Four Hong Kong students use stair-climbing energy to light the city Four bright sparks from SKH Li Ping Secondary School have designed a gadget to save energy. The project is the school's contribution to a renewable energy initiative driven by China Light and Power (CLP). The Form Six students designed a device that stores energy generated by walking up and down stairs. This energy can be kept for later use, such as to power light bulbs. The school is one of 15 that have received subsidies from CLP to work on renewable energy projects. Over the past four years, CLP's Energy Innovation Fund has donated about HK$5 million to support green schemes in schools and organisations. The students demonstrated their device using a miniature staircase. Coiled springs are placed under the surface of the steps, and when you step on these springs you set in motion a series of cogs embedded under the stairs. The moving cogs create a magnetic field that can generate electricity. The energy can be stored to power electrical appliances. Lo Wai-cheong, the chemistry teacher in charge of the project, said the design was 'ingenious', and that the students had been inspired by their urban surroundings. 'Hong Kong is filled with skyscrapers and tall buildings which all contain lots of stairs. Thousands of people climb these stairs every day. The students believe the amount of energy generated by people's moving legs on staircases is enormous,' Mr Lo said. The students see their creation as very practical. 'The energy can be stored during the day and used to power illumination devices at night,' said Eric Li Sai-lung, one of the four young inventors. The students believe the device could help in the global effort to save energy. 'Non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels are dwindling all over the world,' said Eric. 'We should do our part to save energy before it's too late.' Applications to the CLP fund for next year should be made by October 19. For more information, call 2678 8820.