Sitting on the beach

 By Nicholas Newman

Across Europe, people are enjoying their summer holidays in popular resorts like Malaga in Spain or visiting historic places like Pompeii in Italy. And when you get there, you can relax by the pool or take a trip on a jet ski. Nicholas Newman takes a look at the role energy plays in enabling us to go on holiday and have fun…

(Cover photo by

Across Europe, people are enjoying their summer holidays, most of them heading gratefully towards the waterside, whether at the pool, the rivers or the beaches. Along with sunscreen, electronic gadgets have become a must-have for any vacation. This feature looks at the role energy plays in supporting our summertime fun.

There are a whole range of gadgets to occupy us while trying to get a nice tan, including radios, mp3 players, tablets, e-readers and mobile phones. Each has its own internal battery power, providing entertainment ranging across books, music, communications and more.

However, these gadgets often run out of power at the pool or beach where the nearest power outlet is nowhere in sight. For those wishing to avoid the inconvenience of going back to the hotel, innovators have come up with mini portable generators. There is even the hand-cranked Evolution Evo-System Gen2800 with an output of some 2.8 kw, making it ideal to recharge a range of gadgets wherever you are. Some gadgets, such as radios and torches, are also fitted with mini hand-cranks, such as the Powerplus Cheetah Wind-Up and Solar Powered Radio and Uni-com Wind Up Power Beam 13 LED.


For those looking for an easier option, the mini solar-powered battery might be ideal, especially for the sunbather. Both you and your solar battery can recharge in the sun! A classic example is the weatherproof portable Venture 30, which can charge two IPADs simultaneously. It is ideal for powering tablets, smartphones and other USB devices.

For those seeking water-based fun, a range of devices are available including surfboards, paddle boat, Jet Skis, speedboats, cruisers, yachts and sailing boats which are powered by waves, marine fuels, battery and wind. For sheer speed and excitement, the Kawasaki’s STX-15F Jet Ski, offers speeds up to 60 mph and at 35 mph cruising speed but only consumes 5.4 gph (gallons per hour). A speed boat with an in-tune four-stroke gasoline engine burning around 0.50 pounds of fuel per hour for each unit of horsepower might be equally thrilling.

Top speed on a calm day

For all ages, one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the beach and sea is to take a ride on a Land Train. Commonly found at resorts around the world, the land train is powered by diesel or battery. All you have to do is to sit back and relax as the train slowly travels along the coastal path. Children can also enjoy the beach while playing on the bouncy castle,which is likely to be powered by a portable diesel generator such as the SDMO Perform 3000TB Generator.

Holiday resorts offer tourists “free public goods” designed to create a pleasant ambience for when the sun no longer shines. For instance, those taking a romantic stroll after dinner, or those keeping fit with a cycle ride, will find their path illuminated by a myriad of lights, which can be solar powered. To cut costs LED bulbs are an alternative. In the English seaside resort of Bournemouth, LED bulbs have replaced traditional bulbs in some 16,000 street lamps and illuminated bollards. Michael Filer, of Bournemouth Town Council, said, “It has saved us around 73 percent a year on our annual £1.1 million (1.5$ million) energy costs.”

Imagine by

Many seaside resorts have maintained the traditional beach hut, used for storing beach chairs and sun loungers. Although such huts are not usually connected to the grid, beach huts are used as a permanent tent, equipped with camping gear such as small portable gas or solar powered stoves, ovens and fridges to make light snacks, drinks and even meals. So, for our holidays, innovative power sources can be just as important as the sun.

about the author
Nicholas Newman
Freelance energy journalist and copywriter who regularly writes for AFRELEC, Economist, Energy World, EER, Petroleum Review, PGJ, E&P, Oil Review Africa, Oil Review Middle East. Shale Gas Guide.