Imagine a beautifully designed tree that you can place outside your house or look at in public spaces and that, when blown by the wind, produces enough energy to light your place up. That’s right; wind turbines can now have a different size and be harmonically integrated within the landscape. So instead of the huge wind turbines we are used to imagine when we think of the machines that create this type of energy we can now think of something different: a beautiful green and white tree that has its own small leaf-shaped turbines and a power output of 3.1 KW. Inspired by nature and its wisdom, this Wind Tree is the new option to fight climate change and other negative effects that conventional fuels have on our environment.
Led by Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, French company NewWind has conceived a design that brings together sustainable energy with beauty and emotion. Made with 72 turbines containing “Aeroleafs”, “L’Arbre à Vent” measures 8 to 11 meters and is capable of lighting 15 streetlights, 100 meters of space office, 71 parking spots, an electric car or the filtration system of a pool for a whole year. And so, with an engaging biomimetic design, these wind trees last close to 25 years, are completely silent – thus not invasive – and close to no permits are needed to install them.
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To imagine that a single three represents 864kg of coal and 15 15-litre jerry cans of fuel is reason enough to consider it a fantastic option to slow down the inevitable effects that energy based on carbon-based fuels are having on our environment. As a matter of fact, these Wind Trees have already been installed in Paris, in Place de la Concorde. Allegedly, Michaud-Larivière actually got inspiration from real trees he saw in a Parisian plaza, which leaves kept shaking despite the absence of wind. Small wind currents seemed to him enough to produce energy, and the L’Arbre à Vent have proved this right.
Although the amount of trees needed to produce the same output as huge wind turbines is high, the truth is that if propagated in the right time frame, soon many households could depend on these bio designed Wind Trees, and the mid-term positive results of these would be outstanding. Also, they are designed in a way that if a turbine stops working the rest will continue to produce energy.
Wind energy is a clean fuel source, so its benefits are uncountable when we compare it to other types of fuels. Moreover, all countries have wind, which means that each nation has the ability of producing its own wind energy. It is also cost effective. So, in addition to other ways of protecting the environment we live in, including finding ways to stop fracking (many stars have actually come together against it on the platform Artists Against Fracking), using solar-powered panels in our households, or simply by having vegetarian diets like top celebrities do, also in an attempt to raise awareness about how this can have a positive impact on climate change (by reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated by cattle), a wind-energy powered city is an attainable dream that could help fix many of the environmental issues we are currently facing.
NewWind expects to be installing its trees around Europe soon, both in public and privates spaces. We can also hope that this new sustainable technology arrives to the Middle East, where many countries included more turbines over the last year. A future in which we can breathe fresh air and enjoy nature without having to give up the comforts of modern society is no longer an impossible dream.