Feb 262012

Sunshine city switched on

The Ghana Sun

23 February 2062

At a special ceremony attended by dignitaries from all over Africa, the President of Ghana threw the switch that connected solar panels on the roof of the capital’s parliament buildings to the Accra Solar Energy Board, thereby completing the scheme to generate all the city’s electricity from solar sources.

“Accra is now the first city on Earth with more than a million inhabitants that is totally powered by sunlight”, he said. “The city has one of the best electricity storage systems in the world and this can store up to a week’s supply of power. Although many thought it would be impossible to meet all of Accra’s electricity demands from solar energy this has been achieved thanks to a concerted effort by residents in all localities who fitted solar panels to their roofs and outbuildings. I thank them all.”

Public buildings, shops, factories, warehouses, and office blocks have undergone a massive window replacement programme, and even north-facing surfaces have been fitted with dye-sensitised panels, which can generate electricity even when not in direct sunlight. The cost of the ten-year programme was funded from a levy on cocoa and palm oil exports which are the main source of the country’s wealth. Home owners were able to claim 75% of the cost of installing solar panels from the levy.

Feb 092012

New village with zero energy bills

Global Times News

12 February 2061

The new Dolphin retirement village at La Gomera, in The Canary Islands, was officially opened by the Minister for the Environment yesterday who praised the fact that it was entirely self-sufficient in energy. All cottages are equipped with fitted kitchens and entertainment facilities and are fully air conditioned thanks to SuperGlass windows and roofs.

SuperGlass adjusts to the level of sunlight falling on it, allowing light and warmth to enter when the weather is cool but when the weather is hot it generates energy which can be used to work air-conditioning – and the new glass is also self-cleaning.

Dolphin village generates enough electricity to power all its buildings plus a desalination plant that provides its 500 dwellings with two million litres of water per week, enough to supply all that is needed for washing, cleaning, and toilets, as well as irrigating the large gardens and fruit trees, which are mainly oranges and avocados, growing on its terraced hillside overlooking the Atlantic. The village also has cafés, bars, heated pool, leisure club, shops, health centre, and golf course.

Feb 042012

Clock that works off trapped flies

The Eco Mail

4 February 2062

A new clock, unveiled at Calcutta railway station yesterday, derives its energy by catching flies and using them as fuel. Inside the clock are cells containing cow dung which attracts the flies which are electrocuted as they enter the trap. There they decompose anaerobically to gases which are then used to fuel the machine which works the clock.

“Wherever there are flies all year round this type of fuel could be used for simple electronic equipment” said a representative of Flycell Limited.

Plans are now afoot to incorporate their equipment in all kinds of devices that could be used in countries such as Italy and the southern states of the US which are now badly affected by swarms of flies as a result of the international ban on insecticides which came into force two years ago.