|Mirrors to Banish Town's Winter Darkness|
|George Jahn (email@example.com)|
Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:43:32 -0600
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer|
The sun has stopped shining in Rattenberg. But with the aid of a few
That's because sun is plentiful less than 10 minutes' walk from the
The solution: 30 heliostats, essentially rotating mirrors, mounted on
Bartenbach Lichtlabor GmbH, the Austrian company behind the idea, has
It says the reflector technology is now advanced enough to justify the
It's costly, however. The European Union is footing half the $2.4
"I am sure we will soon help other mountain villages see the light,"
In the Tyrol region of the Alps alone, about 60 communities suffer the
The technology requires pinpoint beaming, and even the most modern
Peskoller says those problems can be compensated for. But it would
So Lichtlabor plans to create about a dozen "hotspots" -- areas not
Rattenberg was built between the hill to the south and the Inn River
But as such dangers diminished, dozens more settlements sprang
Rattenberg's demographics reflect the pull of the sun.
The town 25 miles east of Innsbruck is Austria's smallest_ and getting
The mayor remembers how in the 1950s, when not everyone had a car,
In a poll of four years ago, about 50 percent of Rattenbergers listed
"We all complain, although those who have lived here into old age can
Christine Margreiter runs a florist's shop in town but lives in a
"It's unpleasant to come here for me," she says. "Dark and cold."
On the Net:
Bartenbach Lichtlabor GmbH: http://www.bartenbach.com
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
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