10+ quirky green energy generation ideas from around the world

#1 Poop into Power


At Delft University of Technology, researchers have been working on an alternative to fossil fuels which just so happens to be a toilet.

The toilet, which will be used in developing countries, employs microwaves to chemically alter human waste into syngas. This syngas can then be used in stacks of fuel cells to generate electricity.

Distasteful to some. But innovative to all.

#2 Solar against Sunburn


This “smart” palm tree does not only provide much needed shade in Dubai, where temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius are commonplace.

They are also self-sustainable battery recharge stations for mobile devices, information points, and WiFi hotspots, powered by specially designed solar panels on top of the leaves.

Around 50 of these smart palms have been erected across Dubai already, in preparation for the world expo 2020.

#3 Chimneys Can Convert

United States

This 2,600-foot-tall structure can be found in the middle of the Arizona desert. The concept is that instead of relying on solar panels to convert the sun’s energy to electricity, the solar updraft tower would use a large translucent, sloping canopy to trap the sun’s heat like a greenhouse.

#4 Farts to Fuel


Animals and their waste are massive contributors to climate change. Cows and other livestock supply at least 18% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have realised the problem and have come through with a unique solution.

Farts to Fuel is a method for extracting methane from cow excrement and converting it into biogas fuel that’s of sufficient quality to be fed into a standard natural gas pipeline. The company BioEnergy Solutions have successfully used that method to produce enough biogas from manure to power 200,000 households.

#5 Platforms for Power

United Kingdom

To many people wind farms are one of the more controversial ways to produce renewable energy, as they are prone to damage both the natural beauty of the surrounding area and the marine ecosystem.

Therefore, the ultimate solution was created. Locating wind farms far off coast, comfortably out of sight, and floating on the surface, to respect the marine life. This is not the only benefit of these wind farms; floating wind turbines are better suited to generate more power. They can capture the energy of winds in the open ocean. Scientists suggest they could provide 15% of the world’s future energy supply.

#6 Not to Fly, to Float


It’s not just the cows who add to our greenhouse gas emissions. Cargo ships are another culprit, making up 2.7% of greenhouse gas, equal to about 870 million tons of climate pollution.

To help cargo ships arrive at their destination without using so much fuel, a visionary solution was created: 13,000 square foot kites which will fly thousands of meters above the ship to help pull it along.

#7 Whisky to Watts


Not your most common collaboration. Scottish distilleries have partnered with energy groups to turn whisky waste into energy. By generating whisky waste and turning it into electricity for homes they have provided electricity to over 9,000 homes. This is project is supposed to promote the use of bioenergy.

Some may say they’re drunk on power…

#8 Coffee to Commute


For the clear majority, our morning hasn’t truly begun until we have indulged in our first cup of coffee. However, what if coffee could be used to fuel not only humans but our morning commute too?

Yes, coffee can be used to produce bio-diesel fuel. By using the waste grounds generated by us coffee drinkers, around 2.9 million gallons of diesel fuel could be produced each year.

#9 Electronic Beats for Electricity


Nightclubs in Japan are genius. They have implemented a technology to make your dancing power the nightclub, and are therefore self-sustainable.

It’s the kinetic energy of people walking or dancing that can be converted into electricity through the floor.

#10 Chocolate Fuels Cars


The waste left over from a chocolate factory can be given to E. coli bacteria that then break down the waste and set free hydrogen. Hydrogen is one of the cleanest known fuels. Fat from chocolate can also be converted into bio-fuel and has been used to power race cars, arriving at 130 mph on the track.

#11 Transmit Through Texting

United States

In the UK, we send over a billion text messages weekly. What if keeping your head down could be a renewable energy source?

Some metals can build up an electric charge under pressure. This is called the piezoelectric effect. This effect can be exploited to create energy not only on your touch screen, but also roads and floors.

Are you considering to produce renewable energy on your premises, or would like to start “light” by buying green electricity? Get in touch with us!

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