Solar panels need not be ugly

Why do solar panels always have to be so ugly? asks Marjan Van Aubel, solar designer in her very engaging TED talk last year. She was inspired by the book called "the Solar Revolution" where it says that within one hour we receive enough sunlight to provide the world with enough electricity for an entire year - One hour.

"The Solar Revolution" tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food.

Marjan continues, "Scientists all over the world have been focusing on making solar panels more efficient and cheaper. So the price of solar has dropped enormously. And this is because China started producing them on a large scale. Also their efficiency has increased a lot. They now even have an efficiency of 44.5 percent. But if you think about the image of solar cells, it's kind of stayed the same for the last 60 years. It's still this technology just stacked onto something. And solar cells need to be much better integrated into our environment.

Climate change is the biggest problem of our time. And we can't rely on the others -- the government, the engineers -- to make positive changes. We all can contribute towards change."

You can watch Marjan's TED talk on YouTube: