I was an excellent imposter today.
I met a journalist outside the event this morning at 8.45am, and walked into the beautiful wooden hall, warm lighting, a large screen for presentations, very organized. I had a small bottle of bubbled water and listened to 30-minute presentations about damn, so much, here is a basic impression:
*a net zero development in Toronto and one in Abu Dhabi, and he went into detail how the wind, temperature and sunlight were all scientific pieces that led to the puzzle of having short, thin streets to minimize the hot wind and the punishing sunlight.
: Someone asked later about how you can be sure that the building will be deveoped according to the plan? The dude’s answer: Well, I develop the building and we have to assume that the building will be built according to plan. Uh huh.
*A new German Building Council certificate that is based on a complex algorithm with like 50 categories, some of them mathematically derived and others rather subjectively.
: Someone later asked about how there is a Dutch and American certification system that is less bureaucratic and why this German version would succeed? Answer: Well, we’ve taken those original ideas and improved them.
*A presentation from a guy from the Lawrence Berkely Labratory about advances California is making and has been since the 70s.
*A presentation by a guy from Lausanne about some thin, colored coating on solar panels that can be used as facades for buildings.
*A complex, slide-heavy presentation from a professor of Wuppertal about many different factors for solar panels.
*There was an Australian guy who talked about different ways of ventilating the attic and how to make small changes to make advances as well as the whole solar panel thing.
Lunch was beef strogonoff and/or pancake canneloni in marinara sauce, a couple of vegetable salads, slices of different breads with sodas, juices, beer and wines (I had white wine) and then for dessert I had rote groeze, a Swiss dessert of raspberry and other tart fruit compott with vanilla sauce.
I had a ten-minute discussion with the two English-speaking presenters, the guy from Lawrence Berkeley Lab and the Australian guy. It was a very lucky, fleeting moment, two of the most knowledgeable men on solar energy in the world, and I wanted to ask a bunch of questions but 90% of them would make me look foolish so I only asked 33% of those. 🙂 They made an interesting point that my psychology degree could help me in the idea of persuading people to comprehend the urgency and momentousness of the occasion. Part of my niche in the Renewable Energy industry could involve me convincing local governments with private partnership to get involved in a mixture of research and implementation, capitalizing on the advancements that have already been made and are available commercially while reinvesting some profits to further more research to push a new wave of converts now that this second generation has seen and known people who will have gotten something like solar panels on their city hall or convention center. They can be persuaded that more advancements have been made that make it cheaper and more efficient.
I was grateful to have their time and the American I will write soon to try and have some contact with him. I was really lucky to meet them.
The journalist I was accompanying today said she was leaving after lunch and I did the same. I had already hit information overload so I left, grabbing some schwag on the way out, a pad of paper, a couple of pens, a eyeglass cleaner and two wordless dictionaries.
Should I go back tomorrow? I’m 90% sure that I would be let into the conference again. I could be overwhelmed for a couple of hours and then go to the gym in the afternoon. It probably would be wise of me to go but damn, it’s pretty intense.
Still though, a very successful day in a new arena.