An energy crisis is any significant bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to an economy. In popular literature, it often refers to one of the energy sources used at a certain time and place, in particular those that supply national electricity grids or those used as fuel in vehicles.
Energy crisis happens due to certain industrial actions, over-consumption, aging infrastructure, choke point disruption or bottlenecks at oil refineries and port facilities that restrict fuel supply. To solve this crisis, one company is making a move.
To reach your tap, water flows through a network of pipes.
One company is using the pressure in those pipes to create energy.
Bergan French: “We take the excess pressure that would otherwise be thrown away, and we convert it into electricity.”
That’s Nina Bergan French, CEO of Lucid Energy. Her company installs turbines inside gravity-fed water pipes. They provide energy without interrupting service.
Bergan French: “It’s a whole pipe system with one or more turbines in it, with a generator sitting outside the pipe, connected to either the grid or a battery backup.”
Unlike most hydropower, the system does not pose risks to wildlife or its habitat. And unlike solar and wind …
Bergan French: “This technology works 24/7. If the water is flowing, we’re making electricity. It’s not dependent on day and night. It’s not dependent on the weather.”
A pilot project in California powers street lights. And another in Oregon makes enough electricity to power about 100 homes.
French says the company is working on making the turbines more efficient. She expects that they will have a commercially viable product ready for testing by the end of the year. The goal is to provide a source of renewable energy that can be easily integrated as cities upgrade their water pipes.