Solar is “ready for prime time” award-winning journalist and activist, Naomi Klein told Solar Power Portal at an event in London on Monday night.
Klein was promoting her new book on climate change, This changes everything, at a Guardian Live event in Westminster.
Talking to Solar Power Portal after the event, Klein praised and reiterated the rapid progression, and technical feasibility of the solar industry, “it’s amazing how fast it’s happened” she said.
The event was “a vital contribution and very compelling” to action on climate change and renewables transition, UK Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas who also attended the event told Solar Power Portal. “It’s inspiring and reaches people who are not activists,” she added.
Speaking on stage, Klein referenced the use of community solar, and said renewables are “100% possible” and referred to a 8-10% yearly cut in emissions needed to keep within the recommended 2 degrees Celsius global warming limit, only seen previously during The Great Depression. This she said, provides an opportunity for “The Great Transition” into a greener economy.
Also on community solar and other renewables, Klein said “the unsightliness argument and NIMBYism disappears when energy distribution uses a decentralised, community controlled model”.
Klein repeated The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings that solar, and other renewables, have the largest technical feasibility in mitigating harmful emissions from electricity production.
In reference to geoengineering efforts towards fighting climate change Klein said “people think it is easier to turn down the sun than install solar panels, that is the world we have created”.
Klein also advocated the opportunity for jobs creation in transitioning to renewable energy.
There were approximately 14,000 full-time jobs associated with the UK’s PV sector in 2013, and more than 100,000 jobs are supported by renewable energy in the UK.
Klein also pleaded for clean tech industries, the UN and scientists to tone down the use of jargon.
Klein also referenced reports covered by this site, on UK public support for renewables and solar, especially over fracking. Klein specifically referenced the surprising poll that 87% of MPs support solar.