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Renewable Art: An Artistic way to spruce up clean energy technology in WEC 2019

 With 1% for the arts applied to 6 trillion in renewable energy investment we can bring about a transformation of our cultural landscape along with the transition of our energy landscape, making new artistic landmarks to this important time in human history.

Elizabeth Monoian and Robert FerryElizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry | Updated: 21-08-2019 16:12 IST | Created: 19-08-2019 17:53 IST
Renewable Art: An Artistic way to spruce up clean energy technology in WEC 2019
Renewable Art Image Credit: The 24th World Energy Congress Preview

An official side event of the 24th World Energy Congress, the primary exhibition of the top 25 proposals and the official LAGI 2019 Award ceremony will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre September 9–12, 2019. Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is a civil society organisation (CSO) that works with cities around the world on civic art installations that also function as renewable energy infrastructures. Here the founders - Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry - explain the vision.

Aa reader of the 24th World Energy Congress Preview, you are quite aware of the rapid expansion of renewable energy. You know, for example, those solar photovoltaic installations are expected to add 575 GW of new capacity over the next six years (International Energy Agency).

To attendees and delegates of 24th WEC, this information is second-nature. But how much has this impending change permeated the consciousness of popular culture? Do we all understand the impact that our new energy infrastructure will have on our landscapes and our cities?

Those 575 GW of capacity will occupy land area nearly the size of Qatar, and we will need to install far more than that capacity before 2050 if we are to meet the goals that the IPCC has established (renewables must account for 85% of electricity supply by then). Over the next few decades, solar, wind, and other renewable energy installations will be distributed across rooftops, farmlands, vacant lots, and sites of every scale around the world, and they will have an impact on our cities and rural landscapes like nothing else since the construction of the automobile superhighways of the mid-twentieth century.

While the vast majority of this new infrastructure will be utilitarian installations designed to meet the most competitive PPA, the energy transition also offers the opportunity for certain more cherished sites—and in instances where community engagement will be key to permitting and long-term project success—to think creatively about how clean energy technology can weave itself into the cultural landscapes of our cities.

Here is where we can begin to really engage the general public and get people excited about the renewable energy transition. By using clean energy technology as the media for public art and creative place-making we can beautify our cities while we make them more sustainable. We can educate and inspire a wide-ranging public to be excited about the beauty of a renewable energy future. With 1% for the arts applied to 6 trillion in renewable energy investment we can bring about a transformation of our cultural landscape along with the transition of our energy landscape, making new artistic landmarks to this important time in human history.

This is the mission of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), a nonprofit that works with cities around the world on civic art installations that also function as renewable energy infrastructures. These generous works of art give back more than just beauty and return more than just kilowatt-hours on their capital investment. LAGI design competitions have changed the way that cities and developers manage the integration of public art and creative placemaking into the master planning process for new developments. Competitions for Dubai/Abu Dhabi (2010), New York City (2012), Copenhagen (2014), Glasgow (2015), Santa Monica (2016), and Melbourne (2018) have brought in nearly 1000 designs from 60+ countries.

LAGI is pleased to be holding a special edition design competition in partnership with the 24th World Energy Congress and sponsored by Masdar. LAGI 2019 Abu Dhabi— Return to the Source—invites architects, landscape architects, artists, and other creatives around the world to design an iconic work of art for a landmark site within Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. An official side event of the 24th World Energy Congress, the primary exhibition of the top 25 proposals and the official LAGI 2019 award ceremony will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre September 9–12, 2019.

(Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry are LAGI Founding Directors)

For more news, views and interviews please visit LIVE DISCOURSE

DISCLAIMER: Except for the headline and minor editing, this write-up has been published from 'The 24th World Energy Congress Preview'. Devdiscourse is Media Partner of World Road Congress 2019 being organized in Abu Dhabi on 9-12 September 2019.


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