Aussie Bands Go Green With Their Own Solar Farms

News this week is that some of Australia’s headline bands are signing up to build and invest in their own solar farms. Born out of a desire to offset the heavy environmental impact that music touring has, Cloud Control’s Heidi Lenffer sought out a way for her band to make a meaningful impact.

Heidi Lenffer from Cloud Control, pictured at FEAT.’s first solar farm. Photograph: Ulrich Lenffer, The Guardian

Partnering with the superannuation fund Future Super, and the developer Impact Investment Group, Lenffer has established FEAT. (Future Energy Artists): a platform that allows musicians to build and invest in their own solar farms. Joined by Midnight Oil, Vance Joy, Regurgitator, Big Scary, Peking Duk and Jack River, their first project is Brigalow: an 80-hectare project near Pittsworth on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

“At last, a project that takes the great passion many artists have for a healthy world powered by renewable energy, and makes it doable,” says Midnight Oil’s frontman, Peter Garrett for The Guardian.

Peter Garrett, Photo Credit: The Guardian

Lenffer teamed up with Dr Chris Dey from Areté Sustainability and found that for Cloud Control’s two-week tour it would produce about 28 tonnes of emissions – roughly equivalent to what an average household produces in a year, just from playing in 15 clubs and theatres across the country.

So why is solar energy the answer?

Traditionally, those that have wanted to offset their carbon footprint have been able to invest in a carbon offsetting program, essentially trying to compensate for the damage done to the atmosphere. This is usually by donating to a program such as tree planting or other programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this case, Lenffer wanted to do one better, and we are thrilled to see her draw attention to the power of solar farms (yes, pun intended).

Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and really benefits the environment. The case for solar energy is a strong one, and thankfully gaining traction:

  • Solar energy decreases greenhouse gas emissions: Generating electricity with solar power instead of fossil fuels can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Greenhouse gases, which are produced when fossil fuels are burned, lead to rising global temperatures and climate change.
  • Solar energy reduces respiratory and cardio health issues: One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it results in very few air pollutants. Among other health benefits, solar power results in fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and lost workdays related to health issues.

So hats off to these talented and smart musicians, who are drawing attention to the case for more Solar. This is a positive step towards a brighter future.