18 Apr Solarus got mentioned on the website from Forbes
Professor Gunter Pauli and Solarus in:
Should we ditch the ‘green economy’?
Faced with public pressure to lower their carbon footprint, and the high cost of setting up sustainable energy supplies, businesses and governments now have a third option.
By Yasser Al-Saleh, Senior Research Fellow at INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative
The United Nation’s ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative adds weight to the growing voice pushing low-carbon ‘green’ growth over conventional ‘brown’ development and its heavy reliance on fossil fuels. However, with the high upfront investment costs associated with most environment-friendly technologies pushing this out of the reach of many countries that really need it, perhaps it’s time to consider a different approach to sustainable energy. A new “blue” economy focuses on investing less and innovating more.
The United Nations recently confirmed that billions of people worldwide continue to lack access to reliable, clean and affordable energy. Since the uptake of sustainable technologies cannot rely forever on the offer of heavy assistance from wealthier parts of the world, and with government subsidies limited, the opportunity to “go green” remains the privilege of only a few .
The innovative blue economy, a phrase coined, Belgium economist and INSEAD alumnus, Gunter Pauli (MBA ’82), is driven by business-level innovation using locally-sourced resources, with a focus on job creation, building social capital, generating multiple cash flows by stimulating entrepreneurship and business model innovation.
Taking recycling to another level
Pauli considers the Swedish company Solarus AB, which began manufacturing solar panels out of recycled carbon fibres discarded by the aerospace industry. Today, Solarus AB is able to offer cost-attractive and competitive solar technologies without the aid of government subsidies. Given solar technologies can be manufactured locally from recycled materials, Pauli argues governments (and tax payers) should not be burdened with further demands for solar-related subsidies and bailouts.
As well as reducing costs, the blue economy addresses technical difficulties that prevent solar or wind power from becoming mainstream sources of energy. Intermittency problems means there will always be a need for additional investment in either power storage or a back-up supply. Since not all locations have access to abundant hydro back-up supply, businesses would have to take an innovative approach to using local energy sources.
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