ENERGY HARVESTING FROM HUMAN MOVEMENT: A CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ENERGY SECURITY STRATEGY FOR GÖRLITZ, GERMANY
As a means to contribute to the attainment of the city of Görlitz’s climate neutrality goal, this feasibility study examines the potential implementation of the Pavegen footfall harvesting technology into two of the city’s touristic locations – Brüderstraße and the Old Town Bridge. The two specific research questions which are explored in this analysis investigate the extent to which the establishment of the footfall harvesting technology in Görlitz increases the city’s amount of energy generated and reduces GHG emissions in the urban area. The results of the research indicate that the integration of footfall harvesting in Görlitz increases the city’s amount of energy generated by at least 0.47% of Saxony’s 2017 total electricity generation and reduces the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 22.66% of Saxony’s 2017 total GHG emissions. The analysis of the collected and extrapolated observational data estimates the total cost of the project to equate to about €3,109,650.78, identifies the break-even point of the investment to occur within ten years of the technology’s 20-year lifespan, and evaluates the levelized cost of electricity as €0.11 per kWh. According to the findings provided by both methods used to examine the project’s profitability – the internal rate of return and net present value techniques, this report recommends the city of Görlitz to accept the project. Further, the one-way multivariate analysis of variance statistical test determines that the independent variable ‘traffic’ has an effect on the dependent variables ‘energy generated’ and ‘GHG emissions avoided.’ Numerous funding opportunities are available to the city officials for the undertaking of this project, particularly from the German federal government. Nonetheless, the total long-term benefits outweigh the total short-term costs of implementing the Pavegen tiles in Görlitz. These benefits include increasing the investment in renewable energy projects, reducing the region’s GHG emissions, and ensuring energy security in addition to the intangible benefits of raising community awareness of the importance of the renewable energy transition in mitigating climate change.