UK supermarkets are in the front line when it comes to environmental matters. Food miles , Fair Trade, packaging, GM v organic, none of these issues make their lives any easier, and they still have to turn a profit on behalf of their shareholders.
It’s good to see that Sainsbury’s is making a decent effort to reduce its environmental footprint. This month, the Supermarket Formerly Known As Everyone’s Favourite Grocer announced a trial of an innovative energy generation system at its new Northampton depot. The Dragon Power System (DPS) uses the kinetic energy of vehicles passing over pressurized road plates that depress under the vehicle’s weight to generate electricity.
The DPS is the brainchild of US company Alternative Energy Source Technologies, Inc. A single lorry running over a DPS can produce approximately 3.3Kwh, and based on the number of vehicles entering and leaving the Northampton depot, this will help generate enough power to boil 5.7 million kettles or light 10,000 light bulbs a year.
Imagine the potential. Nearly 150,000 vehicles use the Dartford River Crossing every day. How many power stations could we close down if we started using this traffic flow to generate electricity? Sounds great. But how long before people wise up to the fact that the ‘free’ electricity is actually paid for by the tiny extra amount of fuel each truck uses to get over the DPS?
Actually, the DPS would make a damn fine sleeping policeman.