Tag Archives: solar mentors programme

Australian Solar Energy Society New Collaboration

The re-birthing of the Australian Solar Energy Society (‘AuSES’) in Western Australia has taken one step closer to achieving posterity. Prof. Ray Wills, CEO of  the  Sustainable  Energy Association of Australia (‘SEA’) joined the society as an individual member and formally joined our interim committee in Western Australia. We are now looking forward to creating a mutually benefitting vision for our two organizations.

Venture Capital – First Research Your Market

We recently held a meeting  at SEA headquarters in Northbridge which was made available for a technical talk by Mr Andrew Hall, CEO of Bright Generation. Andrew talked about the role of venture capital in innovation and product development. His recommended key consideration for innovators, when taking a product to the market place was in the early stages was to base the capital investment on solid market research and test marketing.

Pull not Push

This made sense to the audience as a prudent procedure, before the big dollars are sought. Andrew explained that  this process ensured that the market entry was “pull” driven rather than “push” driven,  making it more likely for support by large investors. Then rapid expansion could safely occur.  The quicker the ‘valley of death’ on the graphed innovation curve is breached,  the smaller the risk and less capital is  needed for ultimate success.

I think his advice of  looking at investment as a two stage process starting with trial manufacturing, adaptation and assessing market responses with real products made a great deal of sense to me.

It is easy to see why Andrew is successful in the renewable energy field and we are fortunate to have him on our advisory committee in WA.

SEA Will Foster The AuSES  Solar Mentors Programme

The great news for all Western Australian AuSES members is that,  as a sponsor, The Sustainable Energy Association,  through Ray Wills,  will assist in the process of achieving the goals set for AuSES in WA. They will provide sponsorship for the Society on a trial basis and will assist with the growing of our individual memberships in this state.

The key plank for their support is the fostering of the solar mentors scheme and developing stronger links between students and young professionals, with experienced industry people and leading academics.

This planned cross-pollination of ideas between industry leaders and university people is bound to deliver healthy outcomes for the solar and renewable energy industries as well as individuals, who are looking at creating specialist careers for themselves.

Dr Bill Parker, and myself,  along with the advisory committee,  unanimously agreed to this path for Western Australia’s AuSES, at our first committee meeting.

Collaboration With SEA Events

This  year we will start to plan collaboration with SEA events to introduce key experts who have had peer reviewed papers published.  This will create more opportunities and exposure for our emerging  scientists,  professionals and innovators.

I believe that the focus should spread comfortably to each of the sites and I am sure that SEA will be most valuable in assisting this worthwhile process.

I envisage that within a year or two all states will benefit from the approach. We can recall the halcyon days when the CSIRO sponsored our society and  for 20 years put Australia well  and truly on the world map when it came to cutting edge technology in solar and  renewable  energy  systems.  Many of these technologies are still viable in this 21st century.

The next meeting is planned at  Curtin University  in June, the  date and venue to be announced (around the winter solstice).

How You Can Help

Here are a few ideas: For all past,  potential and existing members the key to our momentum and success will be two fold:

–          Joining AuSES or continuing your membership for many years, as well as introducing new members to AuSES

–          Encouraging as many student members as possible to join to take advantage of our mentor scheme, as brilliantly constructed by Dr. Mary Dale.

–          Attend our meetings and networking events and bring younger guests !

Looking forward to our next meeting and ‘solar-beers’ networking event. Let’s keep the forward movement  going. The next two generations are to be the beneficiaries.

Garry Baverstock AM                                                                  President AuSES in WA

31st March 2011

Solar Energy and the Built Environment

Solar energy  passive design considerations have not yet become mainstream building industry practice  in Australia, despite its many positive advances in the built environment.

In my opinion, conservative forces in the building industry are still going out of their way to stifle progress by lobbying government for negligible changes to the building code compliance system and even pushing to water down the debate,  so that the long established building industry approach to land subdivision and the building of  packaged  ‘project’ homes remains largely unchanged.

Built Environment Solar Passive Design Saves 80-90% Energy

The Built Environment solar passive house South Beach Image

Built Environment South Beach House

Image: 2010  Residence located at South Beach, Western Australia Designed by Ecotect-Architects

This design is passive solar with solar water heating, photovoltaic and water conservation technologies which will save 80 – 90% energy and up to 60% water usage, when compared to the average luxury home or “Mac-Mansion”!  A 2005 award-winning solar passive house also designed by Ecotect-Architects is featured in the Swanbourne Centre blog.

The image shows the western façade with the north solar collection façade running down the block to create maximum privacy. (Note: for buildings in the northern hemisphere the aspect would be to the south rather than north.)

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