The U.N. thinks we should never burn our oil. Here’s the idea that could make that possible.

There’s a new exhibit in the grounds of the United Nations General Assembly Hall that showcases a forward-thinking way of generating sustainable energy. Called the Energy Forum, it represents the new initiative of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). The pavilion on the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, part of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals, contains a rock carver, three hosts and some experts in the fields of technology, water management and waste. The project, with its name playfully referring to “Energy for Tomorrow,” celebrates what UNOOSA calls “carbon neutral energy”, in the sense that instead of relying on electricity from fossil fuels, some of the energy comes from the solar power of the earth itself. The project, created by Swedish designers Bjarke Ingels and Felix Gerstner, includes a digital system that can provide a database of solar power around the world, allowing expositions of the whole planet to locate a solar source in real time.

There is also a hydroponic greenhouse in the future pavilion, an example of how hydroponic technology can help feed the world. It involves more than 15,000 small potting plants that can grow anywhere in the world in order to produce food from local, fresh resources. Additionally, it supports a small roving light battery assembly unit for integrating energy-saving lights in a variety of situations.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is also giving attention to the clean energy that can be harvested from other bodies of water, such as the oceans and oceans on Mars. The pool at the Water Reef included in the pavilion is the latest innovation in tidal power. It is powered by a floating solar panel with eleven panels — one per wave.

More around the pavilion can be found in the video.

“When we take this concept of solar water power into the field, we realize it’s already possible to use it in a better way. We want to demonstrate to the public that renewable energy from the sun can power up events and places that require a lot of power such as schools and hospitals,” Bjarke Ingels said in a press release for the exhibit.

While it is fair to say that the energy forum may feel a bit fishy for showcasing a sustainable energy development that in many ways looks like this:


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