Queer Eye for the Turbine
Hip, new wind-turbine designs shed those fusty rotating blades
As anti-wind-power crusaders make ever-louder indictments of unsightly turbines, wind advocates are fighting back with a new tool — aesthetics. A handful of wind-power companies are teaming up with designers to develop new contraptions that can harness wind energy without the traditional spinning blades, as well as new plans for placing turbines away from scenic landscapes. Take the Aerogenerator, a new wind turbine intended to be situated far out at sea; the Guardian describes the vaguely V-shaped design as looking “like a cross between a glider and a giant harp, or perhaps a James Bond villain’s mid-ocean hideout.” A prototype will be tested soon, and if all goes well Aerogenerators could be in production within three to five years, boosters say. Meanwhile, innovative architects are working to incorporate spiral turbines and other new types directly into skyscrapers; the power they generate could then be used on site, and someday such buildings might generate all their own electricity.