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Clean electricity overtaking fossil fuels in Britain

Clean electricity overtaking fossil fuels in Britain

Science
For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Britain is obtaining more power from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels.The milestone has been passed for the first five months of 2019.National Grid says clean energy has nudged ahead with 48% of generation, against 47% for coal and gas.The rest is biomass burning. The transformation reflects the precipitous decline of coal energy, and a boom from wind and solar. National Grid says that in the past decade, coal generation will have plunged from 30% to 3%.Meanwhile, wind power has shot up from 1% to 19%.Mini-milestones have been passed along the way. In May, for instance, Britain clocked up its first coal-free fortnight and generated record l...
British Gas to increase gas and electricity prices by 5.5%

British Gas to increase gas and electricity prices by 5.5%

Business
British Gas is to increase the energy prices for those on standard tariffs by an average of 5.5% - or £60 a year.The rise, which applies to both gas and electricity, will see the average annual dual-fuel bill go up to £1,161.The company, the UK's largest energy supplier, said that 4.1 million of its customers would be affected.The increase will take effect from 29 May and means British Gas is the first of the major suppliers to raise prices this spring.It last increased its prices in September, when domestic electricity prices were raised by 12.5%. British Gas blamed government policy for part of that rise, a suggestion that was rejected by ministers.'Pressure on bills'British Gas said it had to lift prices following a rise in the cost of producing energy - including wholesale costs.The co
UK enjoyed 'greenest year for electricity ever' in 2017

UK enjoyed 'greenest year for electricity ever' in 2017

Science
The UK has achieved its greenest year ever in terms of how the nation's electricity is generated, National Grid figures reveal.The rise of renewable energy helped break 13 clean energy records in 2017.In June, for the first time, wind, nuclear and solar power generated more UK power than gas and coal combined.Britain has halved carbon emissions in the electricity sector since 2012 to provide the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and seventh worldwide.In April, the UK had its first 24-hour period without using any coal power since the Industrial Revolution.The government is committed to phasing out unabated coal by 2025 as part of efforts to cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions in line with legal obligations. Separate findings from power research group MyGridGB show that renewable ene...
Scientists design smart paper capable of detecting water, conducting electricity

Scientists design smart paper capable of detecting water, conducting electricity

Science
Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Washington have designed smart paper capable of sensing water and conducting electricity. The paper could be used to detect water leaks in city pipes.Even small leaks in a city's maze of pipes can prove costly. Left alone, the problem can get worse. And finding the leak can prove timely. The American Water Works Association estimate leaks cause 250,000 water line breaks every year, costing public water utilities an annual sum of $ 2.8 billion.Scientists hope their new smart paper can shrink those costs by making it easier to find and fix leaks.The paper can sense the presence of water and conduct an electric current to sound an alarm or trigger a light, alerting maintenance authorities to the presence of a leak."Water sensing is very challeng...
Scientists harvest electricity from tears

Scientists harvest electricity from tears

Science
Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Sad about the battery drain on your new smartphone? A good cry might help. Scientists have found a way to harvest electricity from tears.In recent lab experiments, researcher at the University of Limerick's Bernal Institute, in Ireland, found lysozyme crystals yield an electric current when pressurized. Lysozyme is found in tears and saliva, as well as the whites of bird eggs and the milk of mammals.Quartz also possesses the ability to generate electricity when pressurized -- a quality known as piezoelectricity. The ability makes quartz useful for a variety technologies. The material is often used to make resonators inside mobile phones, ultrasound devices and other types of sensors."While piezoelectricity is used all around us, the capacity to generate electricity from thi...