Anzses history

Page 1

Fifty Years Of Solar Energy In Australia and New Zealand A history of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society1 Written and compiled by Garry Baverstock AM and Andrea Gaynor, in association with ANZSES members. Contents: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Foreword American Genesis: 1954 – 63 Early Days in Australia and New Zealand: 1964 – 72 Energy Crisis: 1973 – 80

5. 6. 7. 8.

Entrepreneurial Solutions: 1981 – 87 The Greenhouse Mandate: 1988 - 96 The Education Era: 1997 on Looking Toward the Future of Solar Energy

Foreword Why write the history of ANZSES2? With the advent of the 21st century creating a turning point, it seemed timely to record the first 50 years of ANZSES and document the important role it has played internationally. The first half century of the Society’s solar energy research, development, promotion and applications was highly productive. The technology developed during this period has the potential to provide sustainable energy solutions for planet Earth for centuries to come. Given the crucial importance of this period of development, many ANZSES members also considered it was timely for the main events, activities of the many pioneers, and the evolution of ANZSES as an organization, to be documented while it was still in living memory and documents were still available for reference. This history was conceived at the Solar World Congress (2001) in Adelaide, and was seen by my contemporaries to complement the ISES history project, celebrating the first 50 years of its incorporation.


This work is based on a history originally written by Garry Baverstock and published in two parts: Garry Baverstock, ‘Australia-New Zealand Section of the International Solar Energy Society (1954-80)’, in Karl W. Böer (ed.), The Fifty-Year History of the International Solar Energy Society and its National Sections, volume 1, American Solar Energy Society, Boulder, 2005, pp.133-156; and Garry Baverstock, ‘ANZSES Section of the International Solar Energy Society (1981-2004)’, in Karl W. Böer (ed.), The Fifty-Year History of the International Solar Energy Society and its National Sections, volume 2, American Solar Energy Society, Boulder, 2005, pp.421-450. It was edited and extended in 2010 by Andrea Gaynor, but some parts of the text remain similar to the chapters published earlier. These are reproduced with permission of the American Solar Energy Society. For more information on the history of ISES, or to purchase the Fifty-Year History of ISES and its national sections, please visit the ISES website: 2 In 2008 it was decided by mutual agreement that there should be separate organisations for Australia and New Zealand, so the Australian society was subsequently named the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES), and the New Zealanders reverted to their original name of Solar Action. The activities of those working in solar energy in the two nations have been intertwined for such a long time, and as the name ANZSES was used for over two decades it was decided to retain it in the title of this history.


I had become concerned that much of the local history was being lost and volunteered to coordinate the ANZSES document and assist those responsible for the ISES document, by sharing information and drafts. A debt of gratitude is offered for substantial submissions from long-standing and dedicated ANZSES / ISES members. In addition to these submissions, a great deal of this history has also been written with the invaluable assistance of those who supplied documents, material, photographs and made time available for interviews. Throughout the process I was impressed with and humbled by the high ethics and integrity of contributors. Individual contributors are too numerous to list; for this reason they have been included along with the sections of the history that benefited from their input. By highlighting the achievements of the past, it is easy to demonstrate that ANZSES, as a peak organization, is the appropriate springboard for disseminating credible information about research and development of solar energy in all its forms. Its relevance surely is destined to continue; if the high level of ethics and integrity of ANZSES pioneers and office holders in the past continues, there is no reason why it should not. With the world environment, and biodiversity under threat, combined with growing material expectations of an ever increasing world population, a ‘golden age’ of solar energy is certainly ahead. For this reason, ANZSES and ISES have a continuing mandate and a place in history. Once you have read this history, perhaps because of an interest in the field, or you are a student specializing in solar and renewable energy, you may be inspired to join the organization. See how generations of well-meaning, brilliant and ethical people have made a difference. You can too! G.F. Baverstock B Arch, MSc, LFRAIA, M.ANZSES

Garry Baverstock, left, and right, with Prof Chang Min Choi of South Korea, following Garry’s invited presentation on the history of solar architecture in Australia (ISES Asia Pacific Conference 2004, Gwanjiu, Korea).


