From the look of things, the zero carbon high tech eco-city of 2030 might not really look that different from the boring old present of 2008. Innovative minds are coming up with new ways of harvesting power from just about everything, reducing the need for crazy-looking turbine towers or solar-paneled skylines. What happens if everything becomes its own source of energy? Obviously, this seems like a Green pipe dream, but speculate for a moment. What might humanity do with a global surplus of power?
In the meantime, we can marvel at the creative thinking below and wonder if, one day soon, our curtains might be powering our laptops and televisions.
So where might we be getting our electricity from in the near future?
Our toilets? (Architecture.mnp)
Our walls? (Jetson Green)
Our clothes? (MIT News)
Our curtains? (Electricpig)
Our sidewalks? (core77)
What are some common, overlooked aspects of the urban environment that might be able to generate usable energy if harnessed in a new way? With suburbs densifying and evolving and becoming more self-sufficient nodes in polycentric megacities, the potential seems endless. So many people, so many opportunities for a volt or two.
(Photo from Flickr user Tobers. The original full-sized color version can be viewed by clicking the photo.)