Special report: Renewable energy and climate change
With soaring summer temperatures bringing climate change closer to home for many Europeans, this month's special report looks at some of the technological and economic solutions we still have at our disposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Technology-wise, the controversial subject of biomass is in the spotlight, with advice on how the industry
is to avoid past pitfalls and make use of its unfulfilled potential by tapping into the “negative” costs
of waste wood and sticking to the small scale from David Fulford of the energy research group at Reading
Meanwhile, the potential for biofuel production in Europe is far from limitless, says the European Environmental
Bureau’s Pieter de Pous. Policy must take Europe’s limited land availability and biodiversity protection into
account, as well as looking more closely at the real carbon savings behind an energy source whose green
credentials should not be pre-supposed.
Aubrey Meyer, pioneer of the Contraction and Convergence approach to global greenhouse emissions, looks at some of the problems with Europe’s attempt to put a price on carbon through the Emissions trading
Scheme – and outlines a possible solution.
Cambridge University climatologist Peter Braesicke takes us on a backstage tour of climate change science,
and contrasts the physical reality of global warming with some politicians’ eagerness to focus on the
The integration of solar, wind and fuel cell technologies into an urban environment is showcased by the
London Oasis, the capital’s “green energy sculpture.” Engineer Becci Taylor, who worked on the project,
gives an insider’s view of urban renewable technologies involved – and how they could inspire larger-scale
projects in the capital and beyond.