Gunter Pauli – Rethinking Energy Production with The Blue Economy

Energy, Interviews, Talk — By on 08/01/2011 17:17

Leader in Sustainable Development: Gunter Pauli

The Full Interview

Audio Only

Right click here to download the MP3 version of this interview


Gunter Pauli, renowned as one of the thought leaders of sustainability, talks with me about the need to embrace systems thinking in order to create positive change. Gunter is the founder of the Blue Economy, and a curator of business models that work to close loops and empower local communities. We’re discussing major shifts that need to take place in society such as moving towards DC decentralized energy grids, evolving governmental rules and regulations, and more.

Interview Notes

  • Piezoelectricity
  • first factory that was certified in’91 Ecover
  • Blue Economy
  • systems analysis for life cycle analysis
  • Arne Naess started the Deep Ecology movement
  • Fritjof Capra-Founding Director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in UC Berkeley. One of the first systems thinkers
  • Peter Senge – another fantastic systems thinker at MIT
  • use ecosystem as the master
  • rules: give your waste to someone who can use it as a process food
  • need to close loops
  • linear vs systems and closed loops
  • every business has a finite life span. Built in obsolescence
  • nature builds in obsolescence
  • inspire people with action
  • older people have more errors, so basically get out there and make some errors! you’ll learn from them
  • Solar energy vs. Gravitational
  • piezoelectric energy generation
  • first seen in james bond
  • our debate on gravity, pressure, movement, and specific gravity differentials
  • energy creation with temperature differentials (cell phone to human body)
  • Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.
  • power device to power cell phones from energy captured from voice
  • temperature differential energy sources -huge potential here
  • how do we create a market for these piezoelectric sources
  • -change the standards away from big grid, to decentralizing sources
  • our electricity is becoming portable
  • eliminate the conversion of DC to AC (wastes 30% of energy)
  • feed-in tariff- selling energy to the grid.
  • All high speed trains in Europe run on DC
  • the key thing we need to change: to a local network that is DC
  • Use the existing AC network for house infrastructure but that is all!
  • Water has the highest conductivity for heat on earth.
  • Every house should have a 2 cubic meter tank. store water at 99 degrees celsius.
  • heat it up by light not by sun. light uses the thermosiphon
  • temperature differential
  • how to heat the water up @ 34 minutes
  • Sundsvall (?) – light heating technology  – Need to learn more about this!
  • people who live on the edge, don’t take up much space
  • necessity is the mother of invention/innovation
  • this fosters a culture of innovation.
  • problem: we measure development by the amount of people who do not do farming
  • a case of buckwheat production: fossil fuel inputs versus manual labor.
  • the only way for manual labor to win is by looking at other uses of the buckwheat. essentially maximizing everything from the crop, while the fossil fuel farmers do not need to squeeze every cent out of their crop.
  • blue economy – reaction to the green economy
  • in the green economy, whatever is good for the economy and your health is expensive… no bueno
  • blue economy
  • grid parity is expected for solar (relative to fossil fuel) by 2015
  • we need governments to change the rules of the game.
  • lets get rid of subsidies
  • example – if government said, no more AC electricity in the house, then there would be a huge increase in demand for renewable energies because they are all DC
  • entrepreneurs are going to make it happen for us
  • open source business models. we need to stimulate the young entrepreneurs
  • mushroom farming – coffee waste – started in Netherlands
  • starbucks said 16 years ago that they’re not in the mushroom business
  • Are businesses going to be open source?
  • Maybe, maybe not, but what we need is full transparency in business and governments!


Resources Mentioned

Gunter Pauli’s Ted Talk “Balancing Energy”


About Gunter Pauli

Gunter Pauli started the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives Program in Tokyo which helps to create systems out of production and consumption, this is now known as Industrial Ecology.

Gunter now works to develop the Blue Economy which showcases effective business models that solve real world problems. Each business model is a replicable social enterprise that can be recreated throughout the world successfully.


Ask a Question

Leave a Comment