Well, there are but Brazil’s first player-powered football pitch was inaugurated on Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro’s slum, which basically exploits the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide lighting at night.
The project, which was sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, involves 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen under a layer of AstroTurf. Combined with solar panels installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.
Each tile costs about $500, but the price is expected to fall as the firm works towards a cost effective manufacturing process.
Pavegen had installed similar tiles in Europe and Australia but a football pitch was a first for the firm.
“We’ve effectively turned this community into a real-life science experiment,” head of Pavegen, Laurence Kemball-Cook was quoted as saying. “I believe this technology can be one of the future ways we illuminate our cities.”
Brazilian legend Pele was in the house at the Morro da Mineira slum, to observe the science put into action, first hand. And he was impressed. In fact to a point, where he got emotional over the project, hoping that this field would help trigger the local kids’ interest not only in football but in science as well.