One of the ongoing objections wind power, Britain’s most promising form of renewable energy, is that it is unsightly and ruins views. I kind of like wind turbines, I think they’re rather graceful, but I appreciate that others don’t. Offshore wind turbines suffer from the same problem, except that they ruin sea views instead of landscapes. Some don’t like solar panels either, especially on older buildings.
So that got me thinking – are there any invisible forms of renewable energy? I’m sure there are more, but here are the first four that came to mind:
1. Solar tiles – Solar panels can stick out somewhat, but solar tiles or slates can be incorporated seamlessly into the roof. They’re not quite invisible, but they’re certainly not obtrusive.
2. Ground source heat pumps – Ground source heat pumps draw warmth from underground and store it. You have to do a lot of digging to lay it down, but it’s invisible after that.
3. Sea kites – These turbines capture tidal energy, but they’re tethered to the bottom of the sea and are invisible from the surface. Unless you were a fish, you wouldn’t know Minesto’s sea kites were even there.
We can’t restrict ourselves to these invisible technologies of course, but not all renewable energy is an aesthetic blight.