Microgeneration may energize future

With an energy crisis looming and national governments slow to adopt clean, renewable sources, some small communities are creating their own solutions — and their own energy. Case in point: Beddington Zero Energy Development in South London (BedZED for short), a carbon-neutral sustainable-housing estate employing “microgeneration,” or small-scale, local, renewable power production. BedZED’s eco-village uses green roofs and well-insulated walls and windows; all the lighting is low-energy, and water-saving washing machines and low-flush toilets reduce the need for H2O. Energy needs are met by solar panels and the community’s 130-kilowatt generator, which is fueled by landscaping waste. BioRegional Development Group, the independent organization responsible for BedZED, is working on plans for an eco-tourism project based on the same principles in Portugal, and the group may tackle growing energy sink China next.