Power from the people, story from the Christian Science Monitor:
For two architecture students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., the sound of footsteps is an echo of energy gone to waste. They figure that the stomp of every footfall gives off enough power to light two 60-watt bulbs for one second.
“Now imagine how many people walk through a train station each morning, or walk down the street in Hong Kong,” says James Graham, who, with fellow MIT graduate student Thaddeus Jusczyk, is helping to develop the growing field of “crowd farming.”
Train station? I’m thinking dance hall. If the music is no good, people stop dancing and the band loses electrical power. Like the music? Better keep dancing. (HT Peter Klein at Organization and Markets.)
From Norway comes a plan to generate electricity from the amazing power of osmosis.
Norwegian utility Statkraft said it would build the world’s first prototype osmotic power plant next year, tapping a promising new renewable and clean energy source….
In an osmotic power plant, sea water and fresh water are separated by a membrane. The sea water draws the fresh water through the membrane, thereby increasing the pressure on the sea water side. The increased pressure is used to produce power.
I don’t quite get it, but since they’re not spending my money on development, I don’t have to get it. According to the news article:
“The global technical potential for osmotic power production is estimated at around 1600 Terawatt hours, including around 200 TWh in Europe and 12 TWh in Norway, or 10 percent of Norway’s current power production,” Statkraft said on Wednesday.