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* Get Back On Track – with Blue-Skies Thinking *

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Alec Lom's picture
Founder , Alec Lom Events & Communications

With special interest in the 'green' & eco / sustainability sector, I help MDs use the media's power to raise the profile of their products & services and increase sales. Experienced...

  • Member since 2020
  • 7 items added with 1,965 views
  • Nov 25, 2020

Britain's Prime Minister has just announced plans to stage what he terms a “Green Revolution” to transform the UK economy.

Making transport more environmentally friendly is part of his plan. Has he considered how sunshine can make the railways greener with solar panels?

Trains still use huge amounts of electricity, but in countries like India, with its 12 hours’ sunshine per day, solar has great potential.

Nearly 1,000 stations in India already have solar panels. And Indian railways plan to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Blue-skies thinking – in more ways than one – made this possible.

Another UK PM, Tony Blair, was famous for ‘blue-skies thinking’, appointing a former BBC Director-General as his Strategic Adviser on this subject.

The Head of the British Government saw ‘blue-skies thinking’ as a vital part of running HIS business (named UK plc).

? So, do YOU do enough ‘blue-skies thinking’ in your business?

? Who could help you to think more creatively ‘outside the box’?

? Might you hire a Strategic Adviser to add value from an external perspective?

? Could they help you tell your story and raise awareness of your business?

#Entrepreneurship #mediarelations #solar #greenerworld

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 25, 2020

What exactly is blue skies thinking, Alec-- how does it differ (if at all) from general green trends? 

Alec Lom's picture
Alec Lom on Nov 25, 2020

Hi Matt, within the context of media or political strategy & planning, the term 'blue-skies thinking' refers to adopting an open-minded approach to fresh ideas that may not immediately be ones your in-house team is working on.

Blue-skies thinking ideas can certainly align with 'general green trends' of course, but they are often beneficial to a company or consultancy because they approach your business story from a different, sometimes quirky, angle.

Now founder of a media support agency, I've spent many years as a journalist offering stories to Editors. If they replies: "That's not original enough, what else have you got?", I knew I should've done more blue-skies thinking before making my pitch! Now I help businesses to do this.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 26, 2020

Alec, much of Blue Sky Thinking, in the past, has resulted in Brown Sky Results. For example:

"Making transport more environmentally friendly is part of his plan. Has he considered how sunshine can make the railways greener with solar panels?"

Let's look at some numbers: as a rough approximation, the most efficient electric passenger trains consume electricity at a maximum rate of 3 MW. The Topaz Solar Farm, with 9 mi² of solar panels in the California desert, constructed at a cost of $2.2 billion, generates electricity at a rate of 550 MW at noon on a sunny day. In that location, a solar farm 1,200 feet square would be required to supply the needs of an electric train, at noon, on a sunny day.

Most solar farms aren't located in such ideal locations, of course. A solar farm in Newark, NJ might generate one-tenth as much electricity. Trains need to run all day long, requiring solar farms measured in square miles. And every solar farm, whatever its size, is useless between 6PM and 6AM, and in cloudy weather.

Yes, sunshine could indeed make railways greener - a tiny, tiny, tiny, bit greener. But in 2020, exaggerating the potential of intermittent power from the sun and wind is making climate change very, very, very much worse. The unfortunate truth is that energy available from the sun and wind, compared to what we consume every day, is a drop in the bucket.

Alec Lom's picture
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