When Francois Hollande was elected President of France in 2012, he pledged that he would reduce the nuclear energy contribution to the country's electricity mix from 75% to 50% by 2025. But this pledge might no longer be a reality. Energy Minister, Ms Segolene Royal, said last month that it was no longer a high priority to do so. She said that she was not in favour of quitting nuclear power and added that France needs to continue investing in it, particularly in fourth-generation reactors which will consume less nuclear fuel and recycle nuclear waste. Last year, the lower house of the French parliament voted on a bill that would cap nuclear production at current levels. But earlier this month the senate, in which the conservative opposition has a majority and which has the power to amend but not block laws, scrapped the cap and removed any reference to 2025. Royal refused to confirm whether the government would stick with the 2025 deadline, one of President Francois Hollande's key election promises, and enter the new amendments to the text. All eyes are on France as it prepares to host the crucial COP 21 summit at the end of this year, a summit which many believe to be the last chance to salvage a global deal on combating climate change. Due to the large share of nuclear energy in France’s electricity mix, its CO2 emissions are among the lowest in Europe. But France is also standing by its goals on renewable energy generation, which by 2030 should account for 40% of its energy mix. Ms Royal says it’s more important to focus on reaching this goal than to reduce nuclear capacity. It is possible that France could expect higher electricity demand in 2030 than today. As a part of its green initiative, and as an attempt to combat the big problem of air pollution, France plans a lucrative electric car scheme. Such a scheme, if successful, could dramatically increase electricity usage. Therefore it does not looks as if France is gearing up to quit nuclear, something Royal herself has been quite clear about. France is also a key player in nuclear research into a new generation of sodium-cooled nuclear reactors. These latest announcements put France on an entirely different nuclear path from neighbouring Germany, which wants to free its entire energy sector from nuclear by 2022.
Green Blog has been around for years. In fact, we’ve been red and green since early 2007. That’s nearly seven years now. For me, it feels like 2007 was just the other day. Time really does go by fast when you’re having fun. But, if you’re been with us since the launch back in 2007, you know the road has been bumpy – to say the least.
The site has undergone several large re-designs, usually one every year. And along the way Green Blog have switched focus – from being a green news aggregator, to a blog that mainly covered environmentally friendly webhosts, energy efficient server technologies and solutions to the Green Blog of today that covers a wide range of environmental topics. And now, Green Blog is about to switch focus again.
Today we unveil the new Green Blog website.
The new Green Blog has a large focus on you, our reader. Green Blog is no longer just a blog – it’s a community. You will, of course, still get the latest environment news on our frontpage from authors around the world. But now, on the new Green Blog you can also discuss topics that are important to you in our environment forums and create your very own green blog.
Registration is free and you can sign up in seconds with your Google, Twitter or Facebook account. If you register now, you will gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.
To be honest, I can’t really understand why you are still browsing Green Blog as a regular guest reader…
All this might sounds breathtakingly amazing. But it was not an easy decision to make this move.
To be able to create the new Green Blog we had to move to a completely new publishing system. You can think of it in terms of moving to a new house, which is located in another country with a different language and culture.
We used the very popular blogging platform Wordpress to run the old Green Blog. There is a reason for why Wordpress is number one on the web – it’s a great blogging tool! Unfortunately it isn’t that great when you also want to run a community. And in recent months, as you might have noticed, we haven’t updated Green Blog with new articles. I’ll be honest. At times it has been very quiet here. In part that is due to real life getting in the way. But more, the lack of updates can be blamed on severe technical difficulties with Wordpress.
For the past months we have been unable to properly manage Green Blog. Every time we tried to publish a new article the website have crashed. It didn’t matter how long – or short – it was. Once we pressed on that publish button our server came crashing down. A lot of time have been spent on pinpointing the cause of this error. We have tried to completely overhaul our website in a fruitless attempt to reduce server load. We have switched to new webhosts, upgraded to faster and faster servers. All this made some progress – but far from enough. That is when we decided to move away from Wordpress and instead use the IPS Community Suite - the system which our new Green Blog runs on.
Those server errors we experienced on Wordpress made the decision even more pressing – and easer to make. The transition to our new Green Blog isn’t finished yet – a lot of work remains. For example, most of our links are now broken. And hundreds upon hundreds of our articles need to be properly updated to the new system.
But despite all this, I still think it was the right decision to make all these new and drastic changes to Green Blog. This new publishing system will allow us to take Green Blog to the next level, so to speak.
Change is good, but it can also be difficult. So please, have patience while we transition to this new system (you can ). And while you wait, why not sign up for a free Green Blog account!?