It is not in current use, but there are some patents and ideas floating around that are trying to harness the power of gravity. For instance, one idea is to follow Newton’s Third Law of Motion that “For every action there is an equal and an opposite reaction.” Following this law, hope is to harness the energy and pressure that transportation puts on the road to produce green energy. The pressure created by tires would be harnessed and used to produce power through the fluted-water-pressure ripple-mat. It is believed that this source of energy is enough to meet 40% of the USA’s energy needs. It is called Dynamic Gravity Energy
Hydroelectric plants like Hoover Dam and the Grand Coulee Dam use gravity for energy production. The force of gravity pulls the water of a river through the hydroelectric turbines that can convert that kinetic energy to electricity.
We can’t really use gravity alone because gravity only causes a conversion of energy and is not a source itself of energy. For example, in a hydroelectric plant, nature loads water with potential energy by lifting it from the oceans and other large bodies of water onto mountain tops. This potential is converted by gravity into kinetic energy as rainfall or snowmelt, which we can then use to create electricity. In the case of hydroelectricity, nature does all the work, and we do not have to spend energy to put into the system.
In the example that greenrobby gave us, “Dynamic Gravity Energy” does not actually work using gravity, but rather on the momentum generated by a moving car. The wheels of the car are constantly making collisions with the ground as they spin, and it is possible to convert the energy normally lost in those collisions to electricity using such a mechanism as the “ripple-mat”. We can see that the mechanism doesn’t work on gravity alone since it would generate no power output from a car that was parked on top of it. We must put energy into the system in the form of burning gasoline or using electricity to accelerate the car in order to convert it back to usable energy through the “ripple-mat”. Regardless, such a system is beneficial because it allows us to reuse energy that would normally be wasted.
The “every action produces an equal and opposite reaction” statement is often misinterpreted. What it actually means is that in order to hold an object at rest, all of the force vectors acting on it must add up to zero. In other words, for an object at rest any force that is pulling it in one direction must be reacted against by a force of equal magnitude in the opposite direction. For example, if the ground underneath your feet did not push back on you with your exact weight, you would fall through the earth, or be pushed upward.
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