The Sun Tan
Hey, you know what can be a good idea?
Aesthetically installing solar panels in long rows on the backside of beaches. Even if these do not exactly track the movement of that giant ball of nuclear fusion, they will always face the open horizon for half the day. Or tilt them toward south, if you are like me from the Northern Hemisphere.
These should be at a raised height (15 feet?) under which shacks can operate with free shade and charging points for customers. The supporting frame can be of wood or bamboo. Camouflage the visible parts with hay or dried palm leaves, to give those classic ‘Goa’ vibes.
Might save you enormous land acquisition costs. Cannot speak about other countries, but over here in India building a solar plant means going to some faraway, unforgiving desert or coercing farmers to give up their real estate holdings. The strip of land from where you enter a beach is usually littered with beer bottles, plastic bags and cattle poo, so I don’t see the harm.
Hey, you know what is perhaps even a better idea?
Have all these panels float on cheap and modular treated bamboo or plastic rafts in the ocean. Make them sturdy enough to withstand or mitigate stormy, choppy waters or crashing waves. The latter is only a problem at the coastline. A perimeter of floating foam barriers can keep these rafts from drifting apart. Rubber cushioning will stop them from causing damaging each other upon collision, if any. 70% of this planet is water. Just use it, duh. We have put nuclear-powered rovers on Mars, this should be a cakewalk.
Hey, you know what may well out to be a legendary idea?
Just put out lots of pretty, giant, tethered blimps in the sky, their top surfaces harvest sunlight. Extruded triangles, hexagons, squares — so that you get a flat, tessellated surface. If they are all bumping and rubbing against one another (imagine you are holding a bunch of balloons in one hand with the string length more of less equal) — gusts of wind will find it difficult to budge them (ever been in a ball pit or seen the Pixar-animated movie Up?). Concept is similar to the one I just described above for water. Fluids cannot dislodge stuff easily if they are close to each other and have mass.
Once in a while, these ‘kites’ can be reeled in for any sort of cleaning and maintenance. Then deployed back. Electricity gets beamed back to ground station via microwave, or simply have the a conductive (but insulated) string keeping it afloat. You are welcome, future archeologists and historians.
Because nobody is going to read this or take any action. Unless someone goes and tells Alphabet’s Project Makani and Project Loon team. Maybe the current political dispensation could try this instead of spending on statues, if you want national superiority in everything.
Otherwise a tweet shall be dispatched to Elon Musk, if I become desperate.