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Google X's Latest Innovation Explores Floating Solar Farms

By Tessa Love

Google's secretive "moonshot" research and development arm, Google X, has filed a patent for something that might suggest where our future lies in green energy: floating solar farms

Despite the lack of sci-fi futurism in this concept (Google Glass and driverless cars are just two of Google X's more splashy brain children), floating solar farms have the potential to disrupt the world's dependence on fossil fuels, and create a totally renewable infrastructure for energy. 

What makes them so innovative is that they solve one of the biggest problems posed by solar: land use. Individual buildings and houses can easily store their solar panels on the roof, but to really produce a lot of energy, you need large stretches of panels, i.e. solar farms. But building massive solar farms requires massive land area, which is growing more scarce could be used for actual farming or other purposes. Putting panels on the surface of bodies of water mitigates that problem.