Yearly Archives: 2010

Solar Energy Optimism

The main message from the recent Australian Solar Energy Society ['AuSES'] 2010 Conference in Canberra, Australia, was very optimistic about the widespread use of solar energy in all its forms.

Having been involved with International Solar Energy Society ['ISES']  since 1979, through the West Australian branch and then the Australia & New Zealand Solar Energy Society ["ANZSES'] as an incorporated body, when it came into being in 1984, one could understand my optimism to see something I have passionately believed in as the most sustainable way forward for mankind, has started to become a reality.

No longer will the use of solar energy in all its forms be considered a fringe, “thing of future” any more.   I have written a series of articles that distil my perceptions of the proceedings from a professional standpoint and the political implications of holding this landmark conference in our nation’s capital, Canberra.

Solar Energy - Watts installed

Graph: showing the explosion of installed PV in Australia in the last decade

The way forward from hereon is the encouragement of more focused research in the various fields of endeavour in the diverse world of solar energy applications.

AuSES is destined to have a pivotal role in the next 50 years to ensure that planet earth no longer lives on the edge of energy and environmental uncertainty.

A series of articles that covers what happened in Canberra will be published on solar-e over the next month or so.

Garry Baverstock AM, CEO of www.solar-e.com

2010 President of AuSES, WA

The following aspects will be discussed in articles posted from December 2010 onwards:

- The Week that Canberra Became a National Focus for AuSES in 2010

- The Role of the Built Environment in Using Solar Energy and Addressing Climate Change – A Viable Direction for AuSES

- Political Will and Systems Thinking for Climate Change Needed – How AuSES Can Help

- Nuclear Politics a Real Danger for Progress of Solar and Renewable Energy Progress – Collaboration Needed Not War

- Open Learning and Presentation of Facts – the Key for Greater Use of Solar Energy – AuSES Leading the Way

- New Solar-e.com Will Soon be Ranking Solar Societies and Associations Conference Papers – First Step AuSES

- The List of  ‘solar-e’ Best Papers at Solar 2010 – AuSES Conference in Canberra

Valuable solar-e links:

An Introduction

Events

Solar Power

Eco-Development

Philosophy

Self Realisation & Ethics

Cancun Climate Change Targets

Solar-e.com is a member of and supports the work of The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia  (‘SEA”).

SEA is a chamber for all enterprises from all industries supporting sustainable energy and the fastest growing energy industry body in Australia.  SEA is bringing you the Energising South East Asia Conference 23-26 March 2011, Perth, Australia.

View SEA’s  recent press release on Cancun.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet in Cancun is reported to have said that the credibility of the UN process is in danger if progress is not made.

“It is imperative for the credibility of this process that we’re able to make progress here at this conference,” Minister Combet said.

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA) is keen to see how Australia might indeed contribute to the credibility of the process.
Continue reading

Climate Change Needs an Image Change

“EARTH G. SPOT” :- Letter from George Papa, Berlin: In May 2010 Fren von Eart wrote a short fiction booklet on Climate Issues. It was (and still is) an experiment. He published it for free on the internet to see what might happen. At the same time he created a project related to the booklet, called ‘Earth G’. The idea behind the project was to get as many ideas as possible from individuals (not professionals like ourselves) as how to solve our environmental problems. Not a cent was spent on this project.

35,000 Hits on the Website but only 6 new ideas

To this day  we have had over 35 000 hits on the German ERDG website .  We didn’t do any advertising of any kind. Obviously people kept emailing the booklet to their friends and so on. The sad thing is, they only got 6 ideas how to solve our climate problems out of at least 35 000 readers. This means that only 0,017% of the readers thought seriously about it. This opened our eyes to the reality of: how interested is Joe Normal on environmental issues? A lot of people we talked to, liked the book and forwarded to others but that was it.

Politicians had no ideas to offer

They enjoyed it like they would enjoy a chocolate bar. The only ones who gave a comment were few politicians from the Green Party and they liked it too. But even they had no actual idea as how this problem could be solved.

