Letter from the Editor: A bumper harvest of renewable energy

This week, there’s plenty of good news for renewable energy, starting off with £13.7 million for renewables in the UK. The Japanese Government has also got in on the act, with 300 million Yen (£1.6 million) for projects in developing countries, under the Kyoto Protocol.

There are some interesting projects, including the theory that a barrier across the Severn Estuary could generate 7% of energy demands in England and Wales. The impact on the estuary habitat, however, would not be so favourable.

Algeria, on the other hand, plans to produce 5% of its electricity needs from solar power by 2010, and would like to sell some of its solar power to Europe (see this week’s European Business Briefs). In the US, the curiously named Redjellyfish telephone company has announced that it will purchase 100% of its electricity needs from wind power (see International Business Briefs).

The news is not all good. In Ireland, the Government has totted up the short term expense of curbing climate change, and has reached a figure of over €1 billion.

However, if you’re feeling the heat of climate change, why not use solar-powered air conditioning. In the Basque region, it is thought that such a scheme would save 27,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Finally – and I know it has nothing to do with climate change, but I can’t resist commenting – you can substantially reduce your chance of developing cholera by filtering water through four layers of old sari cloth. The consequences of this discovery for people living in poverty in cholera-affected areas are potentially huge.

Kind regards

Helen André


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