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"You've probably seen this before, but one way to deal with the lack of surface space for solar panels..."

Heard about it, didn't see it before. Cost/benefit will be what counts, but worth testing! Reminds me of Robert Heinlein's rolling roads stories - "roads" that were conveyor belts with solar collectors above driving them.

A more practical possibility in mass transit is the personalized mass transit "J-pods." Electrically powered, can have solar panels above to run it, about a tenth of the cost/passenger - mile of light rail. Read that a large shopping mall is planning to install a small system as a ride, and a way of customers needing to walk all the way. Hope so.

The questions on all of these are: cost/benefit values.

Another way of reducing solar footprint is solar shading, currently being experimented with. What I would like for myself is solar PVT: I'm storing summer heat into the ground to reduce home heating expenses. My current methods are low cost, but given an inexpensive way to tap into the waste heat from PV panels (while cooling the panels also), it might be affordable enough to cover all my heating needs instead of about half, which is what we are getting now.

The thing is that in PVT the thermal part is lower cost, while providing the structure, etc. to support the PV part.

Anyone interested might look into Conserval Engineering; "PVT hybrid solar"; "annualized geo solar;" and "passive annual heat storage."
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