Monthly Archives: September 2014

Clique Solar win WWF Award

Clique Arun Solar Fresnel Dish

Clique Arun Solar Fresnel Dish

It is good to see the progression of WWF from an organisation that seemed solely focused on protecting individual species by setting up game parks to one which works to promote humanity living sustainably in harmony with wildlife. They realise the importance of tackling the big issues, like Climate Change, and to do so in innovative and ambitious ways. WWF India has recently awarded one of its Climate Solver awards to Clique Developments Ltd for their Arun Dish solar technology.


I’ve frequently mentioned the possibilities of using concentrated solar power to supply heat directly to desalination projects or to other industries. In July I blogged about the solar revolution happening in Morocco and highlighted Airlight Energy’s project at Ait Baha which supplies super heated air directly to a cement works, essentially the World’s first solar powered cement factory. Clique have developed a smaller scale unit suitable for a variety of uses and their website is full on fascinating examples of this solar technology being deployed all across India.


The Mahanand Dairy use a single Clique Arun Dish to pasteurise 30,000 litres of milk per day and to do other tasks of a dairy such as cleaning and sterilization of equipment, and it can do this at any time of day or night just using the solar generated steam to store pressurized hot water at 18bar and 180 degrees centigrade in a 4.5m³ tank. In Chennai a single solar dish is used to generate steam to cook up to 3,000 meals per day in a student hall of residence, and again thermal storage is used so that breakfast preparation can start long before the sun has risen. The Maurya Hotel in New Delhi is using two Arun Solar Dishes to provide steam and hot water for cooking, cleaning, laundry and hot water for domestic use.


All excellent, innovative and effective ways of replacing fossil fuels with solar power and so helping cut carbon emissions. Well done to Clique and to WWF India.


WWF and WWF India Climate Innovations


Clique and do please look at their case studies pages. Lots of fascinating examples and details

Geopolitical Musings

Ottoman Empire In 1683

Peace is fundamental. Climate Change and other macro level ecological issues cannot be addressed while people are struggling for day to day survival. Peace, democracy and sustainable development need to co-evolve.

When one reflects on the trouble spots where ethnic hatred, fundamentalist intolerance, warfare and bad governance have dominated the news over recent decades a disproportionate geographical spread seem to be in the lands that once made up the old Ottoman Empire. Israel, Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Georgia the Crimea and now eastern Ukraine: A catalogue of suffering. Yet regions can turn around.

From 1914 to 1945 Europe was the centre of ethnic chauvinism, totalitarian dictatorships and the epicentre of two world wars. In the ashes of the Second World War the countries of Western Europe started working together to cooperate to promote peace and the rebuilding of their shattered economies. The European Union, even with all its faults, has been one of the most successful attempts at peace-building the world has ever seen, and why I for one am proud to be a member of it. It is within the European Union that the world’s best governance is to be found, and the best attempts are being made to address climate change and other mega problems.

Currently South America seems to be going through the most profound and positive transformation. Forty years ago military dictatorships, human rights abuses and gross inequality were the norm. Now democracy is burgeoning forth across the continent. I chose Uruguay’s president, Jose Mujica, as this blog’s person of the year 2013. Almost all the countries of South America seem to be moving to the left in what some commentators are talking of as a Pink Tide. I’m not as interested in left/right ideological divisions as what actually works in practice. Across most of the continent poverty is being reduced and improvements in education are happening, with perhaps Bolivia and Chile as prime examples. Brazil will have a Presidential election on 5th October, with the excellent green campaigner Marina Silva challenging incumbent Dilma Rousseff. Quite a change from the Brazil, or the South America, of my youth!

Can we envisage an era of peace and cooperation coming to all the lands of the old Ottoman Empire, perhaps with cooperation to develop their collective solar potential as a focus of activity in a similar way as Europe used iron, coal and steel agreements to test early patterns of cooperation 60 years ago?

The Carbon Bubble

In my last blog I cited three reasons for the impending death spiral of fossil fuels: the need to take action on climate change, the falling price of renewables and the rising price of fossil fuels. Currently stock markets value oil, gas and coal companies as if they were actually ever going to be able to economically exploit all known fossil fuel reserves. This simply will not happen. Probably 80% of known reserves will never be used and therefore the stock market valuations of the fossil fuel companies are massively inflated. This overvaluation is often referred to as the Carbon Bubble. Like all bubbles it will someday burst. The financial analysts Kepler Chevreux estimate the potential losses over the next two decades to be in the region of $28 Trillion.

Sometimes us Green campaigners are accused of saying some rather outlandish things. However the massive and rapid change from fossil fuels to renewables is being urged on by some pretty big and hard headed organisations, including two of the World’s largest banks, UBS and Citigroup. In a recent report UBS claim that in Europe big power stations could pretty well all be redundant in 10 to 20 years, as decentralised solar and other renewables, battery storage and electric cars replace existing fossil fuel technology.

The death spiral of fossil fuels will not happen evenly or in a planned way. Market forces will kill off those projects with the highest capital requirements and the riskiest production forecasts. Arctic and Deep Ocean drilling, tar sands and fracking for shale gas are obvious candidates to be first to become uneconomic and consigned to history. Many other oil, gas and coal projects will rapidly follow, with only the lowest cost gas and oil fields and coal mines able to complete with the falling costs of renewables. This is the line that UBS and Citigroup seem to be saying. I’d argue for the global introduction of carbon taxes to help hasten the process. I’d also argue that managing this transition so as to minimize economic chaos, while also speeding the process along to prevent climate catastrophe, will be a tremendous challenge, but one full of positive opportunities.

The renewables revolution is not happening evenly around the World or even within countries as my last blog on the uneven deployment of photovoltaics in the USA demonstrated. The UBS group cites Germany, Spain and Italy as likely leaders in the European context, as their energy prices are higher than some countries and regulatory support has been stronger. I would add a lot of other countries to this list, both in Europe and globally.

Both the economic and the ecological case to transform the global economy are becoming ever clearer by the day. UBS say “It’s time to join the revolution”. Welcome to the barricades! Achieving historic change often requires some pretty strange alliances! Bankers and eco-activists, unite! Onward, together!  (Jeremy Williams blog)