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No, this isn’t an oxymoron – powerplants can be beautiful. And with objections to energy sources such as wind farms frequently centering on their visual appeal, perhaps pretty power is the way forward? Energy Secretary Amber Rudd certainly seems to think so. In June, Rudd stated that:
‘People in general want public structures to look good, as well as being functional. It’s not a trivial thing, when you have a big infrastructure protect that you put time, effort and money into.’
Whilst the UK’s powerplants tend to be rather grim looking, you don’t have to look far to find energy plants that are quite the opposite…
Both Øvre Forsland and Bjornstokk are hydraulic power stations located in rural Norway. Designed in partnership with architects Stein Hamre arkitektkontor, the designs are supposed to reflect the beauty of their surroundings, and provide a talking point for tourists. Large windows allow visitors to see the inner workings of the stations, whilst the exteriors manage to be both futuristic and perfectly complementary to their Arctic locale.
Amager Bakke is a top of the range clean energy plant in Copenhagen. By 2017 the plant will treat 400,000 tonnes of waste per year, and supply a minimum of 50,000 households with electricity. In what is surely the most innovative use of a power plant, the rooftop of Amager Bakke also serves as a ski slope to local residents!
Currently, work is expected to begin on the Swansea Tidal Lagoon in 2017. The lagoon aims to harness the natural tidal power present in Swansea bay, where a spring tidal range of up to 8.5m provides massive potential. Once built, the plant will be the first man-made green energy lagoon, and will generate 14 hours of clean energy a day.
Designed in the image of New Caledonia’s famous Coeur de Voh mangrove swamp, this solar powered solar plant was announced by Conergy in 2014. The plant will be located on New Caledonia’s largest island, off the coast of Australia, and will be visible by air. It has an estimated 25 year lifespan, and will replace two million tons of CO2 emissions over this time.
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