Environment: Solar plant yields water and crops from the desert

· Green energy glasshouses may transform arid areas
· Fresh water will end need to dig wells, say architects


The Sahara forest project will use seawater and solar power to grow food in greenhouses across the desert. Photograph: Exploration Architecture

Vast greenhouses that use sea water for crop cultivation could be combined with solar power plants to provide food, fresh water and clean energy in deserts, under an ambitious proposal from a team of architects and engineers.

The Sahara Forest Project, which is already running demonstration plants in Tenerife, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, envisages huge greenhouses with concentrated solar power (CSP), a technology that uses mirrors to focus the sun’s rays, creating steam to drive turbines to generate electricity.

The installations would turn deserts into lush patches of vegetation, according to its designers, and do away with the need to dig wells for fresh water, an activity that has depleted aquifers across the world.

Read moreEnvironment: Solar plant yields water and crops from the desert

Millions more face big energy price increases

· Up to 34% rise as last two big suppliers get into line
· Government urged to act as more face fuel poverty


Photograph: Steve Taylor/Getty Images

This summer’s misery for energy consumers reached a climax yesterday when the last two of the big six suppliers raised prices for millions of household customers.

ScottishPower, which has just over 5 million customers, said gas bills would rise by 34% from the beginning of next month, and electricity by 9%. Npower said it was putting up gas prices by 26% and electricity by 14% for its 6.6 million customers with immediate effect.

Read moreMillions more face big energy price increases

Sleep Better by Turning Off Electronic Accessories

(NaturalNews) Nowadays most people sleep in a room that is lit up like a Christmas tree. The alarm clock shows the time in bright red. The cell phone is charging. The Computer is still running. The DVD clock is flickering 12:00. The answering machine has more lights than R2D2.

Are people so afraid of the dark that they prefer this many night lights? Each and every energy source takes a small toll on the sleep pattern of people nearby, bombarding them with various forms of radiation as they sleep. The following are some devices to be wary of:

Read moreSleep Better by Turning Off Electronic Accessories

Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have set a world record in solar cell efficiency with a photovoltaic device that converts 40.8 percent of the light that hits it into electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date.

Read moreSolar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record

How to Make a Solar Power Generator for Less Than $300

Using parts easily available from your local stores, you can make a small solar power generator for $250 to $300. Great for power failures and life outside the power grid. Power your computer, modem, vcr, tv, cameras, lights, or DC appliances anywhere you go. Use in cabins, boats, tents, archaeological digs, or while travelling throughout the third world. Have one in the office store room in case of power failures in your highrise. I keep mine in my bedroom where it powers my cd player, turntable, lights, modem, laptop, and (ahem) a back massager. I run a line out the window to an 8″ x 24″ panel on the roof.

Read moreHow to Make a Solar Power Generator for Less Than $300

The REAL cost of inflation

The Daily Mail’s Cost of Living Index reveals food prices rising at SIX times official figure

The true, devastating scale of rising prices is revealed today – by the new Daily Mail Cost of Living Index.

It shows that families are having to find more than £100 a month extra this year to cope with increases in the cost of food, heat, light and transport.

According to the Consumer Price Index, inflation is running at only 2.5 per cent.

Yet the Mail’s index finds that food costs alone are rising at 15.5 per cent a year – more than six times the official rate.

And there are double-digit increases in other “must-pay” essentials such as petrol, gas and electricity.

Many families need to find more than £1,200 extra a year just to stand still.

Once higher mortgage costs are added, millions are having to pay out at least another £2,000 a year to keep their heads above water.

The Bank of England’s chief economist Charlie Bean admitted last night that higher food and energy costs are likely to push the Consumer Price Index over 3 per cent this year.

Read moreThe REAL cost of inflation

U.S. spy agency seeks data on power grid

WASHINGTON, March 28 (UPI) — The agency that manages data from U.S. spy satellites is exploring ways to map the nation’s entire electric grid as part of efforts to protect infrastructure.

(It’s all about controlling the infrastructure in the coming events, nothing else. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreU.S. spy agency seeks data on power grid