which we put together just for a bit of fun.
Greta Jonyniate | 26.08.11
A recent Chinese study suggesting that solar power could achieve grid parity by 2015 has provoked calls in the UK for the government to bolster its own support for the renewable energy technology. Howard Johns, chairman of the UK's Solar Trade Association (STA), said the report showed solar power "is not a technology anyone can afford to ignore" and he urged the government to boost its backing for solar. Read the full article on Business Green website Report: Chinese solar power could reach grid parity by 2015
Great news, according to the annual Farmer Confidence Survey, 51% of farmers in England and Wales have started to feel more confident about the future of the industry. The report also highlights that one in five businesses have seen an increase in their profits. Read the full article Growing Optimism about farming’s future on the Farmers Weekly website.
Finally, the London School of Economics (LSE) revealed that the recent boom in the number of people cycling is worth around £3bn to the national economy. The report also predicts that if the current cycling levels would increase by a further 20 per cent by 2015, then this could save the economy an additional £440m; £207m through reduced traffic congestion, £71m due to lower pollution levels, £107m by reducing premature deaths and £52m in NHS savings. Read the full article HERE
The most clicky story of the week:
5 Reasons Why Going Solar is About More Than Just Money
Whether it's the moral case for embracing renewables, or the way that solar panels change your relationship to energy, we've heard many an argument for why Return On Investment (ROI) is not the be-all-and-end-all for deciding when to go solar.
Some other links we loved this week:
Planet Earth is home to 8.7 million species, scientists estimate
Latest bid to count and catalogue the living world is billed as the most accurate yet, but only a tiny proportion is known to science
The young activist’s guide to building a green movement
Sharon J. Smith’s book acts as an inspirational guide for the youth of today to taking environmental matters into their own hands
Best eco friendly chandeliers for a green ambience
In today’s times, when resources are becoming scarce and where each attempt in going into preserving the Earth for our future generations, people from all walks of life are looking at prospects of achieving work the ‘green’ way.
Back to Shool: 5 Universities Lead For Sustainable Fashion Studies
As the lazy days of summer end, a generation of aspiring fashion designers is heading to school to design the clothing of the future.
Sustainable Packaging Goes Beyond Size
When you buy a product, your decision drives a series of environmental impacts. Imagine the benefits if everyone considered the impact of packaging as part of their buying decisions, benefits measured in the billions of pounds of packaging manufactured, shipped and disposed of each year.
7 eco-friendly ways to keep your home safe while you're traveling
These tips will allow you to stay focused on enjoying the trip, and know that your abode will be A-OK when you return.
(All MNN Content)
Greta Jonyniate | 25.11.11
The Commons debate attempting to block the government's controversial decision to slash incentives for solar installations was defeated last night, after a mooted rebellion from Lib Dem backbenchers failed to materialise. "The Government are forging ahead with a cut which is going to cost the Treasury a fortune, as well as devastate a thriving industry," said Howard Johns of the Cut Don't Kill campaign. Read Howard’s article, Just another day in the Commons – where we merrily destroy the PV sector with spin, on the Business Green website to hear the inside story.
Huhne unveiled details in parliament of the coalition's flagship energy and climate policy, the "green deal", under which 14m homes could be fitted with insulation and other energy-saving measures, in a move that the government hopes will create 65,000 new jobs and help millions of people out of fuel poverty. Housholders will be able to take out loans of up to £10,000 over a 25-year term, and in some circumstances will be able to borrow more. Read the full article HERE
The Duke of Edinburgh has unleashed a scathing attack on the UK's wind turbine industry, calling onshore wind farms a "useless". According to Infinergy's managing director Esbjorn Wilmar, Prince Philip said that onshore wind turbines are "absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace". Britain has 3,421 turbines, of which more than 2,900 are onshore. Thousands more will need to be built if the Government is to meet its target of generating 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020. Read the full article HERE
Ethical bank Triodos is to expand in Scotland, opening its first high street office in the UK in Edinburgh. Dr. Bevis Watts, head of business banking for Triodos in the UK, said: "Naturally everybody wants to feel the benefit of their savings working for them but I think the financial crisis has really heightened what people's money is doing. Read the full article HERE
And finally, last Friday in Trafalgar Square Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London and the campaigner Tristram Stuart spoke to the public to raise awareness of the cost of throwing good food away. An estimated 30% of fruit and veg are rejected by supermarkets for not meeting cosmetic standards. Read the full article on The Times website.
