Harvesting the Energy of Our Footsteps

Installing Pavegen tiles

Pavegen is a cleantech company that harvests the energy of our footsteps and converts it into electricity. Poised to bring its technology to the world, Pavegen connected with a surprising new distribution partner through Powerlinx.

“Imagine if your walk to work in the morning would power the lights for your walk home in the evening.”

This is how Laurence Kemball-Cook starts off an energizing TED talk about Pavegen, a clean energy company he founded at age 23. Based in London, Pavegen takes advantage of an alternative power source you might not have thought of before: the energy of people moving in public spaces. When people walk, run, or even bike over Pavegen tiles, the kinetic energy generated by their movement is stored and converted into electricity that can light public spaces, charge people’s cell phones, power wireless networks, and more.

The eco-friendly tiles offer high traffic areas like urban thoroughfares and school hallways a path to sustainable energy, and they can be retrofitted to replace existing flooring or manufactured to match the needs of new developments. Laurence notes:

“Our tiles, unlike other energy solutions, are ideal for the urban environment. They work best in areas of high footfall, where wind and solar alternatives aren’t effective or feasible due to pollution and high-rise infrastructure.”

Ready to bring Pavegen’s technology to the world, Laurence turned to Powerlinx in order to find service providers that would help them bring their tiles to North America.

After cycling through a few potential matches, Powerlinx put Laurence in touch with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, a forward-thinking architecture firm based in the U.S. Little happened to be working on projects within wellness and recreation where advanced sustainability is an important design element – a perfect use case for Pavegen’s technology. Pavegen and Little are currently in talks regarding a partnership, and Pavegen is positive about the potential collaboration.

“Powerlinx has been extremely accommodating in providing us with ideal collaborative opportunities,” said Sanaa Siddiqui, Pavegen’s PR and communications officer.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Pavegen is seeing great success. In March, Pavegen installed 14 tiles into the streets outside a major train station in St. Omer, France – the company’s first move into a local commercial market. The energy harvested from commuters’ footsteps was used to power LED lighting beneath outdoor benches and USB ports for charging smartphones and tablets. Pavegen is also in talks with potential clients in the United Arab Emirates who aim for clean, sustainable energy by 2030.