What does the future of renewable energy look like? As the world comes together over the next decade to meet the challenge of global climate change, solar, wind, and other renewable energy installations will be distributed across rooftops, farmlands, vacant lots, and sites of every kind and scale around the world, having an impact on our cities and rural landscapes like nothing else since the construction of the automobile superhighways of the twentieth century.
While the vast majority of this new infrastructure will be utilitarian installations designed to meet the most competitive cost per kilowatt-hour, the great energy transition also offers the opportunity—for cherished places, sensitive sites, and when community engagement is key to long-term project success—to think creatively about how clean energy technology can weave itself into the cultural landscapes of our cities. When future generations look back at this pivotal time in human history, they can visit the 21st century cultural landmarks that we design today as an integral part of a just and sustainable solution to the climate crisis.
Weaving culture, art, and inclusivity into our renewable energy landscapes is the mission of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), a nonprofit that works with cities around the world to develop public art installations that also function to supply clean electricity to meet existing demand—and lowering the carbon footprint of the city with art that gives back more than just beauty and returns more than just kilowatt hours on its capital investment.