In search of so­lar rev­o­lu­tion

Wairarapa News - - OUT & ABOUT - JOHN RHODES

With so­lar en­ergy be­com­ing much cheaper and more vi­able ex­perts are ask­ing why some of us adopt it while oth­ers don’t.

As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Justin Hodgkiss is at the fore­front of the global push to de­velop low-cost, printable so­lar cells and is one of two ex­perts speak­ing to Wairarapa peo­ple about the sub­ject next week.

‘‘Enough sun falls on the earth in a sin­gle hour to meet the en­ergy needs of hu­man­ity for a year. We now cap­ture more of our en­ergy needs from sun­light than ever be­fore.’’ he said.

Over the last two decades global pho­to­voltaic ca­pac­ity has grown phe­nom­e­nally, dou­bling ev­ery two years.

‘‘This has taken even the most op­ti­mistic ob­servers by sur­prise. More­over, sci­en­tists have achieved it with tech­nol­ogy that’s now more than 20 years old’’, Hodgkiss said.

An­other so­lar en­ergy ex­pert Dr Ta­ciano Mil­font is in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal the­o­ries and re­search to so­cial is­sues, and in the con­tri­bu­tions that psy­chol­ogy can make to the sci­ence of hu­man-en­vi­ron­ment in­ter­ac­tions.

‘‘What’s the psy­chol­ogy be­hind at­ti­tudes to­wards pro-en­vi­ron­men­tal be­hav­iour? For ex­am­ple, what makes some­one adopt or re­ject so­lar tech­nol­ogy?’’ Mil­font said.

Hodgkiss works in phys­i­cal chem­istry in Vic­to­ria Univer­sity’s School of Chem­i­cal and Phys­i­cal Sci­ence.

He is a Ruther­ford Dis­cov­ery Fel­low and deputy direc­tor of the MacDiarmid In­sti­tute.

Mil­font is deputy direc­tor of the Cen­tre for Ap­plied Cross-Cul­tural Re­search in the univer­sity’s School of Psy­chol­ogy and se­nior as­so­ciate ed­i­tor of the jour­nal En­vi­ron­ment and Be­hav­ior.

Their joint talk, ‘The So­lar Rev­o­lu­tion—the peo­ple and the power’ will dis­cuss the sci­ence, eco­nom­ics and psy­chol­ogy that not only drive but also hin­der the clean en­ergy rev­o­lu­tion. Hodgkiss and Mil­font will present it to a meet­ing of Sci­ence Wairarapa at 7.30 pm on Mon­day 13 Novem­ber at the Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre, 22 Dixon St. Master­ton.

All are wel­come; a small door charge will ap­ply.

Dr Ta­ciano Mil­font will ad­dress ques­tions around the psy­chol­ogy of so­lar tech­nol­ogy use.

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