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Kinetic Road Plates – Green power from the parking lot

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Kinetic road plates will soon power checkouts at a Sainsbury supermarket in Gloucester in the UK. Each time a vehicle drives over the plates in the parking lot, kinetic energy is converted into electricity and transferred back into the store. The plates are expected to produce 30 kWh of green energy every hour.

Kinetic Road Plates 2

Alison Austin, Sainsbury’s environment manager, said: “Not only are we the first to use such cutting-edge technology with our shoppers, customers can now play (an) active role in helping make their local shop greener, without extra effort or cost.”

Let’s see – forward, back, forward, back – now find a parking space!

Debra Atlas is a freelance environmental writer and eco-enthusiast based in Northern California, and is the Red Ferret’s Ecological Editor. Debra looks for the upside of eco-change – what’s positive, making a difference. She hunts down those interesting things cooked up by creative minds, especially if they’re strange and eccentric.

Debra Atlas – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


6 Comments

  • no energy is free… just taken from the car, which creates it from fossil fuel .. what's the point?!

  • Uh, how is this free? or green? The energy comes from somewhere, and that somewhere is the car – unless it's an electric car I guess.

  • Isn't the point that the cars are coming anyway?

  • I think these should be installed on the downhill side of roads. You've already paid the energy cost to get up there, capturing the energy from downhill travel wouldn't cost anyone any extra fuel.

  • it is not 'free' in that energy is not created it is just transferred between mediums. It is however free to the store. The consumer who is already driving into that store is already expending endergy to get his car there. The stored kinetic energy of the car is expended to creat power 'free' to the store at a cost to the driver.

  • There is a fantastic banner ad (from google?) that comes up alongside this story when I view it for "Free Electricity" which links through to http://www.smallbizcenter.info/magniwork.php. Maybe sainsbury's should be investing in a magniwork instead!

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