Monday, January 5, 2009

Designing for Solar, Wind, and Electric Energy

As oil prices careen between $40 and $145 per barrel within months it is clear that wind, solar and electric energy will play an increasingly growing role in the future. Designers are continuing to create new designs that reduce reliance on oil and coal. Hybrid and electric transportation is in our future. Cities will rely more and more on solar and wind energy.

A number of improvements to wind turbines, electric vehicles, and solar panels are steadily increasing the amount of power that they produce and make such alternative power cheaper each year. All of the major automakers have confirmed projects for plug-in hybrids or electric cars, advances in turbine efficiency and continuing improvements in solar panels indicate that prices will continue to drop and power output will continue to increase for non-oil energy sources.

Among hundreds of excellent examples, wind turbines provide power to twin towers in Bahrain (left) and BMW is producing an electric version of its popular Mini-Cooper (right).

This is the time for students to learn more about growing design opportunities requiring a new generation of design thinkers.

1 comment:

Bonnie Diehl said...

We did not leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones. We need to leave the fossil fuel age now. I do not want to be dependent on petrodictators anymore. Let's design our way to a wonderful future.