Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, is debating the implementation of a naturally-inspired solar design to help ease the use of traditional power sources and add some green to the city. Called a “Solar Lily”, the pads of photovoltaic cells would be anchored in the Clyde River — and potentially even computer-controlled — to take advantage of the changing angle of the sun’s daily path. From Ecofriend,

“Already, the winner of the International Design Awards, the concept of these lily shaped discs, from Glasgow-based ZM Architecture, has been handed to the city council with the hope that a trial project could go-ahead. Effectively, the energy gathered by these discs will be transformed and to the national grid, and integrated motors could rotate the pads in order to follow the sun for maximum output.”

One thing I would be concerned about (judging from the concept photos) is how these ‘pads’ might appear visually. It’s one thing to throw a few wind turbines up on a hill — but to choke a river with electronic pads might cause some protest. If any measure of water recreation exists on the Clyde River, such restrictions would also have to be addressed. I’m all for attempting unique ideas to make us more sustainable, but I also believe a certain level of finesse in design and aesthetic appeal is important too.

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