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In 2025, most small children have always known the convenience of the solar awnings. Few know how they came to be so commonplace. For a stroll through their past (our future) join me over the fleur de Kos -

It began when a few cities offered to partner with businesses to build solar awnings. Light weight so they were cheap and easy to build, these first awnings were on the south facing businesses. They spanned from the building out over the parking spaces adjoining the business. The awnings were tiled with photovoltaics that fed into the grid. Underneath the awnings customers could walk from their cars to the store dry even when it was raining, slip free in winter and cooler in summer.

The awnings were such an advantage to the south facing businesses and PV costs fell so much that soon businesses on the east and west sought and got the same partnerships. The awnings bloomed on two more sides of city blocks. As awnings spread they were appreciated for other reasons. Parents of small children in strollers and people in wheel chairs found the awnings even more useful than curb cuts. The frail appreciated a way to get out and about free of the worry of slipping on ice or wet pavements. Finally the cost of PV fell so far and the other advantages were so valued that awnings sprouted on the north sides too. More people chose to walk over short and medium distances. Downtowns perked up with new business. No one today would go back to towns without awnings.

And that, children, is where the awnings came from. Tomorrow I'll tell you why walls grow flowers.

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