Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just an Opinion?

Back in 2008 I started blogging about Greenstage and I briefly explained why here.

Well, the world is changing fast and some of the drivers for Greenstage are becoming ever more intense and clarity around these drivers and their relatedness is increasing.

We live in a very special time in history. Cheap and abundant energy (in the form of fossil fuels) have enabled a massive expansion of our economies and humanity's capabilities. Some of my personal favorites include achievements like NASA's Space Shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Large Hadron Collider and Genome sequencing, not to mention the rich tapestry of arts and culture the world over. As fellow humans, irrespective of which country we were born in, we can feel proud of all humanity's achievements.

Inside the Large Hadron Collider
Inside the Large Hadron Collider

Things are changing fast and to maintain and extend this level of capability, humanity needs to make some adjustments. Peak oil is either already here, or not far away. There are environmental changes resulting from the consumption of non-renewable resources and the release of previously stored carbon into the earth's atmosphere.  Combine this with debt-stretched economies and the resulting economic slowdown, it's clear our current behavior is making the world a starker place for future generations.

Understanding that society's massive growth for the last 100 years has largely been fuelled by abundant and cheap energy, with oil literally squirting out of the ground, is fundamental to understanding the consequences of this energy crunch. Things are going to change whether we like it or not. Our current business as usual approach is unsustainable and becoming ever harder to achieve due to oil and debt fuelled growth coming to an end.  Our choice in the matter, is whether to be proactive about change, or to simply suffer the consequences and be forced into whatever change results.

Energy crunch
What to do?

Be positive, be proactive and change what we need to change! Simple as that. Most successful people and businesses have a long term plan, are passionate about what they do and work towards achieving their goals. Nothing new here.

What's missing in my opinion is leaders with a long term plan that fits with the reality of the situation. Spending billions of dollars on motorways to be used by fossil fuel powered vehicles does not make much sense.

We want a society that maintains and continues to extend the overall capabilities of the human race, but at the same time one that is not over reaching the bounds of the environment.  One that lives within it's means and leaves something for future generations.

I'm all for being proactive!  Lets use this period of transition effectively, leverage the still relatively cheap fossil fuel based energy and infrastructure we currently have to make an effective and speedy transition while we have the opportunity. We need to transition our society to another form of energy that is abundant and cheap and we need to do it quickly.

The solutions are available. Renewable energy from technologies such as wind, hydro and photovoltaic can literally be pulled out of the air (almost as easy as oil squirting out of the ground!).

In the short to medium term long distance transportation will be more expensive, communities will be closer and more connected and locally produced goods will come to the fore. With closer communities, people have additional chances to enjoy each other's company and pursue the challenges they and their communities really benefit from. Hence, there are opportunities for increased fulfilment and satisfaction (read more here).

There are so many positive opportunities out of this. As just one example, a whole new market is emerging for the boat building industry.

No Rena oil spill disaster here!
OK, so what specifically can we do? Look to strengthen your local community and become more self sufficient, look to reduce your fossil fuel consumption, ideally be prepared to stop using fossil fuels at some point in the not too distant future (pricing challenges could force this within the next 5-10 years). And of course, look to encourage and elect local council and government leaders that will steer our communities and our countries in the right direction.

The GS750V is another example of emerging opportunities.  Not only does this embrace the new energy paradigm, but it embraces community-led technology through the development and use of Tumanako open source components.

This is an important project with a message. It's been a long hard road and we have had a number of delays, but we finally have everything in place. We have commercial relationships and supply lines for all the products and components, including equipment and stock to complete the MK1 goal. Stay tuned for updates as we complete the race pack and vehicle preparation for our debut at the track. We're making changes and we're not holding back!

Greenstage is passionate about supporting communities and encouraging the right sort of change. Change creates opportunity and opportunity is exciting.

What changes are you making?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The New Zealand APEV (Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles) was launched in Taupo last weekend at the Clean Energy Expo.  As well as backing from Pure Advantage and a number of NZ based businesses, the opening event included a video presentation and congratulations from Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima (Mr Tajima is Chief Commissioner of APEV Japan).

"Monster" Tajima racing at Pikes Peak (2011)
APEV provides an opportunity for NZ businesses and individuals to share knowledge and to make their voices heard.  The goal is to ensure New Zealand (and the world) moves in the right direction and that positive change is achieved for the benefit of current and future generations.

Greenstage is a member of APEV and we encourage other businesses and individuals to join, collectively we can achieve so much more.

Visit the New Zealand APEV website for more details: http://www.apev.org.nz

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Solar ADR v1.0

The Greenstage Power team has been working on Solar ADR (an extension of the SolarNetwork) which is an OpenADR v1.0 compliant solution for organisations like Transmission System Operators or Lines Companies to manage demand on their grids.

This Solar ADR v1.0 solution has now reached a point where we cannot easily add value to it without an explicit commercial application, hence we will be packaging this away for when the need arises (please contact us if you have such a need!).

In the mean time, we will be putting our focus into the home owners Smart Grid experience. Again this is an extension of the SolarNetwork and it will be a major overhaul including significant enhancements to the current SolarNetwork console. The purpose of this is to give the home owner visibility and control over their systems performance. Our goal is to 100% provide benefits to the home owner!

Here are some screenshots of the SolarADR product:

Stay tuned for more details :)