Corruption, subsidies, the mad math of kerosene, and the ups and downs on SolarAid’s front lines in Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia: Chapter 2 of The Test
Picture: Team Malawi, Lilongwe, 22nd July 18th July 2017, Johannesburg Mandela Day. South Africans are celebrating the life of the father of their unified nation, four years after his death. Foreigners too. In Capetown, Richard Branson leads a parade with The Elders, a group of former world leaders and other… Read-moreRead More
Two extracts from the first chapter of my new book set out its premise. Like the previous book, it will be a live serialised linear narrative, telling a vital story of our times as it unfolds. The two scenes in the first chapter are in the Albert Hall, London, and… Read-moreRead More
SolarAid’s SunnyMoney wins Prince of Wales’s Business In The Community / Unilever Global Development Award: a personal note to all stakeholders
I and my colleagues at SolarAid and SunnyMoney are deeply grateful to all the many and varied stakeholders who made this award possible, most of whom have the dubious privilege of receiving my periodic e-mails. To all the SolarAid supporters who fund SunnyMoney – from Canadian elementary schools, via round-the-world-cyclists,… Read-moreRead More
I was barely listening as he delivered his speech. I had heard most of his mantras already. I also knew that he would be unable to complete a US pullout, legally, until his second term. And he surely can’t aspire to one of those now, with all the skeletons… Read-moreRead More
Coverage in the FT and BBC yesterday recounted how the SM100 solar light – developed by my team at SolarAid with Chinese solar giant Yingli, and designed by cool UK design company Inventid – is a big new opportunity to fight poverty in Africa and elsewhere. With this light, SolarAid… Read-moreRead More
- August 9th - Corruption, subsidies, the mad math of kerosene, and the ups and downs on SolarAid’s front lines in Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia: Chapter 2 of The Test (Guest Blog)Picture: Team Malawi, Lilongwe, 22nd July 18th July 2017, Johannesburg Mandela Day. South Africans are celebrating the life of the father of their unified nation, four years after his death. Foreigners too. In Capetown, Richard Branson leads a parade with The Elders, a group of former world leaders and other… Read-more
- July 18th - The Test: Chapter 1 of my latest serialised free-download book now available (Guest Blog)Two extracts from the first chapter of my new book set out its premise. Like the previous book, it will be a live serialised linear narrative, telling a vital story of our times as it unfolds. The two scenes in the first chapter are in the Albert Hall, London, and… Read-more
- July 5th - SolarAid’s SunnyMoney wins Prince of Wales’s Business In The Community / Unilever Global Development Award: a personal note to all stakeholders (Guest Blog)I and my colleagues at SolarAid and SunnyMoney are deeply grateful to all the many and varied stakeholders who made this award possible, most of whom have the dubious privilege of receiving my periodic e-mails. To all the SolarAid supporters who fund SunnyMoney – from Canadian elementary schools, via round-the-world-cyclists,… Read-more
- June 5th - Trump’s attempt to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement: a personal reaction from Solaraid (Guest Blog)I was barely listening as he delivered his speech. I had heard most of his mantras already. I also knew that he would be unable to complete a US pullout, legally, until his second term. And he surely can’t aspire to one of those now, with all the skeletons… Read-more
- May 23rd - FT and BBC articles agreed on something very important yesterday (Guest Blog)Coverage in the FT and BBC yesterday recounted how the SM100 solar light – developed by my team at SolarAid with Chinese solar giant Yingli, and designed by cool UK design company Inventid – is a big new opportunity to fight poverty in Africa and elsewhere. With this light, SolarAid… Read-more
- May 10th - An opinion on the problem of Mexico’s oil and Trump’s wall (Guest Blog)Op-ed by Jeremy Leggett for Energiahoy, slightly edited from the Spanish: What do you do if you are running out of oil, and your neighbour’s President, who has plenty of oil, seems to hate you? The answer is that you develop a renewable-powered economy as fast as you can.… Read-more
- April 30th - Guest Blog: Are there advantages of UK onshore natural gas? Part 2 (4) (Uncategorized)
- April 30th - Record breaking renewables: 30th April 2017 (0) (Uncategorized)
- April 24th - Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism, month 3, 21st March – 20th April 2017 (Guest Blog)As ever, I hope that a precis of one individual’s experience and interpretation of emerging history will be helpful to the many without the hours I have available each week – after a little engaging as a minor player in some of the theatres of war – for observing, studying,… Read-more
- April 21st - A day without coal (0) (Coal)
- April 19th - Guest Blog: Are there advantages of UK onshore natural gas? Part 1 (0) (Gas, Opinion Piece)
- April 16th - A record breaking week (0) (Coal, Greenhouse Gas, Records, Solar, Wind)
- April 12th - Where do British imports come from? (0) (Greenhouse Gas, Imports)In this blog, I assess how we import electricity to Great Britain and evaluate whether this is a low carbon thing to do. I conclude that to reduce carbon emissions from our electricity we should think carefully about where our imports come from and when we do so.
