Over the years, a variety of renewable energy sources have emerged, one of the most popular being hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power, though popular, is far from perfect. In fact, there are a number of environmental costs associated with this process. Traditionally, the power is generated through the use of dams. Dams are infamous for disrupting local wildlife and flooding previously dry regions. Additionally, the power produced by dams is inconsistent and fluctuates greatly in times of drought. LucidEnergy is harnessing hydroelectric power in a different way and has come up with a solution to the environmental costs of traditional hydroelectric power generation.
LucidEnergy’s Big Idea
LucidEnergy, posed an interesting question: What is the most common source of running water with which people interact? The answer lies underground in the pipes that deliver water cities’ residents. LucidEnergy then asked: why not install hydroelectric generators in the water pipes themselves? Unlike the streams and rivers traditionally used in energy production, pipes are reliable man-made artificial constructs. As such, there is minimal environmental impact associated with the use of these generators within existing city pipes.
To make this happen, LucidEnergy created the “LucidPipe”. The LucidPipe functions much like a standard water pipe but comes equipped with turbines hooked to generators. These turbines are capable of generating power from everyday drinking water flowing through them. By using LucidPipes, the environmental impact decreases significantly and energy production is more resistant to external factors such as drought due to the necessity of drinking water even during lean times.
Where is this Happening?
The system is still in its early stages of adoption, however it has already passed its initial test in Riverside, California and has been fully installed in Portland, Oregon. LucidPipe has proven effective in Portland and has already drawn attention from cities in China, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. Cities adopting LucidPipe can gain revenue from the power generated from drinking power in addition to their pre-existing drinking water costs.
The biggest benefit with the LucidPipe system is how it reduces environmental impact. LucidPipe is an ingenious solution to the environmental consequences resulting from large-scale dam building. Man-made pipes are the perfect eco-friendly power generation tool. The LucidPipe eliminates issues associated with dams such as inconsistency, flooding, and greenhouse gas emissions. As more cities move to replace old pipes with power generating models, cities shift away from destructive dam building and move towards a lower-impact solution.