Environmental regulations and nature protection law are making it increasingly challenging to build new power stations. An old technology for environmentally-friendly electricity generation is ‘ship mills’. They use the power of flowing water to drive the millstone.
An advantage is that no dam walls are needed. The ship mill can be tied down anywhere, it floats on the water and doesn’t stop fish swimming underneath. Its rotating parts – propellers or a paddle wheel – move so slowly that they pose no danger to river fauna, according to Müller.
A mobile, floating power generator could also be equipped to collect plastic waste. That would make it possible to identify the source of the waste and the person/entity responsible could be made aware of the pollution. Ideally, the problem could be solved directly at source.