Solar Energy ‘Aussie’ Style! ANZSES stall at the annual Solar boat race on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra ACT Paul Hanley(left) and David McCook with the Late Jim Were (right)


Energy in nature has long been harnessed by humanity: picturesque Dutch windmills and the waterwheels of sleepy Dorset villages are but two iconic legacies of an age in which most energy came from human labour, domesticated animals and renewable sources such as wind, water and wood. The develompent of a reliable steam engine in the eighteenth century, however, facilitated a shift to coal as a principal energy source. The availability of coal was a significant factor in the course of the industrial revolution in Britain and Europe, and by the 1860s, 22 million tons of coal was consumed every year in England alone for domestic purposes such as heating, cooking and lighting.3 In Australia, the Indigenous peoples had long made use of energy in the form of fire; after colonisation the British, too, relied heavily on firewood for fuel. From the 1850s, however, Australia entered the age of steam, with foundries, factories, steamships and railway locomotives all powered by coal.4 At Federation, the new nation was virtually self-sufficient in its energy needs, which were met by wind, horses, firewood and coal.5 But as Geoffrey Blainey puts it, ‘this charmed era of selfsufficiency was broken by the internal-combusion engine and its craving for petrol’.6 As reliance on oil increased Australia, which produced none, found itself increasingly reliant on imported energy. Its entire economy became vulnerable to the vicissitudes of oil prices, and oil transport. This vulnerability was driven home to Australians during the second world war: petrol rationing commenced in 1940, and as the mining and transport of coal became a site of recurrent industrial conflict, gas and electricity outages in Sydney and Melbourne were common. The Snowy Mountains hydro-electric power scheme was launched in 1949; although it captured the nation’s imagination, its contribution to meeting the nation’s energy needs would ultimately be modest. Petrol and coal were both issues in the 1949 election, won by Robert Menzies, leader of the new Liberal party. Petrol rationing was ended by the incoming government in early 1950, but in an immediate postwar context that combined economic and strategic insecurity with dreams of national development through industrial expansion and domestic prosperity, energy remained a prominent public issue. From the late 1940s, through the work of enthusiastic thermal engineers and inventors, Australia’s interest in solar energy was growing. Emblematic of this interest was the 1959 Commonwealth cabinet decision to use solar water heating where possible in its public service housing in the humid tropics and hot arid areas.7 During the early days, however, cross-fertilization of expertise between academic researchers and industry innovators was ad hoc, unstructured, and inefficient. This mode of operation was to change with the birth of the Solar Energy Society. American Genesis: 1954-63 In the USA in the 1950s, some prominent scientists and businesspeople were thinking about the place of solar energy in America’s energy future. Understanding that the nation would eventually run out of fossil fuels, they advocated research and


Church, R. 1986. The History of the British Coal Industry, vol. 3, 1830-1913. Oxford: Clarendon Press, p.19. 4 Geoffrey Blainey, ‘Riding Australia’s Big Dipper’, Griffith REVIEW, no. 12, 2006, p.129. 5 Australians were early adopters of hydroelectric technology: the earliest hydroelectric installation in Australia supplied electricity to the Waverly Woollen Mill near Launceston in 1888 (Denis Gojak, ‘Gara River: An Early Hydro-Electric Scheme in Northern New South Wales’, Australian Historical Archaeology, vol.6, 1988, p.3), only 10 years after the installation of a hydroelectric generator powered Craigside in England (Vanessa Thrope, ‘The world’s first hydroelectric house’, Observer, 1 April 2007, p.13). However, the application of this technology in Australia was limited by the relative paucity of suitable topography and water availability. 6 Blainey, p.130. 7 Ten years later over 2050 domestic units had been installed in Papua New Guinea and the Northern th Territory. ‘Melbourne Meeting, 28 August 1969, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.9, 1970, p.4.


development of solar energy to meet its energy needs.8 Prominent physical chemist Farrington Daniels was a particularly committed advocate of solar energy, and in 1953 he discussed the need for an organisation to promote and coordinate solar research and development with Henry Sargent, president of an Arizona electric utility company. The following year Sargent and others founded the Association for Applied Solar Energy, AFASE. The early membership comprised lawyers, financiers, businessmen and educators from California and Arizona,9 reflecting the vision for solar power as both a potentially lucrative investment proposition, and a boon to humanity. One of the Association’s first activities was to plan, in collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute, a World Symposium on Applied Solar Energy. This was clearly regarded as a significant undertaking, with such notable people as Frank Lloyd Wright, Vannevar Bush and solar pioneer Charles Greeley Abbot serving on the symposium’s scientific advisory committee.10 The world symposium was held in Phoenix in November 1955, attracting around 900 delegates from 36 countries. It was accompanied by a major solar energy exhibition entitled ‘The Sun at Work’. During two weeks, over 29 000 visitors marvelled at 85 exhibits, including solar cookers, pumps, stills and house designs. Exhibitions of solar technology at work would later become a popular promotional and educational strategy for ANZSES in Australia. AFASE also sought to disseminate information through a quarterly newsletter, The Sun at Work’, and a technical journal, The Journal of Solar Energy Science and Engineering (later Solar Energy), which first appeared in 1956 and 1957 respectively. One Australian who spoke at the 1955 Symposium was Roger Morse, then Chief of the CSIRO Division of Mechanical Engineering. Morse completed degrees in both Science and Engineering at the University of Sydney in the 1930s, and after working in private enterprise and then the Royal Australian Engineer Corps in Australia and New Guinea during the war, he joined CSIR in 1945 as their electrical and mechanical engineer. Four years later CSIRO established manufacturing facilities at the Central Experimental Workshops in Maribyrnong, Victoria, and it was there that Morse commenced his work on solar energy.11 In 1955 the Maribrynong group became the CSIRO Engineering Section, led by Morse, and two years later it moved to a better-equipped laboratory at Highett. There the group focused on the design of a ‘Phytotron’ (controlled-temperature glasshouse) to be constructed in Canberra, though Morse also designed a flat-plate solar water heater that would be extensively used in government housing in arid and tropical areas.12 The Phytotron was completed in 1962, and the following year the Section became the Division of Mechanical Engineering; by 1964 it had a staff of about 60.13 Under Morse’s leadership, the division and its staff, including Frank Hogg, Wal Read, Bob Dunkle, Terry Hollands and Don Close, would play a crucial role in Australian solar research and development for decades. Morse had been involved in AFASE activities since at least 1955, though the organisation remained a principally American one until the early 1960s, when it began to encourage the formation of local and national branches.14 The Australians and New Zealanders, led by Morse, were the first to take up the challenge.


