We take a look at solar farms. Looking at how they could be a huge opportunity for landscape architects in the future. Consumer behavior changes rapidly when prices fall low enough. The price of solar panels have now hit historic lows and that is expected to change energy generation forever. The US Department of Energy predicts that solar panels will cost one-fourth the current price by 2020. The panels could lose 10% of their value every year for the next decade, according to UK researchers. With massive demand and lower prices, the renewable energy boom could prove to be lucrative for landowners and landscaping businesses.
Over the next three years, more than 100,000 acres are expected to be brought under management as solar farms in the United States. States and corporations are driving this demand. Savvy investors can hire landscape architects to utilize this land to its full potential. Landscape architects can go beyond simply designing the solar farm layout. They could find themselves in a prominent role at the forefront of the energy revolution. Even urban landscape architects could get involved. According to the American Society for Landscape Architects, using green technology in innovative ways will help us create the sustainable cities of the future. In their report, the ASLA clearly outlined how big an opportunity this could prove to be. Soon homes will be constructed with solar efficiency in mind. Architects will be entrusted with the task of making sure the house is properly positioned to take advantage of the sunlight, the roof is capable of holding PV panels, and the right combination of photovoltaic cables connecting the panels and medium voltage cables to hook up to the grid are included in the initial design specifications. Lighting in gardens could have standalone solar power sources, while there could be a need to create a special space for a powerwall, like the one sold by Tesla. At the moment, it seems the public is too caught up with the technological, environmental and political implications of solar power. Over the years as solar power and farms get more common, consumers could start paying more attention to the landscape designing challenges of the energy boom. Landscape architects, meanwhile, are still coming to terms with this new trend. Most have never worked on an exclusively renewable energy projects. But with experience, architects could start to shape energy policies across the world. Savvy entrepreneurs could start by taking advantage of the business opportunities. Architects could equip themselves with special knowledge of this upcoming field and offer their services to corporations or consumers, who will eventually look for sustainable solutions to their energy needs. Solar energy is bound to make a difference over the long term. But there are certain groups of people who could benefit in the short term and help push this trend forward. Professional landscape architects could be one of these groups.
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Article by Bilal Sajjad Featured image: By MrRenewablesWestmill Solar Co-operativeBen Cavanna – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, source.Published in