Solar entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett on Tuesday gave the Solar Oration at the ANU. He won a standing ovation. This is an edited version of his speech notes, which he kindly shared with RenewEconomy. A great global energy transition is unfolding in the world today, a total system change. We can think of it as an epic drama. Like any epic, is it has multiple interweaving stories. They span three themes, or meta-narratives. The first is of global society awakening to a threat to civilisation, and responding in critical mass. Given the enormity of the ecological and economic horrors runaway global warming would inflict on the world, we can think of this as a survival reflex emerging in humankind. The second is of an insurgency disrupting an incumbency fast, in the energy markets that fuel the majority of the problem with the planet’s thermostat. This is unfolding faster than most players in the drama appreciate. The third is of an energy incumbency facing multiple threats, increasingly existential, not always related to the other two megatrends. No one of these three meta-narrative megatrends would be enough, on its own, to force the global system change underway. It is the power of all three, acting in parallel and synergy across the full breadth of the climate-energy-information nexus that is making history.
Renew Economy 30th Nov 2016 read more »