Harvey Strum, ‘The Association for Applied Solar Energy/Solar Energy Society, 1954-1970’, Technology and Culture, vol. 26, no. 3, July 1985, p.571. 9 Strum, p.572. 10 Strum, p.572. 11 ‘Roger N. Morse’, Australian Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, vol. 18, no. 6, 1964, p. 57. 12 Stewart West, ‘Guest editorial’, Solar Progress, vol.8, no.2, June 1987, p.3. 13 ‘Roger N. Morse’, Australian Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, vol. 18, no. 6, 1964, pp. 5758. 14 John A. Duffie and Harry Z. Tabor, ‘The International Solar Energy Society: The First 25 Years, 1955 to1980’, in Karl W. Böer (ed.), The Fifty-Year History of the International Solar Energy Society and its National Sections, volume 1, American Solar Energy Society, Boulder, 2005, pp.26-7


In 1961 a meeting in Brisbane, followed by negotiations undertaken at the 1961 UN Conference on New Sources of Energy in Rome, resulted in the formation of an Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) Branch of AFASE. The committee in charge of implementation comprised representatives from several states and New Zealand,15 and the inaugural meeting of the ANZ Branch was held in August 1962. Encouragement came from the American president of AFASE, retired Brigadier General Harold Walmsley, who wrote that the formation of strong national and regional Branches of AFAE would ‘help provide a dynamic world organization dedicated to the harnessing of the sun’s energy for the benefit of all mankind.’16 Roger Morse was elected Chairman, and Frank Hogg was elected Hon Treasurer and unofficial Secretary. Born and educated in New Zealand, Hogg graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical-Mechanical) in 1933. Following a period working in industry in England, he moved to a position with the State Electricity Commission in Melbourne, then served with the Royal Australian Engineers Corps in Australia and New Guinea during the war. In 1947, Hogg joined the CSIR,17 where he was one of four engineers (including Roger Morse). With Morse, he would become part of the CSIRO Engineering Section when it was established in 1955, and the Division of Mechanical Engineering formed in 1963.18 He worked there until his retirement in 1977. A mainstay of the ANZ organisation, Hogg was worked tirelessly to organise the 1970 Melbourne Congress and was still serving as Treasurer in 1980. He would play a similarly crucial role in the international organisation, as Secretary-Treasurer then Secretary, from 1970 until he passed away in 1985. For the new Branch, the first decision of significance was the establishment of a journal, to help overcome the large distance that separated many members. So was born News Sheet of the Australia and New Zealand Branch, AFASE, which commenced publication in 1962. Edited by Dr Charles Kettleborough of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New South Wales, it was a modest typescript publication reporting on Branch and Association meetings, as well as regional activity in solar research and manufacturing. In 1963, the ANZ Branch comprised 40 members, mostly scientists and engineers working for the CSIRO or universities in the various states. Engineers at CSIRO in Victoria were working on selective surfaces, solar distillation, solar dehumidification and air-conditioning, and solar absorbers, while at the University of Queensland a Committee on Solar Energy in Tropical Housing was working on designs for solar housing suitable for tropical areas. In their first design, the roof of the dwelling acted as a flat-plate solar absorber to produce hot water, which then became the energy source for control of the environment indoors.19 Researchers at the University of New South Wales were involved in the development of a 5 kW solar furnace, while at the Dominion Physical Laboratory in New Zealand, an electronic-mechanical analogue for analysis of solar heating problems was being developed. The first newsletter also included a list of manufacturers of solar equipment in Sydney: six of the nine firms were manufacturing solar heaters for various domestic and industrial uses. The ANZ Branch brought researchers together, and in touch with industry, so each could learn from others’ experience, and better address emerging needs. Though small in