The most clicky story of the week:
Waste food feeds 5,000 for lunch at Trafalgar Square
Wonky carrots, misshapen potatoes and tonnes of food rejected by supermarkets have been used to give 5,000 people a free curry lunch in Trafalgar Square.
Some other links we loved this week:
Gates pushes for green investment
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world, has called upon the US government to triple its research spending on clean-energy
Retail and food industry improving palm oil sourcing, says WWF
WWF praises companies such as Cadbury and Unilever for using sustainable palm oil, but says situation is still bad
The raw milk revolution
Why a growing army of foodies is drinking unpasteurised, unhomogenised milk
Five green options for your rooftop
How to find an eco friendly solution for your home
5 tips to make your children’s birthday party eco-friendly
Eco friendly party
Greta Jonyniate | 25.01.12
Solar companies celebrated today after the Court of Appeal ruled out that government cuts to household solar subsidies were illegal, suggesting thousands of homes and businesses will now be able to claim higher payments.
The appeal court's unanimous decision was a victory for environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth (FoE) and the two solar companies - Solarcentury and HomeSun – who’d said the plans to halve subsidies were creating "huge economic uncertainty".
Cut Don’t Kill campaign spokesman Howard Johns said:“We are delighted that the High Court has rejected the Government’s attempt to overturn the original ruling against this hasty and poorly thought out tariff cut. The Government’s proposals threaten tens of thousands of jobs, and would devastate a high tech green industry which has fantastic economic and environmental potential. Ministers should accept this ruling, and must not drag this on to the Supreme Court – the longer their legal wrangling continues, the more harm they do by leaving uncertainty hanging over 25,000 British workers.”
Friends of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins hailed the appeal ruling as a "landmark judgment".
Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, described the appeal court ruling as "a historic judgment that should be welcomed by the entire renewable energy industry".
Daniel Green, chief executive of HomeSun, said: "Almost everybody except DECC have appreciated the potential and importance of the solar industry – from the National Trust, the Church of England through to the CBI as well as the British people. Surely this must be the point at which Chris Huhne stops taking the side of the big six energy companies and realise that solar is part of our future."
However, it has been confirmed that DECC will take its case to the Supreme Court - a move that has been criticised by campaigners who claim the Government should be working on minimising damage to the industry rather than creating more uncertainty.
Catch up on the full story following the articles below:
Solar subsidies cuts: UK government loses court appeal – The Guardian
Government loses solar panel appeal – The Independent
Solar companies celebrate victory on subsidies – The Financial Times
Government loses solar panel appeal - The Press Association
Government cut to solar tariffs blocked as appeal fails - BBC News
Government loses appeal over solar subsidy cut - Telegraph.co.uk
Breaking: Government loses crucial solar appeal – Business Green
Breaking: DECC loses feed-in tariff appeal – Solar Power Portal
Greta Jonyniate | 28.02.12
News stories – 28th February 2012
Top news stories
Global development podcast: Focus on the fair trade movement – The Guardian
Pollution row after minister deems air quality goals too costly – The Guardian
UK edges closer to first CCS plant, as Davey pledges support – Business Green
Fairtrade boom drives green standards adoption – Business Green
Does solar still have a bright future? – FT Adviser
Renewable co-operative reinvests £20000 into local community – Solar Power Portal
Solar map will surely help all of us decide - This is Bristol
Debate whether windfarms are ugly but not their efficiency, says Lord Turner – The Guardian
Has the wind revolution stalled in the UK? – The Guardian
Do wind turbines kill birds and bats? – The Guardian
Wind turbines bring in 'risk-free' millions for rich landowners – The Guardian
Overfishing by European trawlers could continue if EU exemption agreed – The Guardian
