Australian news, and some related international items

Historic time for Australia’s solar energy movement

25 years on, solar industry finds itself in midst of historic moment, REneweconomy
By Nigel Morris on 20 March 2017 
Every now and again if you are really lucky, you get to observe what’s going on around you and bear witness to history in the making, a unique event or occurrence that is unlikely to ever happen again or something representative of a small milestone in mankind’s history.

I’ve been called “The Big Kev of Solar” for my gushing enthusiasm and excitement around solar energy, but bear with me for a minute.

A few months ago, the idea of holding a small party for twenty or thirty solar pioneers came to life. With a precedent at a similar US event, a small group of Australians figured it was time we celebrated too and on Friday night that came to life in Sydney.

We figured we had something a bit special on our hands when the numbers passed fifty, and by the time the doors opened almost eighty guests who had passed our 25 year minimum service requirement for entry steadily streamed in…..

Our event was designed to celebrate not only what happened, but more importantly, where are today and where we are headed. The fact that every single person in that room (and many more who couldn’t make it) had contributed in their own small way made it a joyful, exciting and genuinely uplifting experience.

We heard countless fascinating stories about key events in the formative years of the industry but also bore witness to the continuation of this work through common threads, right up to today……

This event was also a great reminder that the solar industry is a wonderfully diverse and eclectic mix of people and disciplines.

We have the world’s best solar scientists. We have leading, highly innovative manufacturers. We have forward thinking and genuinely visionary leaders. And of course we have steadfast, reliable and hard working people who pull it all together and get it sold and installed.

There were also some thought provoking observations about our group and the trials, tribulations and success that have occurred.

Almost without exception everyone in the room has managed to make a living, bring up their families and survive off the proceeds of solar energy for more than two decades; no small feat on its own.

However, only a very tiny proportion have made substantial money from our industry and even less have managed to hang on to any wealth, typically re-investing it and doubling down if they were so lucky to have made it in the first place.

One observer of the event highlighted to me that there is also a bit of a consistent theme when you look at the people who qualified as solar pioneers.

“In the majority of cases, solar pioneers are not the owners of mass market highly successful solar companies in Australia. They seem to have a habit of bouncing between companies or business opportunities that are typically just ahead of the curve which sadly prevents them from reaping huge financial rewards and stranding them in the perpetually volatile world of high risk start-ups. That’s not necessarily a bad thing or a problem, but it is a shame.”……

March 23, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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