July 3rd, 2015

Taking the wind out of electricity sales

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by Chloe Bines and Adam Baddeley

 

The new Conservative Government has wasted no time in implementing its manifesto pledge to end subsidies for onshore wind. Just six weeks into her tenure as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd announced that the Renewable Obligation (RO) would close a year early for onshore wind projects and strongly hinted that action would also be taken to curtail support for the technology under both the small-scale Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme for larger scale projects. Meanwhile, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, was busy announcing new planning considerations that will make it significantly harder for onshore wind projects to gain planning consent.

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June 26th, 2015

Picking the right cherries: packaging waste and litter

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by Chris Sherrington

 

Some time ago I came across an INCPEN press release entitled ‘Cherry-picking litter won’t work: It has to be all or nothing’. It reports findings of research conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful and commissioned by INCPEN (The Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment), whose members “include raw material suppliers, packaging manufacturers, and manufacturers and retailers of packaged products”.

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June 26th, 2015

Can market forces alone create a circular economy?

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by Thomas Vergunst

 

In recent years the circular economy has emerged as something of a new Holy Grail for the resource sector. The European Commission has joined the quest and we currently await its revised circular economy package. In the literature, one frequently comes across the argument that a transition to a circular economy will be inevitable as businesses respond to rising commodity prices and increased price volatility, driven by rising demand coupled with resource scarcity. This, it is claimed, will start to make the business case for the circular economy increasingly self-evident.

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June 19th, 2015

Is the LGA right about EfW overcapacity?

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by Adam Baddeley and Peter Jones

 

Eunomia has been publicly warning for four years now that the UK’s “dash for trash” will leave us – like Sweden, the Netherlands and some of our other Northern European neighbours – with more residual waste infrastructure than we really need.

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June 12th, 2015

To EV or not EV: should I buy an electric car?

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by Sophie Crosswell

 

When our ageing Corsa made it clear that it was trundling inexorably towards the car graveyard, my partner and I started to discuss how to replace it. Could we afford to take the plunge in to the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market, and could an EV do what we needed from a car?

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June 5th, 2015

A tale of tree cities

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by Ayesha Bapasola

 

What single measure has a positive impact on soil erosion, biodiversity loss, health and community spirit? The Urban Orchard Project (UOP) claims that all this and more can be achieved through their community-centred model of promoting sustainable green infrastructure, often in the midst of the hubbub of metropolitan life.

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May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

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by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost

 

I suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently held the cities brief. While it may be too early to pronounce with confidence that a major change of approach is in the air, Clark is a strong advocate of decentralisation of power, and might reinvigorate the localism agenda that fell by the wayside as Pickles increasingly sought to bend councils to his will.

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