Sir Clive Sinclair, well-known for his C5 tricycle and the ZX Spectrum home computer has patented a revolutionary electrical generator that is powered by panty elastic.
In a break with tradition, Sir Clive has assigned the patent rights "to all of humanity" in the hope that the invention will be taken up and used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 60%.
The generator is connected by slender wires to each leg opening of male or female undergarments and uses strain gauges to generate electricity.
The relatively slow but steady movement as the panty leg elastic creeps up the "crack" generates a trickle curent and this is collected and stored in small lithium-ion batteries.
Surge power is generated when the elastic is wrenched from the crack and this capability is always available if a wedgie is administered.
When a high power demand is experienced, it is recommended that wearers pair off and repeatedly carry out the "Upcrack/Decrack" sequence as rapidly as possible. This will generate alternating current and if one other wearer can be involved, 3-phase power becomes available.
WARNING: Wearers should be electrically earthed at these times.
Because of their limited capacity for power generation, thongs, G-strings and boxer shorts are banned from sale from now on.
Sir Clive explains "the idea came to me as I was going up an escalator on the Underground behind a ladies netball team. I noticed that 90% of the young ladies spent 67% of their time resolving underwear conflicts. I had time to develop the theory as I waited for my solicitor at Camden police station".
In a surprise move, Gordon Brown has insisted that Chancellor Alistair Darling immediately announces plans for meters and that VAT (Voltage Arse Tax) will apply.