For those who don’t want to go the whole hog and make a major investment, there are a number of innovative gadgets that can be used to charge smaller devices such as phones, tablets and low-energy LED lights without using mains electricity. Devil Watt ( devilwatt.com), an American company, has launched a range of compact thermoelectric generators that are simply mounted on a wood-burning stove to generate enough energy from otherwise wasted heat for lighting and charging, and since they are water-cooled they can also be used to drive modest heating systems.
Check out Waka Waka ( waka-waka.com), which makes solar power banks that will charge all manner of devices via multiple USB ports. These cost from €49.95 to €99.95 and claim to offer up to 200 hours of light off one day’s sunshine. And Biolite ( bioliteenergy.com) makes a mini woodburner that, as well as boiling water for your morning coffee, drives a generator to power up mobile devices. It costs around €180.