Why is our country so enamored of coal and oil? Well, it sure ain’t for their looks. Unless you’re a near-pathological industrial-porn enthusiast, there’s nothing attractive about an oil refinery or a coal-fired power plant. But alternative energy plants are being designed to be not only better for the environment, but less of an eyesore as well. These are buildings people might not mind living near, or even making a special trip out to see.

For starters, check out this solar power tower in Seville, Spain:

Solar power tower

Don’t be fooled by the radiant beams of light, the gleaming white structures, or the choirs of celestial voices you doubtless hear as you approach it. This is a power plant. It consists of over 1,000 mirrors that concentrate light at the tower’s peak — sort of the benign version of the Las Vegas death ray hotel. That heat boils water, and the steam drives a turbine, just like in a regular coal-fired plant. That produces enough electricity to power 200,000 homes.

This video from the Guardian is 11 minutes long, but features a charming Scottish voiceover and some seriously stunning shots of the tower in action. This is some Frank Herbert shit.

And take a gander at this model for a geothermal plant in Germany:

Geothermal power plant

Hey, baby, what are YOU doing later? Generating enough electricity to power 18,000 homes? All riiiiight.