Copenhagen Might Install a Giant, Energy-Gathering Duck in Its Harbor

The duck would be both a tourist attraction and a means of helping the city become carbon-neutral by 2025

An artistic depiction of the duck. Photo: Land Art Generator Initiative

Copenhagen's harbor might soon be home to more than just old boats and the Little Mermaid. A 12-story-high giant duck that gathers solar and hydropower energy might join their ranks, too. A team of British designers and artists who took part in a recent contest proposed the duck as a means of helping the Danish capital become carbon-neutral by 2025.  

For now, the duck is just an idea, although its creators outlined a full plan for how it would work. The duck would be built with a lightweight steel frame, Time explains, and it would be completely covered in solar panels. At night, it would change color in sync with hydro turbines that gather energy from the harbor's ebb and flow, and visitors could actually enter the duck and take a look around inside. DesignBoom elaborates on the duck's green potential: 

The collected energy is stored within the waterbird’s belly, making use of the design’s floating nature, which is reserved by virtue of different H2O elevations inside and outside the body. When power needs to be distributed, the base of the duck is flooded to bring about the necessary electricity to be transmitted to a national grid, by the same route as the PV panel produced electricity.

Copenhagen—or any city—could unleash a whole flock of ducks to serve specific energy needs. As DesignBoom points out, the duck is scalable. A 40-meter-tall bird could provide the majority of power for a large solar farm fit to serve a city; a 20-meter tall duck could do so for a town; and a four-meter one would serve a family.