Archive for the 'summer festivals' Category

Sustainability, investment, supermarkets and summer festivals

Private investment instead of bank loans

 An interesting article today (7 May 2012)  in The Financial Times. It is interesting to see that a rather negative trend in cleantec was given a very positive spin in this article. It is a fact that banks are somewhat reluctant to lend, at the same time venture capital is recovering from various bloodied noses suffered in the economic slowdown. This is a real problem for new clean development technologies requiring (fresh) capital and could put a break on the continuing development of a sustainable society.

The positive spin put on this development is the fact that if banks do not lend and venture capital does not want to participate, the opportunities are available to private investors. Research done by the FT indicates that these private investors are very interested in sustainable and cleantec opportunities and could make up some of the shortfall. This is good news and fits in with a trend we see elswhere. Smaller scale initiatives (in size and value) are taking the lead.

 Sustainability and Supermarkets

 The interest of private investors sits well with cleantec and sustainability. Much of the drive towards sustainability is driven bottom up. Despit the recession the environment remains high on the worry list of consumers. As a result big supermarket chains as Walmart, Casino, Tesco and Albert Heijn have a clear focus on reducing their impact on the environment. The reason transport companies are now also looking at ways of reducing their carbon footprint is forced on them by these supermarkets. That in turn is the reason that energy companies (and I work for one) are developing electric charging possibilities for trucks. Currently trucks, when stopping overnight, have a diesel working to keep the refrigerated goods at the required low temperature. This polluting and noisy habit could soon be a thing of the past thanks to the demand from consumers, translated by the shops they frequent.

 Sustainability and Festivals

 The same should (and hopefully will) apply to the organisers of summer festivals. Many summer (and spring) festivals work with diesel generation. A diesel generator has an efficiency of approximately 30%. I recently made the calculation for a summer theater festival in The Netherlands. During the summer months they produced with their diesel generators 320 ton of CO2. Using electricity this could be reduced to zero if renewable sources were used or it could be halved if we use just “normal fossil based” electricity from the Dutch power generators. Despite the fact that diesel costs are nearly 4,5 times as high as the cost of electricity the move away from generators is slow and is only gradually increasing momentum.

 This is a missed opportunity, it is time that visitors to summer festivals, despite their young age, look further than just the need to consume, to be seen and to see the hottest acts and create some pressure on the organizers and promote the use of power during festivals.

Felix Gruijters


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