We keep publishing stories on how to generate renewable energy, which tell us about investments worth millions. Scientific research, energy companies as well as governmental institutions come up with great solutions at very large scales. Of course, the materializing of all these projects and discussions might take a while, so let’s look into some interesting ways to generate energy until the ‘big’ guys make their decisions.
|1. Cars. Opposite to common believes, it is not such a bad idea to keep more cars on road. Driving them on metal plates that move piezoelectric devices could generate energy, and if these vehicles are electric it will make the picture even more perfect.|
|2. Used up tea leaves. This idea comes from the Pakistani National Centre of Physics and it was introduced by Dr Syed Hussain. Their research team found a nano-catalyst that can be used to produce biodiesel from used tea. If this reaches the commercial market, it could be a great way to produce alternative energy.|
|3.Farm animals. If the methane produced by farm animals from their manure is collected, it could represent 100 billion kwH of electricity per year. Something to think about.|
|4.Fruits and Vegetables. Is there such thing as a food battery? Not yet, but we are definitely heading in the right direction. Generating a current using potatoes, a couple of electrodes and some basic knowledge of physics, might just be what the world needs.|
|5.Raindrops. In theory, it is very simple. We only have to spread piezoelectric sensors over a big surface and let them convert the impact into electricity.|
|6. Hydroelectricity at home. Flush the toilet, turn the tap, connect to a turbine and voila, you can charge your battery.|
|7.Trees. Some time ago, MagCap Engineering reported that they could produce an electric current directly from the trees. If this is really possible, why not have street lightning powered by urban trees?|
|8. Make the tiles ‘special’ . An idea from Japan, as expected. Piezoelectric tiles are already being used to generate electricity. Subways, airports, malls, all these places are crossed by millions of people a day. And only by walking, they already have the needed ‘power’.|
|9. Beer and wine.Can we make biofuel from beer waste? Of course, and brewers in Germany and California are already doing it. The French and the Italian, on the other hand, are making ethanol from surplus wine. Now we only need to define ‘surplus’.|
|10. Us. Now what can we do. The answer is- all of the above and a lot more! Piezoelectric sensors on the terrace to capture rain energy, or in the office or at home to energize our footsteps? Place hydropower turbines in the bathroom They could line our office floors and sidewalks, energizing our footsteps. Let’s implement all these ideas and start living “green.”|
Mila is a researcher and scientist with a great passion for soils, rocks, plants, water and all environment-related aspects of our surroundings. For the past 10 years, during the course of her educational and professional development, she travelled all over Europe, Africa and Asia, driven by her passion for the environment and urge to seek challenges.