After having installed the heating systems of some of their buildings based on underground springs, and mini-windmills on buildings, the people of Paris will have yet another clean energy generation project right under their famous and historical bridges. They call them “hydroliennes”, or river turbines, powered by the river Seine (if you haven’t visited Paris, you should).
Denis Baupin, the deputy mayor of Paris, told Le Parisien: “After a study by our urban ecology service and the French waterways, four potential sites have already been identified.” One is to the west of Paris, at the Pont du Garigliano, while the others are in central Paris, at the Pont de la Tournelle, Pont Marie and Pont au Change. Each of these bridges will feature two turbines.
“We’re not expecting the moon and the stars with these techniques,” Baupin said, “but the educational impact of these experiments is just as important. Vélib (Paris’s free bicycle sharing system) has made Parisians realize they can use cycles in the city, and these renewable energy schemes will make them aware of the need to watch what they consume.”
EDF, the French energy company, said this might be a good idea. While some readers of Le Parisien doubt the investment will be worth, others salute the initiative. It’s gotta start from somewhere, doesn’t it?
The efficiency is not always the message in these projects, but merely the idea of building green infrastructure, set an example and share the experience of it with others, who might just build better ones. If everybody sticks to the same old dirty way of doing things, nothing’s going to evolve. Added to this, there’s the touristic part of things, since Paris is one of the hottest spots in the world. And that could prove the turbines efficient, at least economically. Just like an ad-filled newspaper or website.