Meatier prices give farmers a rare boost - FT
Shark fin soup is bad for the environment and your brain - Greenfudge
Paradise restored: Coalition gives £7.5m to conserve nature hotspots – The Independent
Ernst & Young: Green energy investors turned on to UK opportunity – Business Green
DECC dishes out first grant from £5m offshore wind supply chain pot – Business Green
Campaign calls for link between £4bn carbon tax and Green Deal – Business Green
London's red buses get greener still with Routemaster launch – Business Green
Fairtrade boom shows why green firms need to start making more noise – Business Green
The Self-Sufficiency Manual: A Complete Practical Guide to Living Off the Land – The Ecologist
Warming Arctic Means More Tundra Fires—And More Warming - Treehugger
Greta Jonyniate | 29.02.12
News stories – 29th February 2012
Top news stories
Heartland associate taught 'biased' climate course at Ottawa university – The Guardian
Fukushima, a year on: 3,000 workers take on the twisted steel and radiation– The Guardian
RenewableUK unites with UK's largest union to drive green jobs – Business Green
EU vote expected to back plan to prop up carbon price – Business Green
Solar Investing – FT Adviser
Solar scheme hopes for 18th century home - This is Gloucestershire
Bristol City Council charts its solar potential – Solar Power Portal
Wind myths: Turbines increase carbon emissions – The Guardian
Wind myths: Turbines can damage your health – The Guardian
Opposition groups kick up storm over windfarms in Wales – The Guardian
Cameron leads defence of wind energy policy – Business Green
Mexico City's floating gardens threatened by urbanisation – The Guardian
Food giants cook up sustainable beef masterplan – Business Green
Animal health 'a key part of keeping the world fed' - Scotsman
Seattle to Create Nation's Largest Public Food Forest – Treehugger
What are the options for financing climate change adaptation? – The Guardian
Intelligent Energy fundraising nets $30m - FT
UK rises to fifth place in global renewable investment league Solar Power Portal
Challenging year ahead for renewables investments – Ernst & Young Environmental Finance
New Zealand's penguin power – The Independent
Lofty ambitions: why green roofs are the future of urban gardening – The Ecologist
The Ecologist meets… eco designer Alice Asquith – The Ecologist
6 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint – Inhabitat
Greta Jonyniate | 05.03.12
News stories – 5th of March 2012
Top news stories
Plea to Osborne: keep up the heat for our green jobs – The Sunday Times
BP yet to finalise £5bn settlement over Gulf of Mexico oil spill – The Guardian
Ancient woodlands under threat from new planning laws, campaigners warn – The Guardian
Lord Smith: The man who hopes his flow of ideas will save us from drought – The Independent
Water levels in 250 stretches of river are dangerously low – The Independent
Germany to cut solar power subsidies – The Guardian
German solar incentive cut to be delayed: sources Reuters UK
Greenbury Energy launches to give South Yorkshire an energy boost- Solar Power Portal
Solar revolution could bring power to 1.4 billion people- Responding to Climate Change
Wind power adds £45bn to cost of climate targets – The Sunday Times
How much profit will a turbine turn? - Telegraph.co.uk
Brian Monteith: Tories could benefit from wind farm fears - Scotsman
Opposition gathers over wind farms - H&V News
Now the Asparagus crop arrives a month early because of our mild winter weather – Daily Mail
Cattle virus hits nine more farms – The Independent
Is the food revolution just a great big fat lie? – The Guardian
The People's Supermarket: where even the smell of baking bread is genuine – The Guardian
Organic product sales in UK fall by 3.7% in 2011 – The Guardian
Agroforestry comes of age, but will UK farmers embrace it? – The Ecologist
Guinness Starts a Fund for U.K. Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency – Bloomberg
Report: US Green Deal-style financing could help yield $1tr in energy savings – Business Green
Chu unveils $180m offshore wind innovation fund – Business Green
Energy savings to finance the Bridgelux-Chevron LED deal – Ecofriend
Top 10… green travel blogs – The Ecologist
Plastic Bag Makers Challenge San Francisco's Plastic Bag Ban - Treehugger
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie To Build Eco-Friendly Theme Park for Their Six Kids - Inhabitat
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