Could Street Lights Of The Future Be Powered By Cars?

Wed 14th Oct 2020

The breeze caused by fast moving vehicles on motorways could provide an alternative energy source and help the UK meet its carbon neutral targets of 2050, thanks to a Kent businessman.

Barry Thompson and his company, Alpha 311, have devised an innovative new wind turbine solution which could help provide clean energy whilst at the same time powering the thousands of lights which are found in the central reservations of major roads.

While the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently predicted that much of the national grid could be powered by offshore wind power by 2030, Thompson is keen to see his solution put into practice on shore.

He said: “Do I think offshore wind is everything? No, I think onshore wind is the cheaper option, and a distributed network needs to really push this thing forward. Whether we'll be doing it by 2030 I don't know, it's going to need a lot of collaboration. 

“If you've ever stood by the road and a lorry has gone past, you'll feel the air that moves - we capture that energy.”

Whereas lamposts have actually been pushed as a route to providing power sources for EVs on crowded urban streets, Barry’s £20,000 turbine could actually power the lampposts, as well as selling energy back into the grid. Thompson claims his smaller turbines are much more pleasing on the eye.

“People have thought of putting wind turbines on top of lighting columns, they've considered remaking lighting columns in their entirety, but this is a retro-fit solution, so it attaches to what we already have,” he continued. 

“We're not blighting the landscape with massive turbines, we're making use of existing infrastructure.”