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Which Countries Produce The Most Fossil Fuels?

Which country takes the most fossil fuels out of the ground? The answer to this question is relatively predictable: China. Today China is the world's biggest consumer of energy and the vast majority of that comes from burning coal mined in China...

Posted July 30, 2014    

Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was signed. This was to usher in an era where the planet was to tackle climate change, and we were to see an energy transition from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to their low-carbon alternatives.Instead, here is what...

Posted July 9, 2014    

America Versus China: The New Reality Of Global Energy

In 1999, the International Energy Agency produced its annual forecast of the future of global energy production and consumption. Here is what it predicted would be China's annual carbon dioxide emissions in the year 2020: 7,081 million tonnes. In...

Posted May 12, 2014    

Biomass: The World's Biggest Provider Of Renewable Energy

If I asked you to think of renewable energy what comes to mind? I imagine it is skyscraper-sized wind turbines, solar panels on suburban roofs or massive hydro-electric dams. You probably do not think of burning wood or converting crops to liquid...

Posted April 23, 2014    

How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

In the last few months we have seen both the world's largest solar bridge and the world's largest solar farm open. The bridge was opened in London, a city so famous for its fog that they named a fashion label after it. The farm was built in the...

Posted April 8, 2014    

Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

There are few more remarkable machines than a Boeing 747. Four hundred people can be hurled half way across the planet with levels of comfort, efficiency and reliability that would have been deemed miraculous by those living a few centuries ago. A...

Posted March 11, 2014    

Building China: The Role Of Cement In China's Rapid Development

We are frequently told that modernising countries can leapfrog over others and go straight to a low-carbon economy. However this seemingly pain-free route ignores some of modernisation's fundamental physical necessities. Modernisation is a multi-...

Posted March 5, 2014    

Can You Make a Wind Turbine Without Fossil Fuels?

Various scenarios have been put forward showing that 100% renewable energy is achievable. Some of them even claim that we can move completely away from fossil fuels in only couple of decades. A world entirely without fossils might be desirable, but...

Posted February 25, 2014    

Do Renewables Lower Energy Consumption?

If a coal power plant is closed and replaced by a wind farm and that wind farm produces the same amount of electricity as the coal plant, what happens to energy consumption? Depending on the coal power plant, and how you define energy consumption it...

Posted February 18, 2014    

Renewables Growth: Ignoring The Whole Equation

When discussing the growth of renewable energy there are two rather common mistakes. First, thinking that the capacity of a renewable power plant is directly comparable with that of a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant. Second, thinking that energy...

Posted February 11, 2014    

Germany's Energiewende Troubles Prove That Renewable Energy Has Failed. And Other Strange Ideas

What has been obvious to me for a long time now appears to have become obvious to many others: Germany's energy policy is a confused mess. Germany's energy revolution is, in the words of New Scientist, "on the verge of collapse." And it was all...

Posted February 4, 2014    

The Four Men Who Caused The Majority Of Global Warming

The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just four men, who between them invented machines responsible for the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age.Left to right: Frank...

Posted January 28, 2014