We decided to phone other known politicians (all members of Parliament) and ask them. In the majority of cases it went like this:

Q: Mr.XXX (Member of Parliament), what do you think, how can we solve our current environmental issues?
A: I am not in charge of Environmental Issues. Please talk to my colleague, Mr YYY (Member of Parliament). He is in charge of the Environmental Issues.
Q: We would prefer your solution. Our project needs ideas from all normal people out there, not from specialists. Did you ever think about it?
A: About what?
Q: About how we can save our Planet?
A: Of course I did.
Q: And did you come up with a solution?
A: Of course I did.
Q: And that is?
A: Send an email to my Press Spokesman. He will answer your question.
Q: But Sir… We need your ideas not from your Spokesman.
A: What do you mean with my ideas?
Q: Well, for example: I think we could save the Planet if all people ride only bicycles and no cars…or if we all become vegetarians…if we live in smaller houses…if we only produce 100% recyclable products… these kind of ideas we need from you. Do you have one?
A: Sorry I have no time for this.
Q: Do you mean you have no time for saving our Planet?
A: This is stupid. Goodbye.

Follow Apple’s lead to market environmental issues

The first time I saw people queuing to buy the iPhone 4, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Steve Jobs knows how to sell image to consumers. Let’s face it: our society is more interested in knowing what underwear Paris Hilton is wearing today then who is polluting our planet. So maybe we should start thinking how to use Apple’s strategy to help nature. “Green is Cool” has been only mis(used) by politicians so far.

The solar house should be sold like the iPad and iPhone. People don’t care how much it costs or how good it is. Only image counts.
I believe we need a completely new strategy. Apple does not rely on politics to sell their iProducts. The same way we should start building an Image.
The man (or women) who saves the planet.

Smart Marketing not Crusades

Unfortunately the majority of people think of Greenpeace… if you want to save the Planet, you have to get beaten up by police, smashed by water cannons, dragged through the dirt. I respect all people who have gone through this, but it hasn’t helped much. We haven’t won the masses. We need to win the masses. Not through crusades but through smart marketing strategy copied from Redbull, Apple, McDonalds and the rest.

The future “Green Human” will not  be a political being.  For him it will be  a matter of image to save his planet.

Let me know what you think.
Regards from Berlin.
George Papa

AuSES leads Feed In Tarriff Crisis Rally

The efforts by AuSES of being involved and in fact co leading a protest to highlight the hypocrisy and silliness of the NSW Government of feed in tariff policy in NSW and also to heighten awareness of Federal politicians is admirable in this case.

However, a word of caution is appropriate here.  AuSES has the high ground as far as serving the public interest and credibility in dealing with governments over the last 50 years.  That is not to say that they always listen.  On the contrary they often don’t – but they do not see us as the enemy.  Protesting all the time is a bit like ‘crying wolf ‘ in the perceptual mentality of politicians.

To retain this status of getting a respected hearing with governments it should not be a habit that the Society is continually involved in this sort of activity.  There are organizations that have protest as their mode of operation, Green Peace for example.  There is a hazard for the society to become too closely associated with this function, as it will undermine the privileged position AuSES has at the high ground level with governments of the day.

I believe that AuSES needs to retain the intellectual high ground as its prime function of promoting Solar Energy in all its forms in this 21st Century.

From my experience the treachery of governments in the past has been unbearable and although the Society has always made its point, we could have taken to the streets on numerous occasions.  We did not.   This has kept us out of the ‘hate’ limelight shone on detractors of government policy, by politicians.  Staying apolitical and be open for professional quality consultation is most of the time if asked by government, is the best long term strategy in my opinion.  Discretion is the key.

This time well done John Grimes, because ”never say never”!

Garry Baverstock AM

[Current President of AuSES Western Australia]

Director : solar-e.com.

Read the story of the rally:    AuSES Solar Crisis Rally a Success