Voices

A green, competitive Europe doesn’t need them and shouldn’t have them

Vito Nicastri, a businessman with known links to the Sicilian Mafia

Italian court orders €1.3bn in mafia assets to be seized from Sicily’s' 'Lord of the wind' Vito Nicastri

An Italian court ordered €1.3bn in mafia assets to be seized from Sicily’s “Lord of the wind” today – the largest such confiscation in the country’s history.

The Swiss-made solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse piloted by Bertrand Piccard

Around the US in 55 days: Bertrand Piccard set to cross America in his Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the solar-powered plane that flies at night

A Swiss adventurer plans to fly his featherweight jumbo jet across America fuelled only by the energy of the Sun

Costly renewable energy 'will damage UK's economy'

The energy Bill will be slammed this week by a group of business owners and consumer groups as "absurd" and potentially leading to the UK "sleepwalking into blackouts".

Sport on TV: David Lloyd's curiouser ramblings killed the duck, not the cat

There seems to be an acknowledgement that England's Test series in New Zealand isn't particularly interesting. In a double Ashes year this might be understandable. The highlights on Sky Sports are only an hour long instead of two, and in the live transmission David Lloyd is on a campaign to keep viewers awake: "What time is it now? Twenty past 11? Have some discipline. Make a cup of coffee!" He's as manic as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, but when he pops down the hole again to go Down Under next winter he won't need to keep reminding us to keep our eyes open for the Ashes.

Dead Water, By Ann Cleeves. Macmillan, £16.99

Crime fiction has a demanding convention. If the serial killer arrived recently on our gory shelves, the serial detective has been around for so long that readers expect it, and look forward to the regular appearance of their favourite sleuth. This lands the writer in a dilemma: how to maintain a character while bringing a book reasonably up-to-date? Ann Cleeves presents another adventure for her somewhat exotic Shetland detective, Inspector Jimmy Perez, but has taken a bold step with a dramatic change in his life.

US House Speaker John Boehner (right) and Vice President Joe Biden (left) stand to applaud as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech

Obama's State of the Union address: Reaction and key moments

For an hour on Tuesday evening, Barack Obama set out the policies against which the success of his second term as President will be chalked up. Gun control, climate change, equal pay for women and an end to the war in Afghanistan all featured in the State of the Union address, which also put front and centre a pledge to reignite the economy. Reaction this morning is largely favourable, if a touch mild.

The Burbo Bank off shore wind farm in Liverpool bay. More than half the public believe the UK should commit to most of its electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030

UK surge in wind turbines

Last year the number of wind farms approved by local councils went up for the first time in five years

Government attempts to 'reclaim' the green agenda by ploughing £1 billion into effort to cut Britain's overseas gas reliance

Ministers will divert money currently earmarked to build a new gas fired power station into projects to cut electricity demand

Mark Leftly: Stop dithering on this nuclear 'strike price' deal

Outlook Sticking with government and industry, I hear that the long-awaited "strike price" for nuclear power generation has basically been agreed. This is the guaranteed minimum that EDF would get for power produced at a proposed new plant at Hinkley Point, the first of the coming wave of nuclear new-build.

Wind farm PFI deals are 'shocking', the Public Accounts Committee said

MPs say wind farm contracts are 'shocking'

Families could face higher electricity bills as a result of "shocking" blunders in awarding new contracts for offshore wind farms, a group of MPs has warned.

Has Rupert Murdoch turned into a climate change sceptic?

(And, if so, his late mother wouldn’t be very pleased)

Call for a ban on ash woodchip

Imports of woodchip from foreign ash trees should be banned in an attempt to avoid the spread of the devastating ash dieback disease, a member of the Environment Select Committee has said.

What are the pros and cons of wind farms and fracking?

The big energy debate: Wind farms vs fracking

Wind farms

Wind turbines close by Mossmorran Ethleyne Plant

Argyll grandmother takes UK and EU to the United Nations over plans to turn Scotland into windfarm 'hedgehog'

Christine Metcalfe claims UK Government and the EU have breached a fundamental tenet of citizens’ rights under the UN’s Åarhus Convention

George Osborne hints at watering-down of UK's commitment to cutting carbon dioxide emissions

George Osborne gave a strong signal that he intends to water down Britain’s commitment to cutting its carbon dioxide emissions over the next 15 years, threatening tens of billions of pounds of vital investment in renewable energy generators.

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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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