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The latest renewable energy news from The Guardian
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1.8GW Vanguard project gets greenlight, with approval on 2.4GW Hornsea 3 expected in autumn

The construction of two giant offshore windfarms is poised to go ahead off the Norfolk coast in what the renewable energy industry claims could provide a “huge boost” to the UK economy.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, gave the green light on Wednesday evening to the Norfolk Vanguard project and said he was “minded to approve” the Hornsea 3 proposal later this year.

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Posted: July 2, 2020, 1:19 pm

Exclusive: An audit shows the drop in carbon pollution was due to a decline in sales of fuel for light vehicles and domestic aviation

Greenhouse gas emissions from Australian cars slumped by more than a third and emissions from aircraft dropped by three-quarters as the country went into partial lockdown in April, cutting national carbon pollution by about 7% for the month, an audit has found.

It confirmed that the recession will lead to a notable fall in national emissions this year. But experts believe the drop is likely to be limited and could be short-term given much of the economy – including big industry and manufacturing – has largely continued to operate through the coronavirus pandemic and road transport has begun to increase.

Related: Australia could create hundreds of thousands of jobs by accelerating shift to zero emissions – report

Related: Electric vehicle sales triple in Australia as sales of combustion engine cars fall 8%

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Posted: July 2, 2020, 12:00 am

Energy provider is first major Australian company to connect executive pay to net-zero goal

Australia’s largest domestic emitter of greenhouse gases, the energy provider AGL, is the first major company in the country to link managers’ bonuses to lowering emissions.

AGL announced on Tuesday that metrics including the amount of power the company generated from renewable sources would be linked to the pay incentives of key managers from the next financial year, starting in July 2021.

Related: Snowy Hydro 2.0 wins final federal 'thumbs-up' – despite environmental fears

Related: Energy retailers at risk due to nonpaying customers and higher costs during pandemic

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Posted: June 30, 2020, 6:07 am

$100m to be spent on conservation after critics expressed concerns for Kosciuszko national park

Scott Morrison has announced federal approval for the Snowy 2.0 project in the closing days of the Eden-Monaro byelection campaign, declaring Snowy Hydro would spend $100m on measures aimed at allaying environmental concerns.

The prime minister told reporters on Tuesday he was excited to announce “the thumbs-up, green light for the Snowy 2.0 project to now move to its full implementation phase” with construction to begin over the next two years.

Related: Morrison government urged to fix flawed environmental offsets leaving threatened species at risk

Related: NSW has approved Snowy 2.0. Here are six reasons why that’s a bad move | Bruce Mountain and Mark Lintermans

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Posted: June 30, 2020, 5:47 am

Across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, scientists are developing alternative sustainable solutions to the golden tide of Sargassum

The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, first detected by Nasa observation satellites in 2011 and now known to be the world’s largest bloom of seaweed, stretches for 5,500 miles (8,850km) from the Gulf of Mexico to the western coast of Africa.

Millions of tonnes of floating Sargassum seaweed in coastal waters smother fragile seagrass habitats, suffocate coral reefs and harm fisheries. And once washed ashore on Mexican and Caribbean beaches, this foul-smelling, rotting seaweed goes on to devastate the tourist industry, prevent turtles from nesting and damage coastal ecosystems, while releasing hydrogen sulphide and other toxic gases as it decomposes.

This enormous amount of biomass is devastating the tourist industry, economy and environment

Related: Wide Sargasso seaweed: 5,500-mile algae belt keeps on growing

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Posted: June 30, 2020, 5:30 am