Thursday, March 12, 2020

Sustainable energy Planning for Indigenous Communities

Greetings from the Australian National University where Professor Paul Parker, University of Waterloo is speaking on "Sustainable energy planning in Canada: recognising diversity and the need for Indigenous voices". There are significant lessons for providing energy to remote Australian communities, in terms of consulting the local community on what they need. Surprisingly, solar energy is viable in Canada, along with wind. I asked Professor Parker about the role of for-profit companies in alternative energy, as most of the examples given were government funded not-for-profit initiatives. The problem is that these are limited by the availability of public finding. I suggest some training in startups for those involved may be useful, so they can seek out what the customer is will to pay for, so they can be self funding.

One of the audience asked about portable energy systems for  Australasian abourginal communities. I pointed out that ECLIPS Engineering built a Container Roll-Out Solar System (CROSS) for the Australian military. This is a very rugged system of standard solar panels attached to a hinged framework mounted on a shipping container compatible platform. It would be able to provide power for a small town. Smaller versions could be built for family groups, which could be packed into a trailer and towed behind a car.

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