TED talks refer to the sharing of thoughts on Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Globally renowned speakers provide illuminating insights into technology, scientific matters, culture and design. These educative platforms have sufficed to bring about changes in mindsets and initiate action plans. Solar energy is one such prominent arena.
Bertrand Piccard possesses the heart of an adventurer! He has travelled around the earth in a hot-air balloon. Now, he wants to do the same, albeit in a solar-powered airplane. This presents a challenge, which he is determinedly tackling. Others feel that it is impossible to fulfil such an ambition. However, Piccard has displayed the strength of his belief by working out a design for his future airplane. Currently, he is seeking to build a supportive team for participating in this venture.
Solar designer Marjan van Aubel wishes that the entire earth could have access to solar energy. She uses her creativity and designing skills to create beautiful looking solar power stations from diverse surfaces. These surfaces could be stained glass windows, tabletops, etc. It is possible to install solar cells on them and harvest the sun’s energy for producing electricity. She has an ambition of building special houses, wherein floors, walls, windows, curtains, etc., prove useful too.
Topher White is extremely concerned about increasing deforestation. It ranks only second to fossil fuels (atmospheric pollution) as a contributor to climate change. White is specifically inclined towards the protection of rainforests. His organization, Rainforest Connection, encourages the widespread use of old technologies and solar panels, for preserving global rainforests. Old technologies refer to old/used cell phones. You may power them via solar energy and then use them to alert forest rangers about illegal logging. The solar-powered Smartphones can detect the sounds of chainsaws.
Amar Inamdar helps entrepreneurs and businesses to tackle some of the biggest environmental and social challenges in the world. His visualizations help him to launch and grow markets, which address these challenges. One such market is solar energy. His speeches focus on distributed generation, which will benefit many. The key concepts are decentralization, cost-effectiveness, and ideal infrastructure.
Dan Miller adopts an extremely simple solution to tackling climate change. He requests people to get involved in saving Mother Earth. It is imperative to offer her empathy and compassion. Adopting a ‘bystander’ attitude and expressing mere verbal sympathy will just not do. It is high time people focused on sources of renewable energy. Such sources would sustain for a long time. The best one amongst them was the sun. Solar power could go a long way in restoring a deteriorating environment.
Hannah Bürckstümmer holds a degree in Chemistry. Her intense curiosity about the environment has led her into in-depth research. Her topic is third-generation solar cells. She feels that organic and flexible solar cells hold the solution to the ongoing global energy crisis. She talks about organic photovoltaics, which manufacturers may print in diverse shapes. If there were methods to make this possible, then they could go onto the facades of buildings. Thus, each exposed surface would find it easy to capture solar energy.
Sanjit Bunker Roy launched the Barefoot College in Tilonia village, Rajasthan, in 1972. He believed that any development project should promote self-sufficiency. The locals should not only receive the benefits of the concerned project but also actively participate in its implementation. Therefore, his institution urges rural dwellers to become self-sufficient in every way possible. One topic is producing and using solar energy as much as possible. His speech gives a good insight into how the concept of self-sufficiency actually works.
Donald Sadoway emphasizes the importance of storing solar energy. It is not enough to capture it for a day’s usage. Maximum storage permits maximum usage of free solar power. Solar panels are of great importance. However, manufacturers of solar power systems should grant equal importance to the battery too. Sadoway refers to it as the ‘shining star’ of the renewable energy world! His talk centre on grid energy storage and its vital contribution to a solar-powered world.
This old video’s contents prove useful even today. Bill Gross is an amazing entrepreneur and inventor! He launched his own solar energy establishment, while still at high school. He aimed to ensure that everyone had access to abundant and cheap solar energy. The speech was so inspiring that it ushered in a solar power revolution. Over the years, solar power installations and solar solutions have become more affordable.