They were: R N Morse (Vic); Prof D Allen-Williams (WA); R F Benseman (NZ); T E Bowden (NSW); R V Dunkle (Vic); Prof C F Kettleborough & Prof C J Milner (NSW); and N R Sheridan (Qld): News sheet, vol.1, no.1, July 1962, p.5. 16 Brigadier General Harold Walmsley, ‘Message from the President of The Associaiton for Applied Solar Energy’, News Sheet of the Australia and New Zealand Branch, AFASE, vol.1, no.1, p.3. 17 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) became the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in 1949. 18 ‘Frank G. Hogg, Engineer Amongst Scientists, Believer in Research and Co-operation’, Australian Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, vol. 20, no. 4, 1966, pp. 53, 71. 19 ‘Solar Energy Research Activities in Australia and New Zealand’, News Sheet of the Australia and New Zealand Branch, AFASE, vol.1, no.1, p.8.


numbers, the embryonic Branch was to become a potent force for solar energy research and development on the world scene. 1964 – 72 Early Days in Australia and New Zealand Interest in the Branch spread rapidly within Australia and New Zealand in the early 1960s, and the membership in 1964 was 81; twice as great as the previous year.20 Morse noted in the 1964 edition of the newsletter, now entitled Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, that ‘there is no doubt that both solar energy research and its commercial exploitation is increasing significantly each year. The Society can justly claim some credit for this progress’.21 Meanwhile, the parent organisation was facing some difficulties. After nine years of activity, as oil prices fell and atomic energy appeared to be the answer to America’s long-term energy needs, support for AFASE began to dwindle. However, led by the visionary Farrington Daniels, they reorganized and reformed in 1964 as The Solar Energy Society (SES), a scientific society with elected officials. Daniels served as its first elected President from 1964-1967, steering it through a difficult time. At one point, the Society had a bank balance of $100, and a payroll of $500 to be met.22 However, as an organisation bringing together a multi-disciplinary international membership of around 1000, there was determination to continue. Roger Morse, who served on the first SES Board of Directors, continued to champion the solar cause in Australia, connecting the ANZ Branch with international developments, and acting as a catalyst for solar energy research and development. At the 1966 meeting of the SES Board, Morse reported that there was considerable research activity underway in Australia and New Zealand, mostly in thermal processes; also that the government might provide some funding to support a SES conference in Australia.23 This news was welcomed by the financially-beleaguered society, and the possibility was pursued by a steering committee of the ANZ Branch. In a message to the Branch in 1964, Farrington Daniels noted that the solar energy field faced considerable competition with fossil fuels, ‘but the social needs for more energy are so great, and the distribution of fossil fuels so uneven, that is is important to develop devices for using the sun’s energy directly.’24 Australia and New Zealand were, he continued, in a particularly favourable position to lead this task ‘because they have excellent solar radiation and limited supplies of fossil fuels. They have a high order of advanced science and technology, together with engineering experience and capital, which can be used for building large units’.25 However, developments in Australia meant that it was increasingly difficult for solar to compete with fossil fuels. By the mid-1960s, the Victorians had resolved their dependence on unreliable sources of black coal in NSW by developing their vast deposits of low-grade brown coal.26 In WA, coal of an acceptable standard was available at Collie. The Brand Liberal government elected in 1959 had restructured the industry, breaking the grip of a coal cartel and the power of coal unions, considerably reducing the cost of coal in the process.27 However, coal soon had competition: oil was discovered at Barrow Island 20

R.N. Morse, ‘Preface’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.3, 1964, p.1. ibid. 22 Duffie & Tabor, p.32. 23 Duffie & Tabor, p.33. 24 Farrington Daniels, ‘A Message from the Prsident of the Solar Energy Society, Professor Farrington Daniels’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.3, 1964, p.3. 25 ibid. 26 Blainey, p.132 27 Leigh Edmonds, Cathedrals of Power: A short history of the power-generating infrastructure in Western Australia 1912-1999, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, 2000, p.58. 21


