The new facilities were completed in 2014, and since then, all of the space surrounding the grounds has become a neighbourhood gathering spot. Small food businesses have emerged thanks to the gatherings, feeding match-goers and players alike. The children’s and youth teams have also developed a feeling of pride for their favela, which encourages them to come to the training sessions on time. For André Rodrigues, one of the coaches, the system “has allowed the favela residents to discover that there are clean, free and safe ways to produce energy. A concept that is so widely taken for granted in developed countries and it is very new in places like here
But what would happen if a technology like this were installed in the stadiums and sports facilities of a big club like Barça? The calculations indicate that the Camp Nou stadium, combined with its training pitches, would generate enough energy in one year to equal three months of energy consumption in a single home. It’s not a huge amount, but if the technology were also installed in areas with more traffic, and exposed to public access, it would reduce the cost of illuminating the facilities. The challenge, at the moment, is the high cost of the installation, around 11 million euros for the main stadium alone.
The company hopes to reduce costs in the future, and the club, in its mission of incorporating new technologies in the world of sport, is keeping a keen eye on the technology as it evolves. Meanwhile, Laurence Kemball-Cook continues to spread the idea of using kinetic energy from football to every corner in the world. Another project – similar to the one developed in the favelas of Rio – was installed in Johannesburg, South Africa, in a neighbourhood where the need for night lighting is equally essential. The passion for football can generate a lot of energy.
The Barça Innovation Hub team
Images courtesy of Pavegen