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International Energy Agency 'blocking global switch to renewables'
David Adam, Guardian
The international body that advises most major governments across the world on energy policy is obstructing a global switch to renewable power because of its ties to the oil, gas and nuclear sectors, a group of politicians and scientists claims today.
The experts, from the Energy Watch group, say the International Energy Agency (IEA) publishes misleading data on renewables, and that it has consistently underestimated the amount of electricity generated by wind power in its advice to governments. They say the IEA shows "ignorance and contempt" towards wind energy, while promoting oil, coal and nuclear as "irreplaceable" technologies.
(9 January 2009)
Tehran looks to the skies for cheap power from the sun
Alok Jha, Guardian
Mention energy and Iran in the same sentence and you're duty-bound to express some concern about the country's ambitions for nuclear power and, as a result, raise dangerous questions about weapons. But while that are-they-aren't-they game has been going on between the country's leaders and the wider international community, renewable energy experts in Iran have been quietly working on capturing sunlight to power their country.
According to officials, Iran has started 2009 by inaugurating a pilot solar plant in Shiraz, Fars province. It is a concentrating solar power (CSP) system, using parabolic mirrors to focus sunlight onto a tube of water that is super-heated to make steam that is then used to turn electricity-generating turbines.
(6 January 2009)
Speculation grows over mysterious wind turbine damage
Alok Jha, Guardian
Metal fatigue, meterorite collision, falling ice and even UFO crash given as possible explanations for wrecked Lincolnshire turbine
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Perhaps a flying cow? So far, nothing has been discounted in the mysterious case of damage to the blades of a wind turbine in Conisholme in Lincolnshire.
Whatever it was happened at the weekend left the turbine without one of its 20m blades and another bent and gnarled. Ecotricity, the turbine's owners, cannot yet explain what happened. Dale Vince, founder of the renewable energy company, said on the BBC's Today programme that, whatever hit the blades it was "probably the size and weight of a cow".
Others suggested that it could be a meterorite, though there is no crater, or perhaps falling ice from a passing aeroplane. Another theory is that metal fatigue in the blades caused the failure, with perhaps one blade falling off and denting the other.
Vince said: "It would have to be a catastrophic failure. That turbine has been running for a year now so we think that's pretty unlikely as well."
(8 January 2009)