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An innovative LiveWIRE supported business that uses special roadside windmills to convert traffic turbulence into green electricity has been featured on the Shell Global website’s ‘Inside Energy’ section.

Engineering graduate Sanwal Muneer initially approached Shell Tameer, the Shell LiveWIRE programme in Pakistan, for help to develop his clean energy business, Capture Mobility, and in 2014 he won the Shell Tameer ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award.

A green-trailblazer, Capture Mobility uses specially designed windmills by the side of motorways to harvest electricity from the air turbulence produced by passing vehicles and also from solar energy during the day.

Recalling how the idea first came to him, Sanwal told Inside Energy that he was inspired to create the turbine four years ago as he stood at the side of a Malaysian racetrack, saying, “At first, the breeze from the cars was just a welcome relief from the humidity. Then I started to think about how we could use that energy.”

Although the company received interest from local government within Pakistan to undertake a joint venture to install their technology on the 334 km highway connecting Islamabad and Lahore, the venture was thwarted by bureaucracy. Eager to help, Shell Tameer with the cooperation of the Shell LiveWIRE programme in the UK, provided the initial assistance that enabled Capture Mobiltiy to make new contacts that led to them developing business opportunities, and a new home, in Scotland – the birthplace of Shell LiveWIRE.

Currently based at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), Capture Mobility has received the backing of UK Trade & Investment, and has secured a deal with the Scottish Transport Department and local councils. As a result of this support, the company has erected its first micro-turbine at the side of the A90 in Dundee to help reduce pollution while generating 300 watts of energy per hour. The company has also recently secured a contract to supply their product to local councils to power street lights.

Speaking about his innovative product and its role in providing clean energy and reducing air pollution, Sanwal Muneer said, “This unique product can harvest both solar and wind energy and can be placed by the side of highways, high speed railway tracks and even on rooftops.

“Our turbine can capture carbon particles (PM10 and PM 2.5) with integrated filtering sheets inside the fins of the turbine. These hazardous particles contribute directly to cancer and asthma for thousands of people each year.”

Together with his sister Sidra Muneer and Asad Liaquat, Sanwal has his sights set on the global clean energy challenge and mitigating air pollution. The long term goal of Capture Mobility is to generate enough funding from commercial projects to subsidise the installation of generators in disadvantaged areas of Pakistan, thus helping to reduce the region’s carbon footprint while creating energy.

Sanwal said, “We have a responsibility to take care of people who don’t have access to clean energy and living in off-grid areas. To help and support them, I integrated a hybrid non-profit business model to help the off-grid people through the profit from our corporate sector.”

Speaking about the support he has received from Shell Tameer, Sanwal said, “The Shell Tameer Young Entrepreneur Awards gave us a lot of confidence and energy to do more. Shell Tameer has been a great support to address our business challenges and we always mention Shell Tameer proudly at all forums.

“It has been a great journey and now we are reaching out to other markets as we are getting a lot of international interest, especially from China due to air pollution problems. We really appreciate the support of Shell Tameer.”

Behzad Khan, Social Investment Lead, Shell Pakistan, and Programme Manager of Shell Tameer said, “The implication of entrepreneurial innovation to address the global energy challenges is significant. Shell Tameer is proud to nurture young entrepreneurs like Sanwal Muneer who are innovating to help meet the world’s growing energy needs and contributing towards a lower-carbon future by developing clean energy solutions.”

To see the article on Shell Global’s Inside Energy please click here.


Shell Global features LiveWIRE energy innovator
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