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The latest renewable energy news from The Guardian
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Pilot scheme on Network Rail’s Wessex route could pave way for direct powering of trains

The world’s first solar farm to power a railway line directly is due to plug into the track near Aldershot, paving the way for solar-powered trains.

From Friday, about 100 solar panels at the trackside site will supply renewable electricity to power the signalling and lights on Network Rail’s Wessex route.

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Posted: August 23, 2019, 12:33 am

About seven Walmart stores had fires due to Tesla’s solar systems as of November 2018, according to the lawsuit

Walmart has sued Tesla, saying solar panels supplied by the electric carmaker were responsible for fires at about seven of its stores.

The fires destroyed significant amounts of store merchandise and required substantial repairs, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket losses, according to a lawsuit filed in a New York court on Tuesday.

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Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:21 pm

Supermarket giant is the latest in a series of companies that have turned to renewable energy to reduce power bills

Supermarket giant Coles has signed a long-term contract to get electricity from three new solar farms, the latest in a series of companies that have turned to renewable energy to lower power bills.

It comes as a group of 41 retailers and businesses including Bunnings, Harvey Norman, Ikea and JB Hi-Fi plan an unprecedented joint electricity purchase in a bid to reduce costs.

Related: The new electricity boom: renewable energy makes staggering leap but can it last?

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Posted: August 20, 2019, 6:00 pm

Australia’s regional and global influence will not grow unless we are fair dinkum about acting on climate change

As the Pacific Islands Forum comes to an end, Australia has yet again been shamed on a global stage for our inaction on climate change. The forum was held in Tuvalu, one of the lowest lying islands on Earth, where the effects of sea level rise are already being seen. For Tuvalu, a global commitment to limiting climate change to 1.5C is literally a question of survival.

By doing everything he could to water down the forum communique’s climate language, the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, refused to listen to the words of Tuvalu’s prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, when he urged leaders to focus on “survival, not saving the economies of countries”.

Related: Australia waters down Pacific Islands plea on climate crisis

Related: Australia removes climate 'crisis' from Pacific islands draft declaration

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Posted: August 16, 2019, 6:25 am
Let’s go for an expansive renewable energy system, backed up with energy efficiency and energy storage, says David Blackburn. Plus Mike Ellwood on the integral fast reactor, and John Barstow on the case for keeping coal as a backup

Your article on Hinkley Point C outlines the rising costs, long delays and the mental health crisis among the employees building this new nuclear power station (Report, 14 August). The article suggests the much-delayed project may be delivered around 2025-6. But even this assessment should be treated with real caution. An identical reactor being built at Flamanville in France, which was started in 2007, was supposed to open in 2012. The French nuclear regulator has now sought more work on faulty welds across the reactor, meaning another three-year delay until 2022, ie 15 years after construction began. The additional costs of building this reactor will burden EDF further and inevitably impact on Hinkley Point C. I agree with the National Infrastructure Commission that the costs and delays to new nuclear are such that the UK has to refocus on more deliverable and cheaper renewable energies. Across the board these are being delivered now and we simply do not have the time to wait for new nuclear to come forward. Let’s go for an expansive renewable energy system, backed up with energy efficiency and energy storage. The climate emergency is too pressing to take our time with such endeavours.
Councillor David Blackburn
Chair of UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities Steering Committee

• Professor Neil Hyatt (Letters, 8 August) suggests that we should be actively considering doing something with our existing nuclear waste. There is something that could be done to make the problem much easier to solve, and also provide a way of generating power that is free of CO2 emissions.

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Posted: August 14, 2019, 4:02 pm