Pavegen Turns Your Footsteps Into Electricity

By Nick Venable | 8 years ago

Have you ever want to do something that was the exact opposite of what Michael Jackson was doing? Wait, wait. Let me reword that. Did you ever watch the video for “Billie Jean” and think that walking down a street of things that light up when you touch them, though a novel concept, is a major waste of energy. I mean, it was the Reagan era, so wasting money was kind of like breathing and eating, but still. What if there was a way to walk down a sidewalk and instead of it lighting up, it would create the power needed to light something else, like a street lamp?

Eco-genius Laurence Kemball-Cook and his team at Pavegen have done just that. The Pavegen system itself, from a layman’s point of view, is a series of ground-level platforms that build and store kinetic energy that is turned into electricity, simply from people walking on top of them. Or dancing on top of them. When this kind of “why didn’t I think of that?” idea becomes actual technology, the brainstorming seems like an endless task. Assuming the expenses are within reason, this could revolutionize our everyday lives.

Already, there are tests being done all over the U.K. Obviously the point is to get it into places where foot traffic is highest, and what better place than schools for that? Pavegen has units installed in quite a few of them. Public transportation hubs? They’re in the West Ham Tube Station. Will-i-am performed on a Pavegen stage. They’re even in U.K. dance clubs, which are definitely foot traffic-friendly. And for the holidays, they set up promotional booths in select shopping centers, giving shoppers a lesson in conservation while they blow money.

It doesn’t appear as if the horizon or the sky are the limits for this company, which will only see expanded growth in the years to come. I could really sit here for hours thinking of the possibilities. Voting booths that power themselves. Sports stadiums where the light is powered by people, and the owners have more money to blow. I can’t even imagine if this kind of thing could be used with cars on the highway. Or in fast food parking lots. Readers, what would be your favorite place to see it used?

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