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STRAWS IN THE WIND

This page features key items of news that seem to point to future trends in decarbonising the economy - with the main focus on the UK. Some of these reports, such as those from the 18th and 20th February, 2007, should make any sensible investor very cautious indeed about investing in power from fossil fuels or nuclear fission.

2007

February

20 Scotland seeks world lead in marine power (press release from the Scottish Executive. See also the press release from Ocean Power Delivery). Several new marine power devices will soon be installed off the west coast of Scotland, including four of the very interesting wave energy converters ('Pelamis') from OPD, which are already in use off the coast of Portugal. Since wave power has the potential to supply as much as 20% of UK electricity, this could be the beginning of something big.

18 Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half (Telegraph.co.uk). "Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels."

3 Green energy could go under water (The Herald, Scotland). The Crown Estate is examining the possibility of laying a submarine HVDC cable down the east coast of Britain. This could be one component of the Europe-wide HVDC Supergrid proposed by Airtricity (see electricity transmission grids), which should itself facilitate the development of many different sources of renewable energy, including wave power off the west coasts of Europe (see the entry for the 20th of February, above) and concentrating solar power in North Africa and the Middle East.