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Source: Phillipe Desmazes

This Town In France Just Planted Europe's First Solar E-Tree

By Nicole Caldwell

In the midst of a European heat wave, one town in Central France has installed the continent's first-ever solar eTree. The solar-powered tree provides shade, water, and green technology to residents while drawing attention to sustainability issues. The novelty—half function and half art—was created by an Israel solar company called Sologic, and promises to harness the beastly sun’s rays for cooling power.

Europe has been pushing records in May, with France already surpassing 86 degrees and Norway setting records, Treehugger reports. Meanwhile in Nevers, France, they’re trying to draw attention to climate change with a Sologic eTree, a brown metal trunk shaped like a real tree with “arms” supporting solar panels standing in for broad “leaves” at the top.

The structure, half-art and half-function, provides Nevers' 38,000 residents with a shaded resting area, charging capabilities for smart phones and other electronics, a water trough for pets or water cooler with fresh drinking water for people, nighttime illumination, free wifi, and even an interactive LCD display for community information. That display features a camera and screen that can show the weather, educational and environmental content, or even allow for communication between eTree locations around the world.   The eTree is effectively merging conversations around sustainability with public use of green technology.