Awnings are often low-tech options for shading from high-powered summer sun, and used to be quite popular in New York City as shown in the left picture. According to this post by Treehugger, they usually retracted. However, awnings have waned in their popularity. Fast forward 10 years from now, and hopefully we'll see a new type of awning: a high-tech one that's retractable and also outfitted with a thin film, photo voltaic laminate system: AKA solar electric generation. posted originally from: AT:Hometech Not only does it prevent the sun from heating up the room in the first place, it also harnesses the sun at its peak to use for electricity--perhaps to run the AC inside the building. This is a technology we hope to see much more of! - Image from Treehugger.