in 1964 and even before the field was declared commercial in 1966, the cost of oil was such that the government declared its intention to build an oil-fired power station.28 The discovery of large oil deposits in Bass Strait by a BHP/Esso partnership in 1967 gave rise to predictions that Australia would soon eliminate its dependence on imported oil.29 In NSW and Tasmania, power from hydroelectric schemes was coming on line. South Australians, lacking either coal or oil, seriously considered building a nuclear power station on Torrens Island, though the discovery of the Moomba gas field in 1966 provided the prospect of a more conventional local energy source.30 Although the immediate energy requirements in most states were being met through fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, or a combination of both, a modest network of scientists, engineers and bureaucrats maintained an interest in solar energy as a prudent and potentially economical alternative to fossil fuels for particular applications. In this context, the ANZ Branch of SES maintained a low-key but fruitful existence throughout most of the sixties, with a membership numbering 100 in 1965. Roger Morse and the team at CSIRO continued to be a hub of solar research activity in Australia, and when Charles Kettleborough left Australia for Texas A&M University, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand was published out of the CSIRO Division of Mechanical Engineering in the Melbourne suburb of Highett, with R.V. Dunkle as editor. In 1966, Morse declared that ‘Anyone who is in a position to compare the solar energy developments in Australia and New Zealand in the last few years with those of other countries will be impressed by the progress made here. No other country can match the Australian effort on a per capita basis, and very few can beat it in absolute size.’31 By that time, the solar water heating industry was worth $1 million per annum, and the world’s largest solar still was being built at Coober Pedy, to convert saline bore water to fresh water for the town’s residents. The still was based on a prototype which the CSIRO Division of Mechanical Engineering had been operating successfully at Muresk Agricutural College in WA since 1964, under the guidance of Wal Read.32 A comfort heating and cooling system combining solar air heaters and evaporative cooling with rock pile thermal storage was installed at the offices and laboratories of the CSIRO Division of Mechanical Engineering in October 1964, and by 1966 it was reported to be providing satisfactory cooling performance.33 The 1966 edition of Solar Energy Progress also reported for the first time on industry-based research and development, with Ron Brown of the WA-based S.W. Hart & Co describing the development of solar water heaters suitable for use in equatorial regions, and the installation of a commercial forced circulation unit at Exmouth in the north-west of WA.34 Another WA pioneer, Clarry Small, reported on the principles underpinning design and installation at Small’s Sola Heeta Company.35 There were many others during this period throughout the country who were active innovators in solar water heating and solar housing. Some scientists with commitment to solar energy, such as Bill Charters, began emerging as world leaders and educators in their fields, making significant national and international contributions. They helped to establish the Society firmly, continuing the mandate and vision set for the Society in America in the 1950s. 28

ibid, p.65. Wilkinson, A Thirst for Burning: The Story of Australia’s Oil Industry, David Ell Press, Sydney, 1983, p.45. 30 Blainey, p.134; Wilkinson, p.32. 31 R.N. Morse, ‘Foreword, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.5, 1966, p.1. 32 ‘Survey of solar energy research and manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.5, 1966, pp.9-10, 12. 33 ibid., pp.12-13. 34 ibid., pp.23-28. Brown would soon start up his own Solar HWS company, Sola-ray appliances. 35 ibid., pp.28-29. 29


Some Australian Solar Pioneers, photographed in the late 1970’s L to R: Wal Read, Bill Charters, Jack Duffie, and Roger Morse at the CSIRO Division of Mechanical Engineering, Highett, Victoria

By 1968, as some of its debts were waived by creditors, and action was taken to reduce the costs of its journal, the financial position of SES was improving, though amidst their financial difficulties the journal had not been distributed for two years, and membership had declined. Morse had become Vice President in 1967 and in 1969 he assumed the Presidency. It was during Morse’s tenure as President of SES that its Melbourne conference—the first outside of the USA—was held. The Australian organisers of the conference had secured funding from the Commonwealth and State Governments and the Commonwealth Foundation in London, which enabled them to subsidise the travel costs of scientists from developing countries. In all there were 152 participants including 72 from overseas. They were accompanied by 37 ladies, who experienced a programme of social events and tours arranged by women of the ANZ Section (as it was then known).36 A total of 83 papers were accepted, pre-printed and presented. The conference included a visit to CSIRO’s Highett Laboratory, and there were post-conference tours to the CSIRO field station at Griffith, and to the solar still at Coober Pedy. Frank Hogg, then Chairman of the ANZ Section, reported that ‘the Conference was the best thing that has happened to the Section since its formation and has provided it with a major stimulus.’37 Meetings of the SES Board of Directors were held in Melbourne during the conference and there it was decided that the headquarters of the Society should be relocated to Melbourne. This shift appears to have been dictated, at least in part, by the need to reduce operating costs, and the level of support available in Australia. The new SES headquarters began operating on 1st July 1970, sharing a joint office and secretarial staff with the Australian Institutes of Physics and of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, at the National Science Centre in Parkville.38 The ANZ Section continued to operate independently out of the CSIRO lab at Highett, while a new USA Section was established with headquarters in Washington D.C.. With the transfer of headquarters to Australia and the formation of four national and regional Sections, the SES had become a truly international body. In 1971, its name was changed to the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) to reflect this fact. In that year Frank Hogg, now Secretary-Treasurer of ISES, reported that the fall in


