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Alternative Technology Centre celebrates 40th year

The Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth is forty years old this year.

For the last four decades, it has been promoting alternatives to mainstream energy sources as well as making people more aware of their responsibilities to the environment.

It's also become quite a tourist attraction having had around two million visitors through its doors as Kevin Ashford reports:

Wales' first full-scale tidal energy generator unveiled

The 'Spirit of the Sea' generator
The device will be installed in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire Credit: Tidal Energy Ltd

Wales' first full-scale energy generator has been unveiled today at Pembroke Port by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The device, which was developed by a tidal stream technology company in Cardiff, will be installed in Ramsey Sound in Pembrokeshire.

It's among the first in the world to generate green, sustainable and predictable tidal power.

The generator, named 'Spirit of the Sea', or 'Ysbryd y Mor', has been assembled by Pembroke-Dock based company Mustang Marine over the last six months, thanks to £8 million worth of EU funding.

“I’m delighted that Wales’ first full scale tidal stream energy generator has been supported with almost £8million from the European Regional Development Fund."

This is a landmark project for Wales, which will not only help us to meet our sustainable energy ambitions, but will also provide significant opportunities for local people and businesses.”

– Carwyn Jones, First Minister

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Welsh police forces to develop crime scene app

Two Welsh police forces are hoping to develop an app to allow them to record witness statements.

South Wales and Gwent Forces have been given a £837,000 grant from the UK Government's Police Innovation Fund to develop the project.

The app will allow officers to record audio and video accounts from members of the public as well as at crime scenes. The idea is that officers will be able to upload statements using mobile phones and tablet computers, whilst out on the beat - reducing the need for them to return to base.

This project will enhance the quality of information and evidence obtained at crime scenes, allow Forces to share cross-border data quickly and enable officers and key partners in the community to have rapid access to key information which will save both time and money.

– Ian Johnston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

Welsh company exports water-purification technology

A company from Carmarthenshire is exporting its pioneering water-purification technology around the world.

Hydro Industries, based in Llangennech, uses electrodes, to separate contaminants, ranging from mud to radioactive material, from safe water.

Our reporter Tom Sheldrick went along to see the process in action:

Ensuring people have access to safe water remains a major challenge for global leaders in the 21st century.

The charity WaterAid estimates:

  • 748m people in the world don't have access to safe water
  • That's around 1 in 10 of the global population
  • Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness

Watch: Clean water in just three minutes

Helping more people around the world to have access to safe drinking water is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

But a company from Carmarthenshire are aiming to improve the situation, with their pioneering technology for purifying water.

The technology takes three minutes to clean the water. We've sped up that process for you in the video below, so you can see how it works.

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Welsh site considered for UK's first 'spaceport'

A north Wales airfield has been highlighted as a possible location for a UK 'spaceport'.

Llanbedr airfield, in Gwynedd, is being considered along with 7 other sites by the UK Government. If chosen, it would become Britain's first spaceport and could become a base for commercial flights from 2018.

The chosen site could see commercial flights run from 2018 Credit: PA

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: "Space is big business for the UK. It already contributes £11.3 billion to the economy each year, supporting nearly 35,000 jobs.

"That’s why it’s important for us to prepare the UK for new launcher technology and take steps towards meeting our ambition of establishing the first British spaceport by 2018."

Other sites that are under consideration include Glasgow and Newquay.

Welsh expertise helps 1000mph Bloodhound car

A record attempt is scheduled for 2016. Credit: Stefan Marjoram

A car aiming to travel at 1000mph is nearing completion helped by the expertise of engineers at Swansea University.

They blended Formula 1, aerospace and rocket technology to model Bloodhound SSC's design.

Bloodhound SSC has a jet and a rocket engine. Credit: Siemens NX

More: Bloodhound model wows schoolchildren in Cardiff Bay

The Swansea University team also designed the Thrust supersonic car which hit 763mph in 1997. The record hasn't been beaten.

Bloodhound SSC has a Rolls Royce Typhoon fighter jet engine and a rocket below. A Formula 1 car engine pumps the fuel.

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