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Renewable energy's identity crisis: Meet the solar windmill

Posting in Energy

Hello hybrid!

This thing ranks right up there with all the mythical beasts of mixed identity. And it's real. Step aside unicorn. Fly away griffin. Welcome solar windmill!

I stumbled across the picture above from Japanese solar manufacturer Sharp, posted on the European Photovoltaic Industry Association website. It shows a traditional wind mill in which the four blades house Sharp solar panels.

Before there were combo renewables, there were griffins - half lion, half eagle.

The building as a whole is a holiday home in Werder, Brandenburg, according to SunEnergy, the German photovoltaic integrator which installed the 24 panels that have a capacity of 4.4 kilowatts. That's enough to power the family of four's home theater, spa area and "large high-tech sound system," SunEnergy says.

It's good to know that someone muscling up the autobahn in a CO2 spewing car to go luxuriate in a fancy second home has the environmental sensibility to power their fun and relaxation with renewables once they arrive!

The novelty is not going to solve the world's energy and climate crisis, but it seemed worth a glance here on SmartPlanet.

Churn and burn. The wind and sun work together in this contraption.

Photos: Solar windmill pics from Sharp via EPIA. Griffin from Wikimedia.

— By on November 14, 2012, 7:42 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure