There is no doubting the benefits of solar panels and wind turbines. Both save money by using nature to provide energy, rather than relying on any form of fuel. Consequently, both are environmentally friendly, providing clean, renewable and sustainable energy without releasing any noxious gases into the atmosphere.
Despite these benefits, this sort of power isn't everywhere. While a study last year found that 90% of people would like more access to renewable energy, such as that provided by solar panels and wind turbines, shockingly, most people resist because of aesthetics. In other words, the overall concession is that both solar panels and wind turbines, while being environmentally-friendly money savers, are still ugly blots on an otherwise attractive landscape.
Which, of course, poses the question, is there any way to hide these unsightly solar panels and wind turbines, and, if not, is there any way we can make them less noticeable?
The problem with both wind turbines and solar panels is that neither is particularly inconspicuous. Solar panels that sit on residential buildings are often glaringly noticeable, but are that just because they look different from the surrounding roofs or because the panels are actually ugly? The same could be said for any other solar panels. Wind turbines are even more conspicuous, with many often clustered together, standing high with huge white sails spinning with the wind. Is it really possible to move these anywhere where they won't be so ugly?
Can they be moved?
Is the solution as easy as moving solar panels and turbines? Perhaps not, the simple fact of the matter is, to benefit from solar panels; they have to be in an optimum position to catch the sun in order to work. That position is on the roof of the building they are powering, preferably on a South-facing slant. If they are moved from the roof of the building, they simply won't power that building.
Wind turbines don't have the same problem as the energy from them can be stored. However, they do need space in order to work and, because of that, can't be hidden away anywhere.
Perhaps, then, rather than try to move these items, we should instead try to hide them in plain sight. For example, engineers have designed a way to incorporate wind turbines into the huge arches under high-rise bridges, using up an otherwise empty space with attractively designed yet functioning wind turbine. There must be numerous similar spaces that can be used in much the same way.
So, what about solar panels? Again, the answer lies with hiding in plain sight. Current technological advances have allowed for the development of solar photovoltaic panels, also called solar PV panels. These panels have cleaner, sharper lines, minimal glare, and are darker in colour, allowing them to blend in more effectively with tiled or slated roofs. The result is a roof, whether the only one in the neighbourhood or not, barely noticeable even though it has solar PV panels on it.