Almost all festivals in Europe use polluting diesel generators as their power supply. As a sustainable alternative, TU/e researchers and 9 companies have developed a 21-meter high fold-out tower with solar collectors and a wind turbine.
Earlier in August, the ‘GEM-tower’ was fully erected on the TU/e campus for the first time, ahead of the first practical test that took place during Pukkelpop.
The polluting nature of festivals had been a thorn in the side of associate professor of Innovative Structural Design Faas Moonen for years. With a 2.3 million euro subsidy from Interreg Europe, he began work in 2017 on a sustainable alternative, appointing a postdoc and three PDEng researchers to help him. Nine companies, including the festival organizers of Pukkelpop and Eurosonic Noorderslag, are currently working on his dream and have given it their all in order to meet the strict safety requirements.
The resulting festival tower is now ready for the first extensive tests. “Eventually, a whole group of towers will have to travel around the European festivals and provide them with 100% sustainable energy,” says Moonen. “I also hope that their striking appearance will make festival goers more aware of sustainability.”