Pulling into a parking space with an oversized solar contraption looming above your car definitely sparks one’s curiosity. Solar Trees have begun sprouting up throughout San Diego County at facilities such as UCSD, an SDG&E building, and even at the McDonalds down the street. To feed my inquisitive nature, I started asking about these contraptions, and the UCSD engineers, the McDonalds Franchise owner and SDG&E staff were all excited and eager to speak to the technology and the benefits of their new solar foliage.
There is a village, once every two years, where you can not only see, but take a tour of, 20 of the world's most technologically advanced and energy efficient high-performance homes. This village is not, as you might imagine, at Epcot Center (although who doesn't love a spin through Spaceship Earth) or at the highly-publicized World's Fairs. This magical village appears on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the US Department of Energy's biennial Solar Decathlon.