Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Renewable Energy: 'Energy is a party' when the Sun and Bicyclists power the Music

At outdoor parties in Paris and elsewhere, booming speakers and turntables playing the music are powered entirely by two large solar panels and two bikes linked to generators, pedaled by partygoers.

“We can party all night, after the sun has gone down,” says C├ędric Carles, founder of Solar Sound System, a collective that sponsors the events. “If the pedaling stops, it means people don’t want any more music.”

Each Solar Sound System site hosts public parties, which are often free, paid for by the profits they make from hiring out the technology for private events, from drinks proceeds and from sponsors.

The founders want their gigs to make the idea of alternative energy feel concrete rather than theoretical. The choice of venue, too, often reflects an ethos of community and sustainability.

The collective also takes the technology to schools and to international events, such as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

“Most rhetoric and campaigns about energy are anxiety-inducing,” says Carles. “They make people afraid, with talk of climate change and taxes. Here the idea is to have a celebration, to inverse this tendency we have to associate energy with feeling pressured. For us, energy is a party.”

(See full article by Josh Jacobs at Financial Times, Oct. 26)

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