In our ever more manic attempts to try and harness Mother Nature, we're ruining the countryside with monolithic wind farms. Since the wind blows stronger and more consistently above 50 meters, commercial wind farms by necessity are built to be tall. But now a designer from Paris has developed an artistic windmill that wouldn't look out of place in a city park.
Jerome Michaud-Lariviere, founder of the Paris-based start-up NewWind has created Tree Wind which, as the name suggests, looks like an artistic interpretation of a tree.
Each of the 100 "leaves" are designed to spin in wind speeds as low as 5.5 MPH (8.85 KPH) and they are attached to steel branches which in turn, feed from a 25 foot (8.85 meter) steel trunk. Since wind speed of this size aren't unusual, and these Wind Trees are relatively cheap, it is estimated that they would earn their money back in as little as two years. In more space restricted areas, such as on rooftops or balconies, these "trees" could be scaled down and used for residential purposes.
If we're to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to generate electricity and, harness power that is readily available, we need to think of methods that won't destroy the environment any more than we already have done, and it's ideas like this that may just save the day.