What is the most promising way of generating energy in the future?
Renewable energy is in contrast to the fossil fuels, an energy which never runs out, and which does not damage the environment. In the Netherlands there are already many ways in which this energy is generated, you can think of: Solar energy, wind energy and water energy. But what if the sun is not shining, the wind is not blowing or the water is not moving? An emerging method of generating sustainable energy is energy through movement. By movement of the human body energy may be generated. At any time of the day, as long people are moving.
What are Existing methods of generating energy?
This diagram can be seen under which groups the methods of generating energy are:
Thus it can be seen that if Profit is the main factor is chosen for fossil energy, this is certainly the cheapest, but the least durable. Well for the environment are the solar-, wind-and-water methods. The last, but certainly not least – and still relatively unknown way of renewable energy generation – is body movement energy, in this report we continue to study this method.
what is the future of body movement energy?
That there are many different ways to generate renewable energy is evident from the above. We also conclude that body movement energy is a promising technique. But in which phase is this development, and how this technique will be applied in the future? Thus: What is the future of body movement energy?
In order to arrive at an answer, we launched an investigation into existing products that generate energy through body movement.
Pietro has attended a lecture about the Copenhagen wheel, in addition, we have further research done on this product. The Copenhagen wheel is still in the prototype stage but has already received much publicity, the wheel that convert electricity into power assist is a breakthrough in the cycling world. Where electric bikes are still to be provided by an external power supply, this will in the further development of the Copenhagen wheel no longer needed. The distances where you are in need of power, energy is supplied to make sure you have a comfortable ride. The product is not yet on the market, they are available for pre-order.
Another example is the Pavegen. A smart sidewalk where the mass (body weight) presses the tile down after which energy is released. This energy is currently enough to turn on a light, but further development may be sufficient for a complete street, or even a complete city.
Both of the mentioned techniques are both in the innovator phase, heading their way to the early majority. This requires a lot of faith and vision of both the consumer and producer. Because knowledge and development capital is needed, making products needed for generating renewable energy are costly.
In our research we stumbled upon two companies that catched our attention and had an interview with them. One of them is Energy Floors, the technology is similar to that from Pavegen, although Energy Floors are aiming to the Dancing Generation, they had a floor up and running in Club WATT (2008-2010), now after five years of hard work the investment is slowly turning into profit. At least a lot of free publicity, showcases(biennales) and international attention.
The other company is Audionetics. An interactive playground for children where the energy required is generated by the children. They deliberately chose the children as a target group because they are the people of the future. If they are already in contact with this sustainable way of generating power at a young age they will probably carry this experience in their whole life. Audionetics is a relatively simple application of the technique, and in contrast to the aforementioned examples also already widely used in the street scene.
– Body movement energy is just in a starting phase, we think that, besides the companies we researched, there are a ton of possibilities of how to use this organically in daily life
– This requires research and a lot of courage because it takes a lot of money.
– Has great potential to be picked up by governments and other public facilities
– Five years ago the trend started and we think it’s almost reaching the early majority based on our interviews
– works particularly well when there is interaction, if the user sees results.
• people feel that they are actively contributing to a solution to be self-sufficient and taking responsibility of the earth.
• By producing your own energy, you will have more freedom than ever before.
Our vision for the future
We anticipate that further development of this technique will change the way we live nowadays with electricity and power supply. An electricity which does not depend on an existing resources or nature, but which will be able to be generated, at any time. We want to end with a quote of Peter from Energy Floors: “We expect that by developing this technique more often is reflected in places where many people come, think of; stations, airports etc. Here is the crowd needed to generate energy. Then it will be clear whether the efficiency of this technology is high enough to compete with other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy, which has long been in development. Currently, the focus is therefore more on the awareness of people about the opportunities to generate energy, but also push back the consumption of energy.”