Basslink to Become Bassland

By Canberra, Australia correspondent Erica Quarterbee on assignment in Launceston

Australian experts have been scratching their heads on how to fix the electrical power link between Tasmania and the mainland since it failed in December but a permanent solution may be at hand from the opposite side of the planet. The Basslink undersea cable has been problematic from the outset and finally failed shortly after Tasmania’s hydroelectric generators tried to use the link to export electrical power to the mainland.

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Sweden’s Vattenfall is proposing a sustainable solution that will provide Australia’s eastern seaboard with reliable, baseload, renewable energy capacity.

Bass Strait is a relatively narrow, shallow sea passage that separates Tasmania from the mainland by a few kilometres. It is infamous for its rough seas and high winds.

Vattenfall propose to exploit its experience in wind and hydro-power, deploying a chain of wind turbines, wave, tidal and pumped storage within Bass Strait. The ambitious plan is to build two land-bridges joining Cape Otway in Victoria to Cape Grim in Tasmania, via King and smaller Islands to the East; and Wilsons Promontory in Victoria to Cape Portland in Tasmania, via Flinders, Cape Barren and minor islands. Continue reading

Au Revoir Eiffel Tower. Bonjour Moulin Tricolore

by European correspondents Ahmed Butrosghali (Calais), Yvonne Rückenkratzer (Vaduz), Menno van Spijkergraf (Hilversum), Dieter Ditteldiestel (Düsseldorf) and Sven-Erik Østermark (Wroclaw)

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The quarter of Paris to be rejuvinated and energised.

The Eiffel Tower is to be dismantled in the lead up to IPCC’s COP21 at the end of November this year, symbolising France’s contribution to the lowering of carbon emissions.

France’s President François Hollande was delighted to announce planning approval has been granted by the City for a more appropriate 300-metre tall, 12 megawatt wind turbine tower to be installed in its place. Already dubbed Moulin Tricolore by passionate and popular acclaim, the structure is to be completed and opened to the public on Bastille Day, 2020. The complete success of the two wind turbines installed within the old Eiffel Tower earlier this year had encouraged government, environmentalists and city planners to tackle climate change in a big way. Continue reading