Clean tech company Pavegen have been commissioned by France’s national railway company, SNCF (French National Railway Company), to install six people-powered kinetic energy tiles in the middle of a corridor in SNCF’s Innovation & Research office in Paris. The tiles, which were installed last week, will harvest energy from staff members walking over them to illuminate the corridor’s LED strip lighting.

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In a statement, Pavegen said the project was “demonstrating the potential of footfall power and the future for transport in sustainable France.” It is all part of Pavegen’s plan to implement innovative technology in every transport environment in France and contribute to SNCF’s focus on Research Innovation and Development. In the Parisian office for example, the staff will be able to see the energy they generate via an interactive screen installed in the corridor.

SNCF have already pledged to make their trains and trains stations more energy efficient, which is going to be a major task considering they are the single largest electricity consumer in France, accounting for 1.5% of the nation’s energy output.  The pioneering floor tiles probably won’t make a massive dent in that usage, but at least it’s a start.

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“By installing Pavegen technology, SNCF have created a greater opportunity for footfall power, allowing the public to become a core part of their renewable energy generation across the whole of France,” the clean tech company announced. “This acts as confirmation of SNCF’s policy to explore cleaner energy alternatives and to generate the next-generation of transport infrastructure.”

The company previously installed energy-harvesting tiles in West Ham Tube station during the 2012 Olympics. They have also collaborated with GDF Suez in March 2014 to install 14 tiles outside Saint Omer station in France. They are powered by 5,000 commuters a day, illuminating LED lighting and powering USB ports beneath nearby benches.

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Founder and CEO of Pavegen Systems, Laurence Kemball-Cook says: “We believe our technology is the solution to future developments in the transport industry combining its ability to generate renewable electricity with the power to educate the public on sustainability as well as provide real time data for wayfinding, advertising and reduce our carbon footprint.”

+ Pavegen