Skip navigation
Share via:


A new and own energy system that could form the basis of a functioning circular economy


Summary / Résumé

The proposed solution is based essentially on the idea of a power plant that works on the principle of a pumped storage power plant. Theoretically, with this principle, any amount of electricity can be generated. The main drawbaicks with this principle is that the amount of water needed to generate electricity is often limited or too low to work in continous operation and the necessary precondition for the height difference must be present. For my solution, I was looking for real constructions and structures to find a way to exclude these disadvantages. I found for my proposal in the construction of the Moscow Metro a solution that meets the necessary condition. The entrance of the subway and the passage to the escalators would then be the inlet where the water can flow into the system. The diagonals tubes where the escalators are located then be used as penstocks to build up the required water pressure for the turbine. The underground subway station can be used as a machine cavern and the tunnel tubes where the trains normally travel could absorb the accumulated water. The function of the ventilation ducts could be used to pump the water out of the system with the help of a necessary secondary energy source (for example wind power). For the problem with the required amount of water, the sea can be used as an unlimited source of water. With these two basic requirements, it would be possible to build a hydropower system directly below the coast at a depth of 20 to 75 m, in the immediate vicinity of many potential consumers of electricity. This system can be used as needed for storage or directly for power generation. It would certainly be possible to build this system anywhere you could build a subway, including Montreal. The underground area offers the possibility to build not only in the depth but alsoin the width and so the system I propose here could be extended at any time. At google under "" is a simple representation of my proposal to see. 

What actions do you propose? / Quelles actions proposez-vous?

My proposal is mainly at the energy sector and related companies active in this field. In the context of this competition, Hydro Quèbec is probably the most important local energy supplier. This company certainly has the necessary experience in the field of energy production from hydropower to realize my proposal. The necessary motivation for the energy supplier Hydro Quèbec to support my suggestion would be, after a successful realization, the possibility to market this system worldwide and thus obtain a possible new source of revenue. The ability to build a new and largely emission-free energy source in the immediate vicinity of the consumer would certainly form a good basis for a circular economy. Through the successful implementation of an underground city the people in charge of Montréal are probably the ideal point of contact for an own underground energy supply. I would recommend first build a smaller conversion (5 - 15 megawatts) of my proposal at a depth of 15 to 20 meters as storage for another energy source (such as wind turbine). To get such important insights and data that would then be used for a larger power plant (1000 megawatts and more). The energy thus generated could be used, for example, to realize an interesting idea from MIT. At the a Michael Short and his team plastic garbage irradiated with gamma rays. Crushed to fine powder, they have added this cement. Concrete blocks with this cement mixture be supposed to be up to 20 percent more stable than concrete blocks with conventional cement. A city like Montréal could profitably use some of the incurred plastic waste with this method. Another way to make commercial use of this stream for a city like Montréal could be "vertical farming" in farmscrapers. There are certainly many good ideas for funtioning circular economy but that are not yet realizable due to the required energy requirements. A power plant system based on my suggestion would certainly in the process useful.

Which types of stakeholders are involved, in which way? / Quels types de parties prenantes sont impliqués, de quelle façon?

a) The utilities would probably be the most important stakeholders for my proposal. These have the technical expertise and the neccessary financial resources to realize such a power plant system Therefore, its participation in my proposal would be crucial and very important. These companies would have a new opportunity to generate large amounts of electricity or to use it as a storage system for an existing power plant system. 

b) Cities with the necessary prerequisites could thus develop a secure and independent source of energy. Your involvement in my proposal would enable it to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions while meeting increasing energy needs. So exactly what is sought in this competition. An ideal basis for building a circular economy.

c) The economy and industry could ensure their productivity and competitiveness without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Such a power plant system would have a clear competitive advantage over a fossil-fueled industry.


How could the actions be scaled up at the neighborhood or city level? / Comment serait-il possible d'augmenter la portée des actions à l'échelle des quartiers ou de la ville?

Since my proposal includes a commercial approach, the distribution would be very important after a successful realization. Population in the cities and their surroundings, as a potential stakeholder, could receive a secure and environmentally friendly electricity supply. This community of interest could, with the help of crowdfunding (an example for Montreal: one million households pay $ 30 a month for 10 years to a common account so a total of $ 3.6 billion) to finance its own power plant system.

What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change? / Quels impacts auront ces actions sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et l'adaptation aux changements climatiques?

This energy system would operate largely free of emissions and would therefore have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions. In the energy sector, greenhouse gas emissions could be significantly reduced. Countries and cities that would be willing to use this power plant system could make an important contribution to climate protection.

What are the other environmental, economic or social benefits? / Quels sont les autres bénéfices environnementaux, économiques et sociaux?

- the construction of this power plant system would not directly interfere with an existing ecosystem 

- due to the possibility of being able to build this power station system in the immediate vicinity of the power consumer, overhead lines can be largely dispensed with (less land is required for power lines)

- this power plant system makes it easier to better responed to climatic changes 

- the danger of a "blackout" can be significantly reduced 

- new cultivated land for livstock and agriculture can be developed 

- with the help of this power plant system, the industry could get new acreage for corresponding crops 

- this energy system could be used for this develop the sea with the help of desalination plants as a new source of fresh water 

- this power plant system enables the development of new living and economic areas

- the opportunity to generate very large profits with the help of this power plant system and to obtain a lucrative investment for potential investors

What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach? / Quels sont les aspects novateurs et les principales forces de cette approche?

- the whole technique of my suggestion is tried and works in reality in different application

- the basic principle and functioning of my proposal is relatively simple 

- the use as a storage or power plant system is possible 

- very large amounts of electricity can be generated

- this power plant system would be largely independent of fossil fuels 

- this power plant system could be used in many places around the world and be of use to many people

- with this power plant system, the power generation could be largely adapted to the energy requirements

- large companies with high energy requirements could create their own independent source of energy

- this power plant system could be constantly expanded

What are the proposal’s projected costs? / Quels sont les coûts projetés de la proposition?

The costs depend essentially on the form in which my proposal would be used. Whether as a storage system for another energy system or as a primary energy system. As an average value can be expected from about € 2500 per installed kilowatts (including construction and assembly) for my proposal. A power plant with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts would therefore cost € 2.5 billion.

What are the potential challenges or obstacles? / Quels sont les défis ou les obstacles potentiels?

The biggest challenge by my proposal would probably be the high investment costs and that greatly limits the number of potential buyers. Although this energy system would cost less than a comparable nuclear-powered energy system, it would be much more expensive than fossil or renewable energy system. This of course affects a possible decision making and makes it difficult to realize my proposal.

About the authors / À propos des auteur(e)s

My name is Attila Deutsch and I live near Budapest, essentially I have no qualifications or significant expertise on this subject. My motivation to participate in this contest is an opportunity to get my proposal published in a matching framework. Maybe more will come out of it than just a theoretical thougt and may be useful many people.

References / Références

- a brochure of the energy supplier "Vattenfall"

- wikipedia entry on the seawater operated pumped storage power station in Japan on Okinawa 

- wikipedia entry about tunnel boring machines

- wikipedia entry generally about the sea as a source of energy 

- wikipedia entry on the use of former mining power plants 

- a reference to the distribution of electricity generated

- structure and functioning of the Moscow subway