Friday, July 07, 2006

Pathfinders in the Developing World

The people most affected by rising energy costs are not SUV drivers (despite being the worst people imaginable) but the global poor. So while it may be surprising that the developing world is leading the way with renewable energy, it shouldn't be. Some recent encouraging examples:

-Solar cookers taking off in Kenya, in an effort to reduce firewood consumption, pollution, and other problems with conventional methods.

-India considering mandatory solar power for large buildings.

-More recently, China announces what it calls a "magnetic levitation" wind breakthrough. I have no idea what this means - and haven't heard a clear explanation - but I assume it means a magnetic bearing for the windmill to rest on, reducing friction losses. If anyone has a clear explanation, I'd love to hear it.

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