5 TED Talks to watch on energy efficiency with the COP21 coming up

One of the largest climate change conferences is just around the corner. The 21st Conference of the Parties or the COP21, represents the last opportunity for a globally binding agreement that can potentially limit warming below 2º Celsius. This temperature is a limit we are close to reaching and will further create beyond dangerous threats and inevitable as well as irreversible climate change.

Taking place from November 30th to December 11th in Paris, this conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including representatives from governments, businesses, civil society and the media. In order to provide some context on the importance of this crucial meeting, we have chosen 5 TED Talks about energy efficiency. These talks are produced by experts who explained our current situation, the scenario towards which we are heading, and further contribute with some solutions.

Nowadays it is not only important for everyone to know that global warming is an issue, it is imperative to know how big an issue it is and the ways to help mitigate it.

These TED Talks about energy efficiency were conducted from the year 2009 to 2015 and deliver statistics, facts, and interesting ideas on how to move away from the biggest human induced catastrophe in history, global warming.

For the previous reasons, these ideas are more than worth spreading.

1. Climate change is happening, here is how we adapt

Let’s start with some insights from Alice Bows-Larkin, a climate researcher who has helped shape policies such as the UK’s Climate Change Act.

In this TED talk, Alice Bows-Larkin shows us a clear picture of what is currently happening and opens our eyes to the current alarming situation. She points out that it might be late to decarbonize the supply side of energy on time to avoid the 2º C warming but we can still prevent those disastrous levels if we modify the demand side, which would yield faster results.

Corporates should start to recognize and modify their energy demand. And, of course, demand response control and optimization will completely facilitate that change.

2. A Roadmap to protect the planet

Next, get to know Brice Lalonde. For those who are not familiar with him, he’s a Special Advisor on Sustainable Development at the United Nations. He is one of the central players in the COP21 and has some proposals to overcome the climate change challenge,  as you will see in this TED talk, which directly relates to energy efficiency.

With an interesting opening statement, Brice Lalonde makes us look at our world in perspective and realize it is not as huge as we used to think not long ago. He points out we are missing consciousness and calls for blunter actions to help protect the earth.

Two of the most interesting propositions he makes in this Ted talk are the creation of ministers of the planet and a ‘Parlianet’. He is also an advocate of engaging heads of state and of allowing the UN create a roadmap to its member states towards a sustainable world (something related to this last suggestion has recently been applied at the UN Sustainable Development Goals).  Watch this video and open your mind to life-changing ideas.

3. A clean energy proposal – race to the top

In this video, Jennifer Granholm raises questions for America, but with worldwide implications. She enlightens us with proposals she has forged from policy experiments on how to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number. How do we create good jobs in a booming global economy? How do we solve global climate change? Or solve political gridlock? These are three of the enigmas for which she finds one solution that addresses them all.

We present  Jennifer Granholm, a former 2-term Governor of Michigan, United States. In her TED talk, she speaks from her experience and empowers us with an initiative to increase investment in new alternative energy sources, which she proves beneficial. “Every region has something to offer” in this race to a more sustainable world and for this, Jennifer’s proposal consists in an energy strategy from the bottom up.

4. How behavioural science can lower your energy bill

Alex Laskey, adds the energy services companies’ perspectives. He gives an ingenious speech on how social pressure can be used as a positive force to make people pay attention to their energy consumption.

And most importantly, he shows us how easy it is to take part of the positive change the world needs and how with the right stimuli we can generate huge engagement.  The most important goal under our current circumstances is to make more people ask ‘how can I save more energy?’.

Once we achieve this, as Alex says, “there are many experts who can help answer this question”, like DEXMA the only specialist company, according to the prestigious Verdantix 2015 state-of-the-art research.

5. High altitude wind energy from kites

Last but not least, here is Saul Griffith, an Australian American inventor, showing us the power of audacity. In this talk, Saul takes us back to our childhood by bringing to our attention how the kites we used to fly as kids, can actually be power generators. This is an example of how if we join together creativity and resourcefulness we can create instruments that contribute to a cleaner and sustainable environment.

In this TED talk Saul encourages us to dare and to believe we can. With the falling prices of Brent oil and the higher and higher electrical costs, we’re facing a energy crisis.

But this crisis, following the lead created by people like Saul, can be taken as an opportunity to get creative and join them in their efforts to find ways of generating clean energy. Not everything is already invented. Recent news, like the ‘hydricity‘ development on Solar Power, demonstrate this theory too. 

Saul started with this ‘crazy’ idea and made it a reality with the company Makani Power, which was acquired by Google in 2013 and is now working to make energy kites and clean energy a commercial reality.