Alternative Energy: When Lightning Strikes


We've all witnessed the raw power Mother Nature can produce during a summer shower. And even before Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, scientists have sought to harness it—with limited success. Now, Alternative Energy Holdings plans to be the first company to tap into the natural energy produced by a thunderstorm. The company says it has successfully developed a prototype which can collect power from the ground area surrounding a strike. This power can then be converted into electricity and sold through existing power grids. In 2007, during the peak lighting months of July and August, the company plans to test a mobile full-scale lightning farm. On average, a lighting bolt carries one million kilowatts of electrical energy. When a significant amount of each strike is harvested over a period of four to seven years, the company says, a lightning farm could produce and sell electricity at $0.005 per kilowatt hour. This price, substantially lower than current market value, also comes without the environmental consequences most energy sources carry. Thanks tipster John Laumer. ::Alternative Energy Holdings

Image copyright 2003-2006 Dan Pollock