Could wind turbines be added to millions of UK lampposts?
Mini wind turbines have been designed, which could be fitted to millions of UK lampposts and connected directly into the National Grid as a significant source of renewable energy.
More than 20% of the UK’s 10 million lampposts are suitable to be converted into producers of wind energy, according to David Gordon, chief executive of technology firm Own Energy, who created the turbines in collaboration with IT company NVT Group.
Own Energy view the turbines as a significant business opportunity, which could scale quickly, predicting that the venture could produce a turnover of more than £400 million within five years. Besides, the UK, the partnership has also had discussion with public and private bodies in Ireland, the US, Canada, Mexico and South Africa.
No timeline has been announced on the project so far, but it is an initiative that fits in with an increasingly important theme, where architecture and the built environment are integrated more effectively with energy production.
The initiative is also predicted to create jobs, both in terms of the building and maintenance of the buildings, up to 300 within a decade according to Own Energy.
There are, of course, also unanswered questions, including the cost of implementing this new infrastructure and potential disturbance caused by a line of lampposts with turbines on them. However, there’s enough innovation and new thinking at play to make it an interesting story to follow over 6-12 months.
Lead image: Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: reynermedia