Power the future

Coal and nuclear power plants are pass; invest in micropower technologies, says a Worldwatch report

 
Published: Thursday 31 August 2000

According to a new report by the Washington, DC-based Worldwatch Institute, coal and nuclear power plants do not provide high-quality and reliable electricity and are second-rate compared to the environment-friendly micropower technologies. As one-third of the world's carbon dioxide emissions come from electricity generation, new sustainable solutions have to be found, says the report. "The kind of highly reliable power needed for today's economy can only be based on a new generation of micropower devices now coming into the market. These allow homes and businesses to produce their own electricity with far less pollution," says Seth Dunn, author of the report.

In the US, power interruptions due to the vulnerability of large power plants and their associated transmission lines cost as much as US $80 billion every year.The report, entitled Micropower: The next electrical era, says that in developing countries, as much as 20-50 per cent of total power generated is lost through leaks in transmission and distribution systems. The future of electricity generation should lie with small-scale, non-polluting power production, such as fuels cells, microturbines and solar roofing.

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