Solar energy is already exciting — a way to get clean energy from a giant ball of plasma 90 million miles away. And as it becomes a more efficient and viable way to power our lives, its spread across the globe continues. Solar panels, themselves, however, are kind of boring. They’re what make human use of solar energy possible, yes, but they’re usually just gray squares, placed on a roof or perhaps lined up in rows on a particularly sunny field or hillside.
China has the right idea about solar farm aesthetics, though, and they’re in the middle of a big movement to make them a lot more fun and attractive. As you can see in the photo above, a solar plant in Datong, China is building a solar farm that will look exactly like a cute and happy cartoon panda when completed ( via Atlas Obscura). Actually, it looks quite a bit like the most famous pop culture panda of the past ten years: Po from Kung Fu Panda.
Developed by Chinese clean energy company China Merchants New Energy Group and the United Nations Development Program, this panda is just part of a 248-acre solar farm that’s expected to eventually produce 100MW of power — enough to power tens of thousands of homes. As the UNDP notes, the installation is set to reduce carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons over 25 years. So yes, it’s a big deal.
The question is, if we were to do this in the U.S., what would we make our solar fields look like? A cat? Pizza? The dancing hot dog Snapchat filter? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Featured image: UNDP