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The ‘Twitterstorm’ which hit Rio+20

The Rio+20 talks this week were put in the spotlight as a ‘twitterstorm’ under the hash tag #endfossilfuelsubsidies reached second in the global trending topics. Activists behind it wanted to raise awareness of the hundreds of billions of dollars of government funds that went towards petroleum and coal industry subsidies. The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who is leading the UK Delegation in Rio said that it was preferable for renewable energy not to rely on government subsidies but commented that initial investment could go a long way.

Is there a growing societal shift for wind farms?

Since 2009 over 250,000 visitors have gone to Europe’s largest onshore wind farm at Whitelee, near Glasgow. The news this week that it has now become a member of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) comes as no surprise but perhaps represents a growing societal shift in views towards wind farms in Scotland. The wind farm has a £2 million visitor centre which includes interactive displays and exhibitions, and many visitors also enjoy the farms 90km’s of trails for cycling or jogging.

The solar energy revolution

As people were out celebrating the summer solstice this week, the solar industry was taking stock of its explosion onto the global scene. The solar energy revolution seems firmly set on improving the world’s energy crisis. Today the global energy figure exceeds more than 65GW from solar power where as recently as 2005 it was 4.5GW. The revolution is being attributed to better, cheaper solar technology with solar cells having the ability to convert sunlight into energy with far greater efficiency. The feed-in tariffs, which essentially subsidise the costs, are also being attributed to its success. 

Are the Treasury shying away from difficult questions?

Tim Yeo, chair of the House of Commons Energy Select Committee, this week claimed that the Treasury was refusing to testify to MP’s about the energy reforms for fear of difficult questions. Industry figures now suggest that many areas of the Bill have changed significantly since its draft release in May, and that it is perhaps now unworkable. Ed Gill from our External Affairs team at Good Energy went along to give evidence in front of the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select committee to voice our concerns around the Bill. Expect to hear much more on this in the coming months.

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