Category: Country Close-Up

Solar Car Champions

Solar Car Champions

A few days ago, a group called Nuon Solar Team from Delft University, the Netherlands won the World Solar Car Challenge after crossing the finish line in Adelaide, Australia. The aim of the race is to promote greener alternatives in the transport industry and it proved popular with over 50 teams from across the globe joining in!

The race certainly wasn’t easy either – taking four days to complete the 3,000km course. What I would like to know, is would any of you do this? Does this type of event, in your opinion, raise the profile of renewables?

Mississippi Madness

I’m sure most of you will have heard of this river at some point, but one flood in particular has put it in American history. 1927 was the year, and the state had seen several months of heavy rain. The Mississippi River flooded, along with many of its tributaries (streams that join the main river) and overwhelmed 27,000 square miles of land – which is the same amount of land needed today to grow today’s chocolate. To this day, it remains the most damaging river flood in US history.

Mellow Yellow

The Yellow River in China is often referred to as ‘China’s Sorrow’ and the fact that it has flooded 1,500 times over the last 3,500 years helps you understand why. The majority of these floods have also resulted in high loss of life. For example, in 1887 (quite a while ago), it is thought a flood may have killed as  many as 2.5 million people!

Flooded France

Time for a trip back in history. An example of a severe flood can be seen in January 1910 in Paris, France. Three months of heavy rain and snow led to the river Seine flooding. Floodwaters peaked at more than 20 feet (which is about 6 meters, and higher than a double decker bus) above their normal level. These waters lasted for one week and 20,000 buildings were flooded in Paris.

Interesting Iceland

Interesting Iceland

Let’s start with Iceland. They have a lot to talk about when it comes to the environment. Its capital, Reykjavik, sits on top of an extensive geothermal resource which provides heat for the buildings there, whilst hydropower (which is renewable) makes up the rest of the city needs. Reykjavik is the greenest city in Europe and soon, all its buses will be powered by hydrogen!

Have you ever heard of the Blue Lagoon? If you have, you’ll know I’m talking about a geothermal spa in Iceland. Here, people can bathe in water which is around 37-39oC. To compare that, the average summer in Britain can be around 18-20 oC!