A French company called New Wind is installing tree-shaped wind turbines at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The company’s founder, Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the idea while in a Paris square, when he “saw the leaves tremble when there was not a breath of air.” He hopes the trees can be used to exploit small air currents flowing along buildings and streets, and could eventually be installed in people’s yards and urban centres.
He is the first to admit the efficiency of the trees is low compared to more consistent currents higher up, but believes the £23,500 trees are more viable and less intrusive than ‘monstrous’ conventional wind turbines. The 26 foot high trees, which use tiny blades inside the ‘leaves’, could potentially be profitable after a year of wind speeds averaging 7.8 mph. They can generate electricity in wind speeds as low as 4.5 mph.