- April 2nd - 2017 versus 2016 (2) (Records, Review)
- March 25th - Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism, month 2, 20th February – 20th March 2017: Tech-for-good and Truth take a pounding (Guest Blog)This month evidence of the potential use of AI and robotics for social benefit continued to lag portentous developments. On the one hand, the prospects for improving healthcare systems continue to grow. Google plans a health record tracking system loosely based on the bitcoin concept and using its DeepMind AI,… Read-more
- March 24th - Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism, month 2, 20th February – 20th March 2017: Climate action holds ground and energy transition accelerates (Guest Blog)Action around the world on climate and air pollution continued to offer cautious grounds for hope this month. The IEA reported that carbon dioxide emissions have not increased for a third year in row, despite the global economy growing. Fighting climate change requires that they begin to fall soon… Read-more
- March 20th - How can renewables help to create a better civilization? Statement by Dr Jeremy Leggett, Executive Chair of SolarAid, to the Start Up Energy Transition Tech Festival, Berlin, 20th March 2017 (Guest Blog)I speak today about the wider context of all the wonderful innovation and creative disruption we are hearing about from around the world today. My message is about how to maximise its impact, in the singular times in which we live. The first is to inspire allcomers with what that… Read-more
- March 18th - A brief history of British Electricity Generation (0) (Demand, Greenhouse Gas, Records)British electricity generation and carbon emissions since 1970.
- March 10th - The business case is clear: renewables companies must openly resist the new despotism (Guest Blog)Picture: Google employees protest against Trump immigration policies. Blog: A slightly extended version of my latest column for Recharge: By building on the explosive growth of clean energy in recent years, and triumphs of multilateralism led by the Paris Agreement, a renaissance of civilisation can realistically be envisioned in… Read-more
- March 4th - February 2017 in review (0) (Review)
- February 24th - Britain’s existing nuclear power stations (0) (Nuclear)
- February 24th - A windy lesson (0) (Manifesto, Wind)
- February 20th - Appropriate Civilization versus New Despotism: State of Play on 20th February 2017, one month into the Trump presidency (Guest Blog)Suddenly believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing human co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues can now realistically plot the polar opposite: a new despotism rooted in rising isolationist nationalism and human conflict. The more we dig into how the demagogues… Read-more
- February 19th - Guest Blog: Opportunities for teaching sustainable energy in post-compulsory education. (0) (Education)
- February 19th - Rising carbon emissions (0) (Coal, Demand, Greenhouse Gas)January 2017 saw a rise in carbon emissions from the same period in 2016. The total amount of carbon rose by 17%. Adjusted for the higher demand in 2017, emissions rose by 8% for every unit of electricity generated. Consistent rises in carbon emissions will represent a Government policy unable to meet the obligations of the Paris climate deal.
- February 11th - The MyGridGB manifesto explained (0) (Coal, Gas, Greenhouse Gas, Wind)The MyGridGB Manifesto proposes one way that Britain can meet its present electricity demands using low carbon electricity. I first proposed it in July 2016 and since then it has been simulated, in real time, on the MyGridGB website. In this blog, we explore the manifesto and how it is structured. After reading it, I invite you to comment and look at ways that the manifesto might be changed in the future.
