Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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renewable energy > features

Iceland drills deep to release geothermal future
by Don Hinrichsen

Iceland is in the forefront of global research and development of geothermal energy. Now the country has launched an ambitious programme to tap deeper geothermal fields, up to 5 kilometres below the surface. If all goes well this could open the way to a geothermal future that could provide renewable energy to the whole of Europe, says Don Hinrichsen in this second special report from Iceland. ... more

Solar project tackles Benin's arid land
Western Africa's dry season wreaks havoc on the lives of millions of people year after year. But now some villages in Benin are going to harness solar power to solve their water problems. Robert Freling reports. ... more

Test driving the world�s energy future

by Don Hinrichsen

As Iceland prepares the for the inaugural run, next month, of the world's first hydrogen-equipped commercial sea-going vessel, the country's 'hydrogen economy' is poised to take off - with stunning repercussions for the rest of the world, says People & the Planet Contributing Editor, Don Hinchichsen, just back from a first-hand investigation. ... more

Heavy price of corn-based biofuels
The irrational exuberance in the United States over ethanol that swept through the American corn belt over the last few years has given way to a dreary hangover, especially among those who invested heavily in the sprawling production facilities now dotting the rural landscape, says David Totman, writing in Technology Review. Here are some extracts from his article. ... more

World�s addiction to coal growing
While China is closing some of its older dirtier coal mines, there are plans for a coal-fired power plant to go on line in China nearly every week. It is part of a worldwide coal rush, pouring CO2 into the air, just as the dangers of global warming become ever-more insistent. This first-hand report is from Maine Today. ... more

Biofuels 'could benefit poor farmers'
Biofuels have been under attack for taking up land that is needed to grow food and threatening biodiversity, but says a new study, the increase in world agriculture prices caused by the global boom in biofuels could benefit many of the world�s rural poor. ... more

'Peak oil' is coming soon say BP critics
Last month, the oil company BP, reported that there were sufficient oil reserves to meet current demands for another 40 years. It said there was no need to be concerned about global scarcity, despite cutting its estimates for proven reserves for the first time in 16 years. These claims have since been hotly disputed. ... more

Zerocarbonbritain � a new energy strategy
by Richard Hawkins and Arthur Girling

Britain must eliminate all carbon emissions within 20 years by halving energy demand and installing massive renewable energy generation, according to a new report from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). ... more

Ban the incandescent bulb
by Lester R. Brown

A worldwide shift from incandescents to compact fluorescents could have the effect of closing 270 coal-fired power plants. ... more

Cars are grabbing world's grain supply
by Lester R. Brown

Cars, not people, will claim most of the increase in world grain consumption this year. The US Department of Agriculture projects that world grain use will grow by 20 million tons in 2006. Of this, 14 million tons will be used to produce fuel for cars in the United States, leaving only 6 million tons to satisfy the world's growing food needs. ... more

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