We at CARBONOCRACY pride ourselves on providing news and analysis relating to the deployment of energy technologies of all types. It is in this spirit that we link today to a fascinating article in the Huffington Post about a crematorium in the UK that is seeking to save money by selling excess energy from its gas burners back to the national power grid.
Here’s how it works: before we start throwing around terms like “body power,” or “zombie energy,” or anything of the sort, it’s important to clarify that very little, if any, of the energy being spun back into the UK power grid will be coming from the patrons, for lack of a better word, of the crematorium. Instead, the facility plans to install turbines in two of the burners that perform its cremating. In total, the turbines will generate roughly 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Although the power being generated here isn’t necessarily clean, it is an interesting example, should it go forward, of local self-reliance and energy efficiency. The crematorium knows it uses machines that generate a lot of heat, so why not find a way to maximize the output of those machines while turning an extra profit?
An uncertain energy future demands creative solutions, and while no one is suggesting that crematoriums begin accounting on their own for Britain’s power needs, this is an interesting spinoff on the local solar concept (putting up solar panels on your home or business and selling the excess power back to the grid). The bottom line is that in addition to their environmental merits, many alternative energy technologies can turn almost anyone into an energy producer, which is good for the economy and can provide enterprising people with another way to get ahead. Something tells me this crematorium is in it for the long haul.
If you have a clever pun to describe the energy-producing function of a facility that is, er, not generally used for this purpose, the comments section awaits.