‘1970 International Solar Energy Society Conference’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.9, 1970, p.7. 37 F.H. Hogg, ‘Foreword’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.9, 1970, p.1. 38 F.H. Hogg, ‘Notes on the International Solar Energy Society, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.10, 1971, p.9.


membership had been reversed, and the financial position was more stable, with a small surplus being returned in 1970.39 During this era ISES owed a great debt to the honorary services of George Löf (USA), William Klein (USA, President after Roger Morse), Peter Glaser (USA, Editor of Solar Energy), and Frank Hogg himself. In the early 1970’s, prominent American solar engineer John Yellot noted that ISES couldn’t have survived without their work, and that of numerous dedicated officers and staff who were often working for little or no remuneration. The fortunes of ISES and its Sections also perhaps owed a debt to the rise of the new environment movement as a social and political force worldwide. The modern movement had its roots in the postwar context of an increase in population and consumption, and expansion in resource exploitation with its associated environmental impacts. These were viewed critically by an increasingly educated public with unprecedented access to images of environmental despoilation through the new media of television. Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, a bestseller that critiqued the use and effects of organochlorine pesticides, popularised the word and concept of ‘ecosystem’, and in 1969, the first photographs of earth from the moon changed perceptions of the planet to something unique, beautiful and vulnerable. In Australia, some of the earliest stirrings of the new environmentalism were felt in the campaign against oil exploration on the Great Barrier Reef, commencing in 1967; images of the Torrey Canyon oil tanker and Santa Barbara oil rig disasters, with oilcovered beaches and dying wildlife, increased the antipathy to oil among some sections of the public. Some environmentalists also began to advocate for ‘clean’ or less polluting energy sources. Frank Hogg noted in 1971 that ‘the world-wide interest in pollution has focussed attention on solar energy as one of the few forms of energy that do not pollute the environment, and has thereby aroused renewed interest in the subject and in the Society itself.’40 At the same time, Roger Morse noticed that there was a split emerging in attitudes toward the future of solar energy, being valued in industrialised nations as a means by which to avoid pollution, even if the cost might be high, while developing nations hoped it might provide a cheap source of energy to assist economic development.41 1973 – 1980 Energy Crisis The ANZ Section continued steady membership growth in the early 1970’s but global events in 1973 changed everything. In October of that year, Egypt and Syria launched an attack on Israeli troops in the Sinai and Golan Heights, initiating the Yom Kippur war. When the USA provided the Israeli forces with weapons and supplies (the Arab nations were resupplied by the USSR), the Arab members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised the price of their oil, began to incrementally reduce production, and declared an oil embargo on the USA which was later extended to other nations. As a result, the global price of oil quadrupled, throwing the western world into panic. Governments around the world implemented policies to conserve energy, with rationing, education campaigns, and bans on specific energy uses, from Christmas lights to Sunday driving. In this context, there was considerable public and government support for developing alternative energy sources, including solar energy. Australian scientists were aware of this growing realization and research was given a boost by the perceived pressing need at the time.


ibid., p.10. ibid. 41 R.N. Morse, ‘The International Solar Energy Society’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.10, 1971, p.8. 40


With solar energy well and truly on the public agenda, the ISES World Congresses held following the 1973-74 oil crisis attracted considerable interest and were wellattended by scientists, engineers and government people from all over the world. ANZ Section president Charles Sapsford reported in mid-1975 that the membership of the Section had increased from 260 to 420 over the past year.42 Interest in ISES increased sharply, and the international membership rose to around 8000, with 764 members in Australia and New Zealand, by the end of 1978.43 In 1974 a USA/Australia Solar Energy Research Cooperation Agreement was signed by Prof. F H Morse and Roger Morse; another indicator of Australia’s status in the field of solar energy research. The largest area for solar research and development in Australia was in solar water heating. As with Roger Morse, many of the industry pioneers (particularly in Western Australia) were involved in this area.44 Scientific interest was always focused on photovoltaic electricity, solar thermal, and wind power forms of power generation, but efforts and advancements at this time were largely confined to university laboratories, with the exception of wind, where many small 32 volt wind generators were sold in Australia and overseas for use in remote areas. However the mainstream activity in the application of solar energy during this era was the development and use of solar water heaters. Solar water heater testing at the State Energy Commission of Western Australia’s East Perth Gas Depot. The original CSIRO patents for solar water heaters were taken up by some solar energy pioneers who had come from the plumbing trade and industrial hot water engineering disciplines.45 Two notable people from Western Australia, Ron Brown and Clarry Small led the way, with Brown developing the first low pressure thermosiphon unit in Australia, and Small concentrating on a separated tank/collector system made out of copper alloys. Brown was a key figure and enthusiast in the early days of the establishment of ISES in Australia. He was an original member of the WA branch set up by Professor David Allen-Williams and was a committee member until the late 1980’s when his health declined. Small, a friendly competitor with Ron Brown’s Sola-ray company, is remembered as a well respected plumber and innovator. He became a revered personality in the ANZ Section of ISES. Along with the units developed and sold by E. L. Beasley’s Beasley Industries in South Australia, Small’s ‘Sola-Heeta’ developed credibility for solar water heaters in Australia, 42

