Wednesday, March 05, 2008

On turtles and turbines

Think of a tropical island paradise for endangered animals. The local govt tries best to keep it pristine, and the money mostly comes from tourism. All is well. Except that all this tourism needs energy --- energy which cannot be brought over wires to a remote island. The current solution --- diesel generators, fueled by oil tankers sailing into the islands port.

I guess you see the problem by now. The phrases "oil tanker" and "endangered animals" in the same paragraph :-|. And this is what the administration in the Galapagos islands is trying to solve. Their solution: Wind Energy [My fav kind of energy, right next to Solar].

Read this IEEE Spectrum article here [single page print version here]. And also check out the photo gallery. Someday I will have the time and money to visit this place... someday :).

I strongly recommend you read this. It is a very good mix of how alternate energy sources are important, and also how administrative problems need to be solved for real-world technical problems, not to mention the cool engineering where the turbines auto-adjust their blade angles to produce varying amounts of power for different loads.

Here's to a more windmill-filled future, esp in developing nations [Lok Sabha, are you listening?].

P.S. Check out this NYTimes article [ref: JD] on MSG-cousins in a whole bunch of common foods.
P.P.S. In the third edition of my monthly fast. So far, so good :).

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