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Five innovative renewable energy projects

By Marta Moses | Posted February 06, 2019

What if we told you that you could generate power from your footsteps and even from your body heat? More countries are finding unique methods to power up their cities using natural resources.

Here are a few top innovative energy projects:

Solar, floating farms

AqvaFloat UK is a startup that has commissioned a new factory to produce a system for solar farms to run on water. Their new factory in Cumbria plans to produce 12MW of solar systems per year.

Building solar farms on the water has many benefits to improve the environment:

- Local vegetation unaffected

- Use of recycled plastic maximised

Creating floating solar farms allows the panels to keep cool, providing a 10-15% boost in energy. We look forward to seeing many more floating farms pop up on reservoirs around the world.

Bath Abbey springs into renewable energy

Isoenergy's a renewable energy consultancy that install ground source heat pumps. They've recently announced that they'll be installing thermal flooring into Bath Abbey. Bath will use their most famous resource, the historic Roman Baths, to heat the attraction.

The project plans to harness the hot water wastage that runs through the Roman drain into the River Avon. The water will be captured and converted to produce 1.5MW (that's enough to power 300 homes for a year!) of energy. The water will support a 200kW ground-source heat pump system. The pump will take the solar power from the water and compress it to heat the Bath Abbey.

In other words, you'll experience natural, toasty warm flooring on your next visit!

Ski slopes to save the planet

Copenhagen's known for its large flat surface area – until now. The Danish capital is now home to a metallic mountain – the Copenhill. But this isn't just any ordinary mountain. It also embodies the world's cleanest waste incinerator. The new plant's able to burn a whopping 35 tons of waste per hour, cutting emissions by 99.5%.

And there's more. Penned Copenhagen's ‘urban mountain’, residents from across the city visit for epic adventures. Equipped with a 600m-long ski slope, hiking trails and a climbing wall for all to enjoy.

It's also topped off with a chimney that churns out water vapour smoke rings to look like a volcano.

This man-made mountain is living proof that we can save the planet while having fun doing so!

Public service palm trees

Dubai continues to achieve its sustainable, ‘smart city’ initiative. First step: smart palm trees! The man-made palm trees have been sprouting up across the city to help resolve tourist issues.

The solar-powered trees provide Wi-Fi and smart-charging stations. They also act as information points and give much-needed shade for the city's tourists.

And by night, the city skyline ignites with the help of the palm tree’s solar green LED lights!.

What can these smart palm trees not do?

Footsteps are the future

Pavegen's an innovative flooring provider that harness the kinetic energy from our very own footsteps. They've managed to convert the quick impact formulated from feet into continuous power.

The floor tiles are effective in high footfall environments around the world. Heathrow airport uses the tiles to power corridors while French train station uses commuters foot power to charge electronic devices.

As long as there's a footstep every 10 seconds, you can generate constant energy. We expect to see these tiles powering more of our bustling cities, stations and dance floors in the future.

To sum up, we can use natural resources that are much closer to home than we once thought. From floating farms to funky footsteps, the future looks bright – in this case, quite literally.

This type of innovation can help power the cities of the future. Find out more about smart cities and the urban energy transition.

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