Agency JWT London and flooring technology specialist Pavegen were brought in to develop the installation for the Morro da Mineira community, a Brazilian slum - also known as a favela - which has not benefitted from tourism and private enterprise development.
Pelé, who joined Shell to officially open the pitch, said: "Football is Brazil’s biggest passion and the sport has gone through so much technological innovation since the last time I played. This new pitch shows the extraordinary things possible when science and sport come together."
The pitch consists of 200 high-tech, underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. The energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the pitch to convert into renewable electricity for new floodlights.
The Morro da Mineira project is part of the Shell #makethefuture programme, which aims to inspire young people and entrepreneurs to look at science and engineering as a career choice, particularly using their minds to develop energy solutions for the future of the planet.
André Araujo, Shell Brazil country chair, said: "By 2050, the world will be using 75% more energy than it does now. Meeting that extra demand will require a set of energy sources – and a new generation of scientists and engineers with the passion, ideas and innovation to develop it."
Laurence Kemball-Cook, Pavegen founder and chief executive, added: "Having received support from Shell to develop my vision, I’m lucky enough to now use my ideas to meet the energy challenge. This new football pitch is an exciting example that every child in a classroom can understand and see first-hand the vital role technology and innovation play in shaping our planet not only now, but in the future."
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