- January 28th - Guest Blog: Teaching energy (0) (Coal, Education, Greenhouse Gas)
- January 27th - January 2016 vs January 2017: Has our electricity mix actually changed? (0) (Coal, Demand, Review)
- January 25th - What can Tidal Power Contribute? (Tidal Power)The UK is committed to carbon reduction in all sectors of the economy be that electricity, heating, transport, agriculture or industry. The £1.3bn, 320MW tidal power station at Swansea Bay could be the next mega-project to help generate sustainable, local energy and assist with climate goals. The question asked is how much it can reduce our carbon emissions per year. I believe that I can answer that using the same tools to run my Manifesto.
- January 21st - Are imports really low-carbon? (Greenhouse Gas, Imports, Interconnectors)Earlier this month, I reported how Britain has recently become a net exporter of electricity to France and has increased imports from Holland. Since writing that post, a more worrying trend has become apparent. Shifting our imports from France to The Netherlands has meant we are importing more carbon intensive electricity than we are generating at home.
- January 20th - G20 climate risk report is a wake-up call for fossil-fuel investors (Guest Blog)My latest for Recharge: It is rare for a report to hold the potential to change the world, but one study published last month may do just that. The Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD — a group of experts assembled by the G20’s Financial … Read-more
- January 15th - Has electricity become the primary consumer of gas? (Gas)My prediction is that in 2016 gas for electricity will have outstripped domestic consumption. That has only happened 4 times in the last 20 years. Britain is evidently getting more addicted to gas.
- January 15th - Peak demand doesn’t cause peak carbon emissions (Energy Storage, Gas, Greenhouse Gas)In this blog, I look how demand fluctuates on a daily and weekly basis and the impact that that has on our carbon emissions. A simple conclusion can be drawn: reducing our electricity demand has a direct impact in reducing carbon emissions.
- January 10th - For 3 months, Britain was a net exporter of electricity to France (Imports, Interconnectors)Britain became a net exporter of electricity to France in the last three months of 2016. Find out more in this blog.
- January 7th - What is replacing coal? (Coal, Wind)Coal generation has dropped from providing 30% of our electricity at the beginning of 2015, to providing less than 7% in the last 6 months of 2016. Furthermore, renewables have overtaken coal in our electricity supply. This may have created headlines, but we need to understand what has replaced our coal power stations.
- January 4th - Returning to work part 1 (Gas, Greenhouse Gas, Wind)Demand falls over Christmas and New Year as many of us are on leave but it quickly returns when we go back to work. In the chart below, I show our electricity use every hour between the beginning of December and 4th January when we return to work.
- December 31st - 2016 in Review (Review)2016 was a momentous year for our electricity supply: the signing and ratification of the Paris climate agreement, the announced closure of all coal power stations by 2025 and of course the launch of this blog. In this piece I pull out what I think are the key messages in GB electricity from 2016.
- December 29th - The carbon value of energy efficiency (Demand, Efficiency)Electricity is changing in the way it is being generated and also in how it is being used. At the end of 2015, I switched my house from incandescent/halogen lightbulbs to LED. In 2016, my family’s electricity consumption dropped by more than a third. But what is the carbon value in reducing our electrical demand?
- December 28th - The return to gas (Uncategorized)Christmas Day 2016 created headlines due to high amounts of low carbon generation and low demand. Since then, the use of fossil fuels increased as Britain returned to work and as wind generation fell.
- December 26th - Where did electricity come from on Christmas Day? (Gas, Greenhouse Gas, Records, Wind)In this blog, I focus on where our electricity came from across the whole of Christmas Day
- December 25th - Cooking turkeys with record amounts of wind (Gas, Records, Wind)On Christmas, the normal rules of providing electricity are a little different. Every day there is a peak demand for electricity which is met by switching on power stations at the right time. In this blog, I broke that our turkey was, in fact, powered by a record percentage of low carbon electricity.
- December 23rd - A new clean energy milestone? (0) (Demand, Greenhouse Gas, Records, Review)It was reported in the Guardian newspaper that the UK hit a "clean energy milestone" after low carbon power "accounted for 50% of electricity generation in the UK in the third quarter". This is based on Government figures here. Is this true for Great Britain? Here are the numbers.
- November 27th - The electricity story so far in 2016 (1) (Review)My review of electricity in 2016 for the online magazine Blue and Green Tomorrow
- November 27th - Quarterly Electricity Use (0) (Uncategorized)