4 ways we can make renewable energy more attractive


“Renewable energy has enough barriers to think about, why do we need to make projects look attractive as well?”

You’d be right to question the logic, however many of the world’s largest low carbon companies are starting to realise that some of the biggest issues renewable energy faces, such as social acceptance, could be aided by making renewable energy more visually appealing. 

Why is it important that we make renewable energy more attractive?

Many low carbon energy projects depend upon natural resources, such as how fast the wind blows, how much the sun shines, and how hot the ground is beneath our feet amongst many others. This makes finding a suitable site for projects difficult. However, the problem is exacerbated when the chosen location is situated in areas of natural beauty or near homes with many viewing renewable energy projects as a visual eyesore.

Angry protestors, falling house prices and negative media coverage can all be responses to a prospective renewable energy project. Also, projects which require homeowner investment e.g solar panels, lack necessary uptake due to many believing that the panels are ‘ugly’ and will discourage potential future buyers. 

By making renewable energy more visually attractive, seamless within the environment, and notably beneficial for everyone, we can begin to turn the tide on the social acceptance of renewables. here’s how

1. Engineers + Designers = Win

The world of renewable energy project design is currently dominated by engineers. Possibly due to some of the relatively embryonic technologies and high investment prices, an emphasis is applied to the functionality of the technology and not the visual outlook. 

If the emphasis is put on visual design as well as functionality, the results can be astonishing. For example, NewWind, a French renewable design company, produces tree-shaped wind turbines with the hope of being a “visually appealing, urban alternative to traditional turbine models”.

Don’t get me wrong, in these early stages of mass renewable energy implementation, the project’s functionality must be the priority. However, for the sustained and progressive investment, we should start to include designers in the initial development phases.

2. Visual content marketing

Visual content can be a fantastic way of marketing a brand as well as informing local communities of the intended developments of a project. Pictures, statements, and plans are not enough anymore. Investors, alongside the public, want to see professionally made visual content to outline the benefits of the proposed project. When done professionally, visual content has the potential to transform the prospects of a renewable energy project. 

Some visual content companies are starting to see this demand. Splento has a specialised service for renewable energy and sustainable urban development projects. 

3. Blending in

“It needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated” – Elon Musk, when talking about Tesla’s new solar roof system that produces solar panels made from tempered quartz glass to blend in with the original roof of your house.

Renewable energy being criticised as a visual eyesore comes from its distinct failure to blend in with its environment. Whether that be bright blue solar panels on your roof or 100 metre high white turbines across a landscape, renewable energy hasn’t mastered the art of inconspicuousness – yet. 

Companies such as Tesla, Sistine, and Enchron are all making efforts to produce ‘camouflaged’ renewables to combat this issue. Thinking about how energy projects can blend in more with their environment, looks to be influential when it comes to public acceptance of a project.

Solar Panels

4. Changing the stigma

No matter how ghastly someone may think renewable energy can be, perspective can be gained when we realise how important renewable energy is to our future. Through communication, positive media content, and education, it becomes easy for those naysayers to see the beauty in a renewable world. For people who are passionate about renewable energy and its role in our lives, it is our responsibility to help change the visual eyesore stigma attached to renewable energy, and allow people to see its hidden beauty. 


As discussed, the visual design should not take priority over the functionality of renewable energy at this stage. However, using these four principles could help with the social acceptance of renewable energy in local communities which does impact the speed at which renewable energy can be implemented. 

Due to the time pressure the world faces with climate change, individuals along with energy companies should be doing all they can to change to a renewable, low carbon world that may involve making the technologies more visually attractive.