A River Runs Through It

This article first appeared in Renewable Energy Installer, in 2009, a new(ish) trade title aimed at…well, the title is explanatory. Loved meeting these people and travelling to see the projects.

Water Power Enterprises says it has conducted feasibility studies on 120 potential hydro sites throughout Britain, mostly in the north of England. If there was a typical site, says managing director Steve Welsh, it would look very much like the convergence of the rivers Sett and Goyt in New Mills.
Which is helpful because, to date, New Mills is the only one of the 120 sites with a working hydro generator. Torrs Hydro celebrated its first anniversary in September, generating a maximum rated output of 63kW and working towards a target of £20,000 in annual revenues.
Simon Clayton, member of the Torrs Hydro board of directors, says the last 12 months have provided invaluable lessons: Continue reading A River Runs Through It


Flights of Fancy

Despite ballooning costs, sport-wise, the London Olympics will not be the biggest Games ever. 2012 is scheduled to feature just 26 sports, a sizable slump from the 35 currently on the IOC roster, and five less Sydney managed on 20% of the budget.

Baseball or softball will be axed, say London, and none of the five replacement options offered by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) are to be taken on.

With the list of IOC-approved sports growing, future Olympic hosts are having to draw the line: the number of sports staged is finite. With two Synchronised Swimming, 17 Shooting and six Equestrian events remaining on the slate, some suggest London could do even more to fight the flab.

The challenge for the IOC marketing team is to produce a Games that balances the Blue Riband (Athletics, Swimming, Gymnastics) with the unsung. Part of the Olympics’ appeal is turning your average football/cricket nut into two-week fan of Rhona Martin, Sean Kerly or Gail Emms. It is these side dishes that make the meal. Cut too much and you have a very plain feast.

Continue reading Flights of Fancy

Murky Pool

It is 1992, my brother and I are in a pub in Melbourne. We’d only been in Australia for, maybe, three months. We’ve got our names down on the pool table, playing doubles against two local lads. One of them breaks and clears, if I remember correctly, five colours. He then snookers himself; both of his colours are tucked behind the black and a cluster of our balls. I’m thinking, he’ll need a two-cushion escape.

Instead, he cracks into the black, breaks up the cluster, and opens up his final two colours.

Continue reading Murky Pool