Friday, 1 August 2008

Race to the Sun

EDF Energy (France's 35% state controlled electricity company) recently announced a 22% rise on gas prices, 17% rise on electricity prices.

And just this morning announced they've moved away from the deal to take over British Energy. British Energy's 1 coal power station and 8 nuclear power stations producing 1/6th of Britain's energy currently. The deal apparently was central to plans to replace the nuclear reactors which are basically at the reaching the end of their usable shelf-life. The French reactors were never the safest, despite protestations.

I think we should have a batch of entrepreneurs, that actually give a damn about this planet. Pop them on Dragon's Den:

First to get a feasible VC backable plan to link a solar farm to the EU electricity grid (and by EU I mean the UK), wins. I can imagine several Dragons getting rather excited about exclusive rights to either site solar farms / set up and own a supergrid.

Where's our engineering prowess or pride in moving on this front? Give RIBA an Stirling work overseas prize. Get Gehry to make some curvy parabolics - the Guggenheim is halfway there already. Get Jonathan Ive onto portable panels. Wouldn't it be marvellous if new build monstrosities actually had by law to include a high percentage of solar panels? (Towering Innuendo, and your dark solar panel friendly stripes - i'm looking at you).

If we have 100 months (on likely estimates, we have less), it would it a useful idea to actually start doing something in the right direction. Sometime very soon, the market prices for renewable power versus non-renewable will finally be a big enough incentive. Where did Buffet put his money fairly recently?

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