Although it’s not enough to power to supply an average American’s home, the Backpack Power Plant from Bourne Energy of Malibu, CA might be the off the grid power answer to rurally located villages.
The portable device, which weighs 30lbs and measure about 4 feet long (based on the pic), generates clean and quiet power by utilizing the kinetic energy found in streams that are deeper than 4 feet.
Setting up the Backpack Power Plant requires two trenches to be dug on either side of the stream and an anchor placed in either one. A synthetic rope is then ran between each anchor, which presumambly has a turbine attached to it to harness the kinetic energy located in the flowing stream. In order to yield a reasonable amount of power, or up to 500 watts, the stream must be moving about 7.5 feet per second.
When and if the civilian version of the The Backpack Power Plant comes to market expect it to cost about $3,000.