What we learned this week

Since Britain’s rubbish started turning up illegally in Asian countries, I’ve been coming round to the idea of the HERU, the domestic pyrolysis unit that vaporises rubbish for heat. The first commercial unit was installed this week at a farm shop in Worcestershire.

Double-sided solar panels that catch light reflected from the ground have arrived in Britain and made the news this week. As usual, we are well behind China on this technology – China installed 2.7GW of double sided solar panels last year.

Speaking of which, China’s efforts to reduce air pollution could provide a boost for solar power by clearing and air and letting through 13% more sunlight.

After the architects last week, it’s good to see design and ad agencies signing up to a climate emergency and declining to take any new work from fossil fuel companies. Good work from Futerra on getting that started.

Eon, one of Britain’s ‘big six’ energy utilities, will move all 3.3 million customer households to renewable electricity. (I’ve been keeping an eye on this story for a few years now.)

As the international community discusses a Global Ocean Treaty that could make a big difference in preventing future exploitation of the oceans (including ocean mining), Greenpeace are collecting signatures for a petition.


  1. Ref HERU, I think our concerns about pollutants still stand. I haven’t seen anything to demonstrate convincingly that pyrolysis is safer than incineration – especially if it’s in multiple small units, which will be less tightly regulated.

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