Grid Scale

Power From the People

[The Economist] In the early 1990s, an inventor called Trevor Baylis came up with an idea that provoked the sort of smirking disbelief journalists usually reserve for those who have spent too long in their garden sheds. But the smirkers were wrong. Mr Baylis’s clockwork radio turned out to be a great success in places where batteries are expensive and mains electricity is non-existent. In the latest versions, the crank charges a battery directly, rather than winding up a spring which then turns a small dynamo. A few minutes’ handle-turning can provide an hour’s reception.