Sanyo has constructed what I would call a beautifully designed building in Japan. This building, known as the Solar Ark, not only collects solar power but also aims to educate visitors about solar power and its history. Buildings like this are critical in expanding solar use in conventional buildings. By showcasing how solar has been effectively used while still remaining aesthetically pleasing, I think Sanyo is not only making it acceptable to go, but fashionable. I hope more corporations can take a cue from this and implement it.
I don’t want to be dismissive of those that have implemented (or are in the process of doing so) solar power. Hewlett-Packard is transforming its head quarters to solar. Google not only uses solar but has spelled its plans for pushing a lot of money into renewable energy (to the effect, they hope, that those technologies will be cheaper than conventional fossil fuels). Even Wal-Mart has tested renewable energy concepts in a couple of its stores (not really enough in comparison to the massive footprint the world’s largest retailer holds but a start).
You can see the Solar Ark in the gallery or learn more about it at the Sanyo Solar Ark site. If you’re visiting Japan, you can also visit the Ark to see the museum or check out the cafe. A bullet train also passes by.