Close your eyes and picture a wind turbine. Now imagine a solar panel.
Chances are you’re thinking about one of just a few designs – a three-blade turbine with nacelle, or a rooftop or ground mount solar array.
There are practical engineering reasons why renewable energy infrastructure looks the way it does, but that hasn’t stopped industrious artists from challenging our understanding of what the future of renewable energy could look like. Here are just a few installations that use renewable energy to make beautiful art – and vice versa.
With a background in science, artist Alexander Dang has a commitment to educate through his art, making renewable energy engaging and fun. His exhibit Dancing Solar Flowers has been seen all over the world:
Toronto native Sarah Hall incorporates photovoltaic glass into her works of art. The panes she creates and incorporates into buildings around the U.S. and Canada not only reflect the sunlight beautifully, they convert it into power.
In Portland, Oregon, you can see the work of Brian Borello, whose set of sculptures entitled Lents Hybrids feature vertical wind turbines and solar-powered LED streetlights that look like they could be out of a Dr. Seuss book:
Coming soon to the streets of Paris – wind turbines that look like trees. A French company called New Wind has plans to install turbines made of steel and lightweight plastic that can generate enough power annually to power 15 streetlights:
It is worth the trip to Singapore to experience the larger-than-life solar trees at the Gardens by the Bay. These enormous structures are equipped with solar panels and rainwater collection, and feature native plants throughout.
If you want to read more about renewable energy and art, check out the Land Art Generator Initiative — they exist to find beautiful solutions to energy generation.
Header image attribution: “When sky is the limit …” by JoeDSilva is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0