Apparently Peter Richardson knew when he submitted a winning solar design to the International Design Awards. His idea is to turn disused water ways into functional space by populating them with solar panels shaped like water lilies. Aiming to increase quality of life, while generating energy, the lilies so impressed the Glasgow City Council that they expressed interest in developing a pilot project.
The technology itself is easily within reach:
“They can be moved and dismantled and are simply tethered to the river bed, integrated motors can rotate the discs so their orientation to the sun is maximised throughout the day.” (Project Description)
In other words, no new technology required, just some clever design. My concern would be recreational or commercial river traffic (how “disused”must the waterway be?). Would waves from wake disrupt the solar lilies? What about an impact on wildlife or wildlife’s impact on the panels? What if the river ices over in the winter? One hopes a pilot project would figure out the kinks.
What do readers think – would a product like this in your local water way make an impact on your community? (More images here)
Image via the International Design Awards
I'm an environmentalist who loves to write. I grew up across the southeastern U.S.A. and especially love the Appalachian mountains. I went to school in the north east U.S.A. in part to witness different mindsets and lifestyles than those of my southern stomping grounds. I majored in English Lit. and Anthropology. I've worked as a whitewater rafting guide, which introduced me to a wilderness and the complex issues at play in the places where relatively few people go. I also taught English language in South Korea for a year, which taught me to take nothing for granted. Currently I'm applying for grad school to study international environmental policy.