More than ever, innovation is generating new ways to keep the lights on.

One such innovation is coming out of the Netherlands. In a country known for being bike-friendly, there’s no shortage of cyclists on the road every day. In Amsterdam alone, riders pedal 2 million kilometers per day, generating an average of 19.5 million watt-hours. That’s enough energy to power almost 20,000 homes.


Imagine if you could harness all that pedal power and bring it back to the community?

That’s exactly what two designers, Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Blaž Verhnjak, set out to do when they brought their idea to the annual Amsterdam Clean Energy Challenge. In a city where solar panels and sub-stations won’t fit, the inventors devised a creative new bike rack called S-Park that enables people to transform pedal power into energy for their neighborhood.

See how it works below:


When it comes to renewable energy, power generated by natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat, continues to offer a future full of promise. However, inconsistency in “supply” remains a major challenge. Cloudy weather. No wind. Lack of water. When renewable resources are hard to forecast, clean energy providers look elsewhere, mainly toward energy sources powered by fossil fuels.

A recent Raconteur article discussed how artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics solve this problem, predicting everything from cloudy weather to consumer demand for energy. AI’s ability to process data and predict actions on a large scale is helping clean energy providers better manage the renewable energy power supply.

More accurate forecasting combined with the ability to take specific actions on the power grid allows for more precisely managed energy consumption, even down to the device. For example, during times of higher demand, all refrigerators in a community could be switched off in homes for a certain period of time, helping providers overcome the peaks and valleys of renewable power generation by adjusting demand.

To learn more about future innovation in the energy industry, check out National Geographic’s Renewable Energy, explained.