When we think of renewable energy, the first ones that probably come to mind are solar and wind. And the decentralization of power generation is something that has inspired engineers and inventors around the world.

So what about converting the mechanical energy generated when people walk into electrical energy? This can be done thanks to the technology developed by Laurence Kemball-Cook, founder of Pavegen. Using platforms set into pavements, Pavegen converts steps into electricity (while also generating data and even rewards). But before you go out there feeling like Michael Jackson in Billie Jean, you need to understand how this system works.

Energy is generated when a footprint compresses the board from a depth of 5mm to 10mm. The triangular design maximizes output power and data capture, and its high durability and ease of installation allow for seamless integration in any location.Through electromagnetic induction from copper coils and magnets, each step produces 2 to 4 joules, which generates an average of 5 watts of energy: enough to operate an LED bulb for 30 seconds. This energy is stored in batteries that can power lights or other devices, such as speakers. In addition to generating power, Pavegen can use Bluetooth to connect to smartphone apps, and the system can also communicate with building management systems.

The system has already been tested in malls, airports, shops, shopping streets and even on football pitches.

Sidewalks that generate energy by walking