Grid Scale, Project Development, Solar

Greenpeace at the Summit with RE

Environmental groups worldwide are looking to the Earth Summit in this South African city watching and waiting to see if their agenda is addressed.

Johannesburg, South Africa – August 27, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Greenpeace, is clear about what it wants to see emerge from the 10-day event and they have set up businesses powered by Renewable Energy to showcase its practical uses. Greenpeace set out to prove that current Renewable Energy technology can provide practical, clean-energy powered solutions for the world. To do so the group developed the Positive Energy Store, showing it off all this week at the Earth Summit, allowing delegates a chance to get a cool drink, or shop at one of the five businesses set up in the mobile unit: without a single wire plugged into the electrical grid. To help launch the project, the UN special envoy to the Earth Summit, Jan Pronk volunteered to conduct the first solar powered haircut of the summit. Greenpeace has a number of appliances in the stall running on Renewable Energy. He enjoyed a freshly created juice from an electric juicer, before logging onto the Internet using a solar powered computer to sign the online petition. This petition calls for the massive uptake of Renewable Energy by the industrialized nations, and access to clean Renewable Energy for 2 billion of the world’s poorest people. The Positive Energy Store powers small businesses in remote rural areas with Renewable Energy. With solar panels, small wind turbines and micro-hydro, the store can generate positive energy for the five businesses that are inside. The concept is flexible so that the Positive Energy Store can be adapted to the needs of the area it will be placed in. The range of shops can vary, for example, from a barber, a juice bar, a communication unit with phone and computer services to a business that leases out charged batteries to power peoples’ homes. After the World Summit the Positive Energy Store will be tested in a pilot project in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. During a period of six months the store will be thoroughly monitored by five local shopkeepers. Not only will the technical part of the store be closely watched, the shopkeepers will also be provided with training on how to operate the Positive Energy Store in a sustainable and profitable way. The aim is that the entrepreneurs of the shops will earn back the initial investment.