Last month, we reported how clean tech company Pavegen had installed six people-powered kinetic energy tiles in the middle of a corridor in SNCF’s Innovation & Research office in Paris in order to illuminate the corridor’s LED strip lighting. Now, they are going slightly bigger by placing a 68-tile walkway in Sandton City shopping mall in Johannesburg, as part of Samsung’s ‘What If I Can’ campaign. The kinetic energy system not only powers an interactive data screen, displaying real-time footfall data and providing an immediate visual payback, but the energy collected will be used to provide deprived communities in South Africa with lighting, heating and basic everyday amenities.
It’s a great location. Sandton City’s main passage receives a monthly footfall rate of over two million footsteps, allowing the shopping centre to generate an enormous amount of power. The scheme is supported by Samsung, who is looking to committed to boosting its green credentials, both through product manufacturing and community initiatives.
The company’s ‘What If I Can’ campaign focuses on shifting ideals and mindsets towards a more optimistic, proactive way of thinking. By providing shoppers with the means to generate renewable energy through a simple act of movement, it is hoped that the campaign will emphasise the fact that one person can impact the lives of others.
Ntutule Tshenye, Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics Africa, said: “We feel that a consumer facing campaign such as ‘What If I Can’ is both complementary and even gives credit to our innovate solutions such as Solar Powered Internet Schools and Solar Powered Digital Villages. Both initiatives work to empower people by delivering revolutionary solutions designed to overcome local challenges and take communities into the future; impacting the lives of people around the world.”
CEO and Founder of Pavegen, Laurence Kemball-Cook, added his support saying, “Whenever someone takes a step on our tiles, it’s enough energy to light a bulb for a few seconds. This movement, multiplied by the thousands that walk through Sandton City on a daily basis, can definitely change the future of energy generation within our smart cities–as well as energy usage within developing areas of the world.”