A new energy generating device by a young UK entrepreneur gets its first orders.

Pavegen is the idea of Laurence Kemball-Cook, a 24 year old industrial design graduate, that sees special paving slabs installed on pedestrian routes turning foot-fall in to electrical energy. Converting kenetic energy to electrical energy could power street lights, signs, charging points…all sorts of street infrastructure. The first contract is for Westfield Shopping Centre next to the Olympic Park and Pavegen plan to manufacture all units in the UK.

Of course you don’t get something for nothing and the energy generated comes from human effort, so expect to see some tired shoppers in Stratford! It does raise an interesting question about how such devices could be used to tackle rising obesity levels (at the same time as generating energy) and respond to a recent report that school children are not getting enough strenuous exercise in PE lessons, reported here on the BBC website.

Walking or cycling to school is the obvious way to increase physical activity in children but what about more subtle ways of designing buildings to tempt people to use stairs instead of lifts or escalators?

Image courtesy of Pavegen