A publicly-funded think tank is highlighting crematorium-powered turbines, solar pannelled cemeteries and 'mad science' to mark Halloween.The Canada West Foundation laid out the ideas in its October Energy Innovation Brief.“Halloween is just around the corner. This October we’re sharing some of the strange, and sometimes even creepy, energy innovations we’ve found,” wrote the CWF.The first? “Ghost power: capturing energy released by crematoriums.” Morbid or not, it’s a growing endeavour.“Some people donate their bodies to science when they die. Others ask to be made into diamonds. Now we may have the opportunity to be turned into electricity,” wrote CWF.The UK County of Durham issued a feasibility study ten years ago on installing a turbine generator powered by the hot steam emerging from the cremation chamber. The executive summary of the project took body heat to a whole new level. It suggested the power generated could heat two residential bungalows on the crematorium site, provide “de-icing and frost control to the drive and pathways” nearby and generate electricity.The CWF acknowledges the approach has raised ethical controversies, and added, “Jurisdictions will need to grapple with these moral questions on their own.”But, in some European locations, it’s full steam ahead. According to the Direct Cremate blog, linked to by the CWF, some crematoriums in the UK use excess heat to warm nearby pools and provide local villages with electricity. Denmark, Sweden and other European countries have followed, as cremation rates range from 75% to 82%.“When you consider how public sentiment about cremation has changed in recent years, there’s a good chance the idea of using energy created by a crematorium will be accepted by the masses sooner than we think,” wrote Direct Cremate.CWF had a more palatable addition to this “power from beyond the grave:” the presence of solar panels in cemeteries.“Cemeteries are both final resting places and grounds for quiet visitation. They are also often wide open spaces with good sun exposure and some jurisdictions are starting to use them as sites to generate power via solar panels,” CWF explained.“Examples include the Santa Coloma de Gramenet cemetery in Spain, Ballarat General Cemeteries in Australia and the Mount Oliver Cemetery in Connecticut. In these cases, the graveyard additions were met with little resistance, as they help offset electricity demand and were installed in ways that were respectful to the deceased.”Spain’s first solar-powered cemetery was set up in 2008. Its 462 solar panels cover 1000 sq. m., generating 100 kw, enough to meet the energy needs of 60 families. The panels cost $935,000 to set up.Solar company Verogy leased 16 acres of land from the Catholic Cemetery Association for the Connecticut project. The cemetery land had been unused for 20 years but now has enough rays of solar panels to power 428 homes. More such projects seem more feasible as cremation rates rise in the US, from 40% in the 1960’s, to 58% today, and rising into the 2030s.The article also offered some “mad science” in its Halloween offering, such as a nuclear fusion gun with a novel way to split atoms for energy.“The technology works as follows. A piston speeds down the 70-ft.-barrel of the Big Friendly Gun (BFG), compressing hydrogen gas into a tiny point that bursts through a metal seal. This shoots a projectile at seven km/sec into a vacuum chamber to strike a target, temporarily generating fusion. This system is cheaper and simpler than the lasers used in other fusion systems and is easier to contain than an ongoing fusion reaction.”First LIght Fusion commissioned, designed and built this energy-production project for £1.1 million over the course of 10 months. It was dubbed the BFG despite its imposing size and substantial cost.Other inventions explored included airborne wind turbines, harvesting energy from raindrops, deoxidizing rust for energy storage and iron-air batteries, and wireless electrical transmission.