According to Inhabitat, roughly 160 billion square feet of land have been paved and used just as parking lots for cars. Envision plans to use some of this space to accommodate solar panels structures called solar tree car shelters. Is this wasting even more space? Not quite.
The solar tree shelters are using the little extra spaces between parked vehicles for towers that the solar panels are then mounted on, so the solar panels themselves are not wasting space — the only space is required for the narrow towers, which aren’t even three feet wide.
The solar panels also provide shade for the cars in the parking lot, enabling their interiors to last longer, and also enabling their passengers to avoid being burnt by accumulated heat while waiting for the AC to cool things off.
This is reminiscent of the fact that solar panels are the only type of generators that can be utilized in such a way that they use literally no land, because they can be installed anywhere, including on unused roof space, walls, windows, and even in paint if you factor in prototype technology.
Solar panels can be the most space-efficient generators of all — not even nuclear power plants can be as space-efficient.
The solar trees are equipped with trackers that track the sun to optimize performance. They each shade six cars, and can charge six electric vehicles at a time.
The 2,300 trees, which are to be installed through collaboration with Horizon Energy Group, are to generate 35 MW of electricity.