The Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum was held in Vancouver, Canada. So, naturally, Canada got more attention that it would have if the forum had been in Dallas, Texas. One of the opening night PechaKucha presentations was from Clean Energy Canada’s Merran Smith (also see my presentation on “The Future is Now,” Barbara Rubim’s on some cool solar leadership in Brazil, Mark Jacobson’s on 100% renewable energy, and the several I shared in this post if you missed them). Below is Merran’s presentation and a bit of a text summary of key points.
After successfully working with powerful corporations to green up for years, Merran thought she could work with Canadian petroleum companies to try to move the needle a bit, meeting with CEOs, executives, etc. After a while, she realized that these corporations simply had no interest in changing. She got hit with depression, a new thing to her.
But the renewable energy revolution pulled her out of it. She got word of China’s tremendous renewable energy drive. And here’s a stat I didn’t know, which she included in her presentation: China installed two solar panels every second in 2014, and and a wind turbine every hour. She noted that the price of solar PV panels dropped 83% in just 5 years, from $4/watt in 2008 to $0.69/watt in 2013. (The global average is now ~$0.62/watt.)
“I realized I did not need to be depressed that the CEOs in Calgary were not ready to step up, because everyone else was stepping up, and this energy revolution is going to go around the oil sector.”
Merran highlighted Germany’s Energiewende and other local and country leadership as well. It was a great talk with much more than I can summarize here, so I encourage you to scroll up and watch the video. 😀
Or, if you have some popcorn, here’s the full PechaKucha event: