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'We sell dreams, passion,' says French Open's Guy Forget

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or is it just a misunderstanding?

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REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

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THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

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EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

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MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

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YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

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ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

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SCIENCE

This week: clouds are accumulating over the sun's energy

Text by Eve IRVINE

Latest update : 2009-06-22

Every 40 minutes enough sunlight falls on earth to potentially provide humanity with a years worth of energy. In this show we'll be looking at the value of the sun.

The sun is a great natural resource and it could provide electricity to the entire planet but for that to happen, more technical advances will have to be made.

 

Scientists are working on new solar panels, that will be more powerful, easier to use, and cheaper than what is currently available. For the moment, silicon chips are the basis of most solar panels. They are effective but pricey

 

As the economic crisis hits hard businesses are investing less in renewable energy. Indeed, the International Energy Agency estimates that we'll see a 38 percent drop this year.

 

Solar subsidies are also falling across Europe as governments tighten their belts. The cloud hangs heaviest in Spain. The photovoltaic sector which was booming, has hit hard times. Organisations such as Greenpeace are upset with what they see as mismanagement of the energy market.

 

Finally, fame often comes with a price: Egypt's white desert is becoming more and more popular with tourists, but the attention is taking some of the shine off the impressive sloping sands there, and now some holidaymakers find themselves getting out their rubber gloves and cleaning up.

 

Date created : 2009-05-30

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