C.M. Sapsford, ‘Foreword’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.14, July 1975, p.1. 43 Solar Progress, vol.1, no.1, Jan 1980, p.17. 44 ‘The Australian Patent Office reports that for the period 1920 to 1981, applications, by country of origin, in the solar thermal energy field were Australia 201, USA 199 and all other countries 319. Of the 201 Australian applications, 17 were lodged by CSIRO and 14 by universities or State instrumentalities, but the overwhelming majority were by companies or individuals.’ Roger N. Morse et al, ‘Energy’, in Fellows of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (eds), Technology in Australia 1788-1988, the Academy, Melbourne, 1988, online edition 45 Ron Brown, pers. comm. to Garry Baverstock, 1980.


helping to place Australia as one of the major manufacturers of solar water heaters in the world. The generosity of spirit and willingness to share information and expertise helped set up Western Australia to lead the way and allow larger corporate entities such as Solahart to develop the business opportunity. Their continued dominance in the Australasian and South-East Asian region was undoubtedly due to the solid control of product quality by award winning engineer, John Riley, who was Research Director of Solahart during this exciting period. At this time, there was a phenomenal expansion in the production of solar collectors in Australia, from 7000 m2 in 1973/74, to 63 000 m2 in 1977/78, and significant export markets were established.46

Solar Thermal Experimentation for regional power supply - A power plant purchased from MAN in Germany and installed in 1981-82 at Meekatharra, WA, by SECWA. (Photos courtesy Energy World WA) The mid to late 1970’s was a particularly active period for solar research and development in Western Australia, not least in solar water heating. A Western Australian ‘State Committee’ of the ANZ Section was active by 1975;47 in 1978-79 they were holding monthly meetings, and made a successful bid to hold the ISES international conference in 1983. The strength and potential of solar energy research in WA led Sir Charles Court’s coalition government in 1977 to establish the Solar Energy Research Institute of Western Australia (SERIWA), modelled on the American initiative, SERI. It was responsible for encouraging, undertaking and evaluating solar energy research projects, as well as maintaining a library of relevant publications, and promoting public awareness of solar energy. SERIWA scientists including Trevor Pryor and Wal James worked with other scientists and innovators at the universities and in industry. David Langridge and Professor Paul McCormick of the University of Western Australia were developing parabolic tracking collectors to produce medium temperature hot water for industrial purposes including solar air conditioning. Steven Phillips under the supervision of Professor Phil Jennings at Murdoch University was investigating PV 46

W.R. Read, ‘Solar Energy for Industrial Applications’ [online]. In: Institution of Engineers, Australia. Conference (1979 : Perth, W.A.), Energy Australia 1979: Diamond Jubilee 1919 – 1979, Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, 1979, p.123. 47 Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no. 14, July 1975, p.10.


systems while Wal James was active in the field of heat pipes and John Riley was working at Solahart on flat plate collectors for mains pressure solar water heaters. The State Energy Commission had a particular interest in remote area power generation, as the oil crisis had made their numerous regional diesel power stations comparatively expensive to run. Their project RAPSI (Remote Area Power Supply Investigation), managed by Tom Crawford and partly funded by SERIWA, had a strong solar component, including the installation of an 83kW solar thermal power plant at Meekatharra.48 David Mills with his solar cooker. Background: an array of evacuated tube collectors Mills had been working on since the late 1970’s.

