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The future of solar power as poetry!

CET researcher Siddharth Sareen live at Pecha Kucha Bergen #10 on the future of solar power.

Siddharth Sareen
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Siddharth Sareen

Siddharth Sareen is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Geography, and a part of CET and Spacelab, where he's currently focusing on a sub-project titled 'Solar power: Producing accountable institutions for transitions to renewable energy'.

On June 9 Siddharth participated at the PechaKutcha Bergen vol. 10, where he gave a talk on his work on solar power - delivered as a poem! Here is a link to a video recording, and following below is a transcript of the poem in its entirety.

 

The Future Of Solar Power - by S. Sareen

You know the energy sector is in transition, That solar power has begun shining through - So I’m here tonight to help you envision, A shift that will draw out the rebel in you!

Power does not only flow through the wire, Power’s in the hands of those who control it - We’ve come a long way since we played with fire, Now we deal with a massive electric grid!

It’s fuelled by geothermal, coal and oil, Gas, hydro, wind, solar and nuclear - Some pull ancient carbon out from the soil, The others are cleaner, this much is clear.

Each nation has different natural resources, That comprise its current grid supply mix - Those without renewable energy sources, Don’t want to go carbon-free just for kicks.

Even those with high renewable potential, Have a legacy of key sectoral actors - Transitions are not logically sequentia, But driven by political economic factors.

Take Portugal, which is blessed by the sun, Yet keeps importing coal for its power - Solar is cheaper but change is no fun - For those minting money with coal by the hour.

Yet companies alone don’t deserve all the blame, Governments signed contracts for decades to come - Shareholders’ profits are part of the game, And the prospects for rapid transition look glum!

Yet what of the climate refugees worldwide, And the urgency to address global warming? - As a people the future is ours to decide, We’ll take parliaments by voting and storming!

Lasting change rarely happens through revolution, Science can sustain political pressure - Thanks to solar technological evolution, Transition is favoured by economic measure.

As researchers we put our weight behind, Sustainable pathways to help us embrace - The future energy grids that we find, Can improve upon what they must quickly replace.

This is by no means an easy task, Because we have to be good at outreach - With a message that sure is a lot to ask, Of others while we practice what we preach.

Should I go to that faraway meeting, Even though it means flying there and back? - But windows of opportunity are fleeting, What happens if I don’t push others to act?

But while we face moments of self-doubt, The need to lower carbon emissions is clear - Rules are not ours to accept but to flout, If they bring planetary destruction near!

In Portugal this means aiding fast solar uptake, To complement hydro and wind power sources - Towards a cent percent clean energy state, Combining techno and regulatory forces.

And what of Norway where local consumption, Is clean while we keep drilling oil from the sea? - Does a smart grid for our own population, Make us blameless citizens, you and me?

I’m working to find better ways to assess, What is truly sustainable and what is not - Because for us to work our way out of this mess, This is the only big chance that we’ve got.

The energy transition as we tend to call it, Is not a pipe dream in a faraway future - It demands our full intelligence and wit, To secure justice for all living creatures.

I focus on relations that hold to account, The things people try to legitimate - And my analysis of what I have found, Is evidence that we need to differentiate:

Between business-as-usual solutions that keep, Some of us better off at great cost to others - And disruptive change that enables a leap, To a common network as sisters and brothers.

Let’s gather together to empower the fixes, that need political support, financial nurture - And enable low-carbon power grid mixes, for a bright global solar energy future!