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?
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.
When half the world struggles with inadequate electricity supply, what happens when we have too much energy? In this post, I look at situations in which overcapacity leads to a “renewable overkill”, creating landscapes of abandonment where wind turbines and other renewable energy projects lie as stalled, prevented or temporarily stranded assets.
When WTI crashed on 20 April 2020, the COVID-19 crisis with its associated drop in energy demand exposed the serious limitations to the oil infrastructure in the US. How are financial valuations of oil tied to the specifics of place? And how do the material dimensions of moving and storing oil inform the dynamics of its trade?