A new dimension for solar energy - MIT News Office
This article from MIT News highlights the proof of concept of 3D solar designs that you assumed could work, but weren't sure why they weren't already in place (at least I wondered why cell phone towers didn't have solar panels hanging off of them everywhere, or why light poles on the interstates and roads didn't have solar panels hanging all over them as well feeding the grid during the day and providing light at night for the road). I am glad to see that these guys at MIT are on top of this whole 3D shape concept and have taken the steps to prove the concept. The cost to practically manufacture or mass produce this configuration vs a flat two dimensional rectangular shape is clearly a current hindrance, but as the article correctly points out, nearly two thirds of solar power solution costs are related to engineering and site specific costs like trenching to tie into the grid vs the cost of the solar panels and racking themselves. The news out of MIT is another breakthrough, and I for one will be glad to see the changing dynamics of implementing cool conceptual solar photovoltaic solutions like this in the future. Solar energy solutions are the front runner in my book for the future of human beings on planet Earth (unless of course, we can figure out how to convert our sea water into energy as cost effectively as our sunlight).