Over two years after national leaders committed in Paris to keep a global temperature rise to below 2C, municipal leaders at some of the world’s largest cities are stepping up to the challenge and harnessing the power of renewable energy. It is a development that will be vital in the transition to a low-carbon economy as two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, and cities are already responsible for over 70% of the world’s energy related carbon emissions. That is why it is encouraging news that over 100 cities now report getting at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind, according to new research released by CDP last month. From Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Seattle in the US and Auckland in New Zealand, some 184 cities now have solar energy in their electricity mix, while 189 report that they source wind energy. With renewables predicted to be consistently more cost effective than fossil fuels globally by 2020, the rate at which cities shift to green energy is likely to accelerate further. Last year, unsubsidised renewables were already the cheapest source of electricity in 30 countries, according to the World Economic Forum.
Edie 7th March 2018 read more »
Western Isles householders currently paying above average prices for electricity can now benefit from fairer tariffs – and help bring money back into the community too – thanks to a community-led scheme being launched today (Tuesday), Hebrides Energy, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company led by Tighean Innse Gall, Hebridean Housing Partnership, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Stornoway Trust and Community Energy Scotland, is teaming up with Scottish “Fairer Energy” supplier Our Power to promote a range of new Hebridean Tariffs to the local market. It is hoped that the savings offered will represent a key step in the crusade to curb fuel poverty, which now sees nearly 60 percent of Island homes struggling to afford energy bills – one of the UK’s worst hit zones. Any profits will be plied back into the company’s mission to tackle fuel poverty. Hebrides Energy Chairman Carola Bell said: “This is a first-of its kind venture for the islands and the team at Hebrides Energy has worked long and hard to get this far. It’s a great pleasure to be working with Our Power, with their proven track record and positive, community-centred ethos, and we hope that many islanders can benefit from the new tariffs on offer.
Stornoway Gazette 6th March 2018 read more »
Aditya Chakrabortty speaks to Iris Degenhardt-Meister, who is part of a cooperative energy company that runs the electricity grid in Wolfhagen, Germany, and asks Prof Andrew Cumbers from the University of Glasgow if such a model could work in Britain. In Britain, rip-off energy prices have become politically toxic, with the major parties vying to offer price caps, heating allowances and a transition to lower-carbon technologies. But truly radical plans – such as taking the supply of energy back into the hands of local communities – have never been given serious consideration. It is a model that has been trialled in the German town of Wolfhagen and is now a source of local pride. Aditya Chakrabortty hears from Iris Degenhardt-Meister, who sits on the board of the local energy cooperative, which not only replaced a major multinational in running the town’s energy supply but is now aiming to make it 100% renewable. So could something similar happen in the UK? We hear from Andrew Cumbers, professor in regional political economy at the University of Glasgow.
Guardian 28th Feb 2018 read more »