Commuting Gems…Recycling’s Foot Soldiers

Sometimes inspiration come from the most unlikely places.

Tucked into my seat on the train earlier this week, flicking through The Metro with the patter of raindrops on the window in the background, I came across this…

No it’s not a version of MJ’s Bille Jean video souped up for the cyber generation. It’s actually the latest and greatest in the harvesting of natural energy sources.

Pavegen is the brainchild of Laurence Kemball-Cook, a young British entrepreneur who has combined a recycled rubber and polymer mix with a hybrid kinetic energy-harvesting system. Stepping onto the ’tile’ generates between 5 and 8 joules of electricity – a small percentage of this is used to the light the tile while the majority is either stored in a battery or powers the surrounding area.

It might sound like small potatoes but Kemball-Cook took a Pavegen dancefloor to Bestival last year where the grooves of 50,000 festival-goers charged 1,000 mobile phones. They have been installed (Pavegen that is, not the festival-goers) permanently at a school and more recently at Westfield Stratford City.

It’s extraordinary and exciting stuff. Imagine…our ‘energy output’ collected and tranformed into a unique – and boundless when you think about it – source of electricity. 

Brings a whole new meaning to the term recycling, doesn’t it?

A Windy City…

They are building the world’s largest offshore windfarm…in the Thames Estuary off the Kent coast…and all I have to say is


Okay well maybe I have a bit more to say. I have been an advocate of alternative energy production methods for a little while now – actually since I attended a talk at The Melbourne Writers Festival about 8 years ago that revealed that solar panels on the roof of the Victoria Market generated energy equivalent to powering a number of the surrounding suburbs…and ‘Joe Public’ seemed to know nothing about it! Whilst some reports of late seem to claim that the UK has an abundance of fossil fuel which could continue to support current methods of energy generation, it’s not renewable and it will run out – maybe not in our time but certainly at some time.

Anyway, I am really thrilled to hear about this project – and Friends of the Earth say that it could be generating power in time for the 2012 Olympics. Now that’s a result that will no doubt fuel a few Olympic-sized PR dreams…

And there’s News from the Patch: The strawbs are almost ready for picking – a couple are almost all red and I can’t wait to actually taste one that I have grown…stay tuned for some ‘summerberry’ snaps soon…