The Energy Blog

Is it really renewable, for peat’s sake?

Is it really renewable, for peat’s sake?

by Lydia Cole

During the ‘Energy Debate’ panel hosted on Friday 13 November as part of Energy Ethics 2020, it became clear that the challenges of powering the world on renewable technologies were as palpable as the need to overcome them in order to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels; and reducing this reliance is imperative if we are to limit the impacts of ongoing climate change.

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The Work of Activism

The Work of Activism

by Sarah O’Brien

Supporters and opponents of fossil fuel infrastructures offer different visions of an energy transition – and different insights into what they consider meaningful and desirable work. In this post, I reflect on such concerns around work and employment in the context of resistance to the shale gas industry in the north of England.

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The Comeback of the Plastic Straw: Are we sacrificing sustainability in the face of COVID-19 safety?

The Comeback of the Plastic Straw: Are we sacrificing sustainability in the face of COVID-19 safety?

by Anna Rauter

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic initially led to a drop in global CO2 emissions, post-lockdown emissions are reported to be back in line with their previous trajectories. Along with this resurgence of carbon emissions, I am observing an increasing use of single-use plastics and other environmentally unsustainable practises. How do coronavirus measures, whether we agree with them or not, affect our sustainability efforts?

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Biomass – An Energy Source of the Future?

Biomass – An Energy Source of the Future?

by James Crooks

The production of energy through the burning of biological materials has been considered a renewable, reliable and even relatively clean alternative to the use of fossil fuels. However, as the industry has grown these claims have faced increased scrutiny; critics have claimed that biomass on a large scale has negative long- and short-term environmental impacts not only on pollution but on biodiversity generally. So we have to ask: is biomass an energy source of the future?

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What Have Whales Got To Do With Fossil Fuels And Renewable Energy?

What Have Whales Got To Do With Fossil Fuels And Renewable Energy?

by Russell Fielding

Across the world, energy systems are making the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. This energy transition, unlikely as it may sound, is influenced in a small but meaningful way, by whaling. This post considers how findings from environmental research conducted in collaboration with a small whaling community in the Caribbean provide key evidence for the healthy and sustainable benefits of renewable energy systems, especially in the context of small island developing states.

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