Over the last week I have come across three different ideas for generating renewable energy in ever more bizarre places. The first is a PV system laid down the lanes of a Chinese motorway. This was supposedly a first although I’m sure I have come across mention of PV’s on a road in France before. Maybe its the first on a motorway. Note this means the lane is formed of PV’s not that they are on the verges or overhead, as is beginning to happen elsewhere.
This idea seems to me a gimmick. The PV’s on the average Chinese motorways are hardly going to see much uninterrupted sunlight (which more decent output is what is required). The only time the highway is likely to be clear is at night!
The second way of generating renewable energy in ever more bizarre places was not so much the place as the idea behind it. The place (the north sea) is now a conventional place to generate electricity using offshore wind. The twist is that a company is suggesting putting an artificial island on the dogger bank. This would have sub stations on it and allow power to be shared between a variety of nearby nations using interconnectors. This to me is the most sensible of the three ideas providing any environmental objections can be overcome.
The third is perhaps the most odd. The idea is to collect dog poo in special containers attached to lampposts. The poo is then mixed and anaerobic digestion used to produce methane which is used to produce light for a couple of hours. Well I suppose it saves people bagging it up and throwing the bag into the nearest tree which is what seems to happen at the moment. One unanswered question was what would happen to any plastic bags? Happy new year.