Recently, Saul Griffith and Danny Kennedy spoke on the challenges of rewiring the planet. This took place at a local Spark Club event in Sydney, Australia. These are two of the brightest minds fighting climate change on a large scale today. We are sure you will be inspired after listening! You can listen to the podcast below:
Who is Saul Griffith?
Saul Griffith is an Australian inventor, engineer and entrepreneur. He specializes in developing a new technology and starting companies. He obtained his Phd at MIT, and after that founded Otherlab, a r&d lab focusing on decarbonizing technologies. Otherlab’s renewable energy spinoffs include Makani Wind, and SunFolding. Makani’s airborne wind turbines use kite energy to capture high altitude winds. This company was grown and sold to Google in 2013. Sunfolding is a solar tracker company which uses pneumatics instead of electric motors to follow the sun, for example. You can learn more about Sunfolding in our single axis solar tracker online course. You can watch Saul’s video on rewiring America below:
Key Takeaways from Saul Griffith
- Firstly, Carbon Capture and Storage won’t arrive in time to save us
- Secondly, we need a Wartime effort akin to World War II to retool and retrain the existing industry.
- We need an abundance, not a scarcity mindset for renewables.
- However, You can’t just keep improving efficiency all the way to Net Zero emissions
- Every Fossil Fuel burning machine that breaks must be replaced with an electric counterpart, not repaired
- “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” – the energy revolution will be done primarily by tradespeople
Who is Danny Kennedy?
Danny Kennedy is well known as environmentalist an co-founder of Sungevity in 2007. Sungevity was an early California based solar company with innovative financing options, later sold to Engie. Conversely, Danny specializes in growing existing renewable energy companies. He is now working with the California Clean Energy Fund , Powerhouse and New Energy Nexus. You can learn more about Danny in his TED talk below:
Key Takeaways from Danny Kennedy
- Firstly, making decarbonising technologies the easy financial choice for everyday people is paramount
- Secondly, many people live without savings, and use high interest credit cards for purchases
- As a result, people will choose a cheater gas heater over a heat pump every time. Even when it will cost more in the long term, people choose cheap now.
- Most Importantly, Training the future workforce needs to happen NOW in order to curb global warming to 2 Degrees C.
In conclusion, Saul Griffith and Danny Kennedy are attacking climate change from different angles. Both agree that we need massive action to transition the world off fossil fuels. However, Saul focuses on making governments lead with data driven decisions. Danny on the other hand, focuses on scaling renewable energy companies to make energy more affordable.