Scientists uncover hidden river of rubbish flowing through London

A team of scientists has discovered a hidden torrent of rubbish flowing through London after collecting thousands of pieces of plastic submerged along the river bed of the upper Thames Estuary. The sheer amount of plastic recovered shows there is an unseen stream of trash flowing through the capital which could be a serious threat to aquatic wildlife.

More than 40% of Scotland’s energy demand is now met by renewables

Scotland’s renewable electricity output has reached record-high levels, according to official statistics released today. The figures, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that renewables met a record-breaking 40.3 per cent of gross electricity consumption in 2012, confirming that Scotland is on track to meet its interim target of 50% by 2015.

Renewable energy is young generation’s top investment choice

A nationwide survey has found that renewable energy is the British public’s top investment choice after property but is the number one alternative for 18 to 24-year-olds. The findings show the country’s investment preferences reflect fast growing public support for clean power.

UK looking to reap green energy from roadside verges

A farm in Snowdonia has joined a pioneering European project which aims to transform problematic habitats into clean energy and new income sources for farmers. Research has begun at the National Trust farm, Hafod y Llan, to trial the use of a new technology, developed in Germany, which could turn soft rush, gorse and bracken crops into viable biomass fuel.

Europe’s biggest renewable energy plant completes switch from coal to biomass

Britain’s largest coal-fired power station is set to become one of Europe’s biggest renewable electricity generators today, with the potential for new future generation on the site to be based on truly clean coal. Energy Secretary Ed Davey opened the Drax coal-to-biomass conversion plant, and announced the Government was awarding funding to further the White Rose CCS project, also based at the site.

Water industry warns it may not match demands of public supply and fracking

A report by Water UK, which represents the water industry, warns that in dry spells there may not be enough resource to supply both the public and fracking operations. The research was released as it was announced the organization had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK Onshore Operators Group, which ensures the groups' respective members will cooperate throughout the shale gas exploration and extraction process.

World’s first ever ‘Brussels Sprout Battery’ lights up Christmas tree

A team of scientists and engineers from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair has created the world's first battery made entirely of Brussels sprouts, which is being used to light an 8 foot Christmas tree. The "Sprout Battery" was launched today on the Southbank, London, with the help of Year 7 pupils from City of London Academy, Islington, who were on hand to switch on the Christmas tree lights.

Chickens to benefit from surge in biofuels popularity

Chickens could be the unexpected beneficiaries of the growing biofuels industry, feeding on proteins retrieved from the fermenters used to brew bioethanol, thanks to research supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It has long been known that the yeasty broth left over after bioethanol production is nutritious, but it has taken a collaboration between Nottingham Trent University and AB Agri, the agricultural division of Associated British Foods, to prove that Yeast Protein Concentrate (YPC) can be separated from the fibrous cereal matter.

Liquid air technology could boost the role of renewable energy

Liquid air technologies could help Britain tackle some of its toughest energy challenges, says a new report launched at Parliament today. The report, "Liquid Air Technologies – a guide to the potential," shows how liquid air could help balance an electricity grid increasingly dominated by intermittent renewables; provide strategic energy storage to keep the lights on; sharply reduce CO2 and tail-pipe emissions from vehicles; and convert low grade waste heat into usable energy throughout the economy.

Shale gas fracking linked to earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio

A leading seismologist has linked the process of shale gas fracking with more than 100 earthquakes that blighted a city in the US Midwest within the space of just 12 months. Since records began in 1776, the Ohio city of Youngstown had never experienced a single earthquake, until a deep injection well was built to pump waste-water produced by fracking in neighboring Pennsylvania. The Northstar 1 site started pumping operation in December 2010 and within the following 12 months seismometers in and around Youngstown recorded 109 earthquakes; the strongest being a magnitude 3.9 quake.