The early evacuated tube collectors Wes Stein (left), Ian Onley (centre) and David Mills (right) Important solar research and applications were also being pursued in the other states and territories in this period, which saw the formation of many state and territory branches of the ANZ Section. In Victoria, a Solar Energy Research Committee was established in 1977 to publicise solar energy among the public and industry and support research, development and demonstration projects; by 1980 it was supporting four solar thermal projects.49 In NSW the Solar Energy Centre was established in the Rocks area in Sydney; in its first week it had almost 2000 visitors.50 The Centre was also responsible for coordinating state funding for solar energy research; supported projects included the innovative research into evacuated tube solar collectors for high temperature applications for industry and power generation, being undertaken by David Mills and others at the University of Sydney. In the same city, Martin Green at UNSW was beginning to make advances in the field of photovoltaic efficiency and the development of viable power systems, while Professor Steven Kaneff and his colleagues were conducting research into dish collectors in the ACT. At CSIRO in Melbourne Wal Read, who had worked on the early solar still projects at Muresk and Coober Pedy, was heavily involved in two early industrial process solar demonstration projects: one in Queanbeyan, in which solar energy was used to prewarm cans of soft drink prior to packaging (to prevent condensation); the other at a South Australian brewery, where solar energy was used to supply some of the heat to 48

SECWA, Annual Report 1979, p.13. Solar Progress, vol.1, no.1 Jan 1980, p.11. In 1980 it would become the $1 million Victorian Solar Energy Council, with Bill Charters as Chair: Solar Progress, vol.1, no.4, October 1980, p.4. 50 Solar Progress, vol.1, no.1 Jan 1980, pp.11-12. 49


one of the pasteurizers.51 Read, who became President of the ANZ Section of ISES in 1976, was an integral part of the history of solar energy development in Australia, leading the solar research team at CSIRO after Roger Morse’s retirement. Read also played a key role at the international level, as president of ISES from 1983-85, and Secretary-Treasurer from 1985-1995. Another key player in the evolution and management of the ANZ Section and the international organisation was Bill Charters, who in the late 70s was continuing his solar thermal research and development in tandem with the CSIRO. Charters’ international orientation started early: born in China to Scottish parents, he was educated in Australia, UK and the USA.52 He started working as an academic engineer in 1962 at the University of the West Indies. Following his arrival in Australia in 1965, he joined SES and became involved in the preparation for and aftermath of the 1970 Melbourne congress. He served as Vice-President of ISES 1977-79, and as President 1979-81; a reflection of the high regard in which the international community held him. His term as ISES President complete, Charters became Chairman of ANZSES in 1982. His contribution to the scientific progress of solar energy and the administration of ANZSES was invaluable, his influence continuing over many decades. He was also a very active scientist in the early days, working with internationally recognized scientists like Felix Trombe, and delivering many papers at ISES conferences. Wal Read in the late 1990’s (photo courtesy the Read family)

Professor Bill Charters, Melbourne University 19651997 The Commonwealth Government also recognised the need to pursue renewable energy possibilities and in 1978 established the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Council (NERDDC) to coordinate energy research and make funding recommendations to the Minister for National Development. In 1979, the investigation of renewable technologies was given another boost by a second oil crisis, when prices doubled as a result of events surrounding the Iranian revolution and subsequent Iran-Iraq war, and more price rises were predicted. By 1980, the University of Queensland had established a Solar Energy Research 51

B.W. Doughty and W.R. Read, ‘Solar Heat Generation for Beer Pasterurising Machine’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.17, July 1978, pp.14-15; W.R. Read, ‘Solar Engineering Unit’, Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no. 18, July 1979, p.17. 52 ‘Meet your committee’, Solar Progress, vol.1, no.2, April 1980, p.18.


Centre, and the South Australian Government had committed to establishing an Energy Information Centre.53 Membership of ISES peaked at 8854 in December 1979; the ANZ Section had approximately 800 members by 1980.54 At this time, solar water pumping and remote area power systems were nearing commercialisation. It was also becoming clear that solar housing and energy efficiency could be an economically-viable focus for government funding and public attention, and these areas began to attract more interest within the ANZ Section. In particular, a group of committed solar architects who became involved in the Section started to influence the building industry and their fellow architects, who at the time were largely unaware of what could be achieved in the built environment through creative climatic design. This work eventually led to building industry changes as manufacturers began to develop improved insulation, glazing, ventilation systems, solar control pergolas and shade devices, integrated roofing systems, more economic systems providing thermal mass walls and floors (both in-situ or precast) and low energy air-conditioning systems. At this time John Ballinger of UNSW was leading the research into the thermal efficiency of housing. He joined the society in 1976, having been introduced to the organisation by Charles Sapsford, President of the ANZ Branch from 1974-76. Ballinger was to become a significant force in the development of passive solar design and planning of the built environment in Australia, as well as an effective advocate for solar research and development through his work with the ANZ Section of ISES.

John Ballinger, Solar Housing Pioneer, in 2003. In Western Australia there were concurrent developments in the area with the work of Dr Bob Lawrance and Peter Little of Curtin University leading to early examples of solar houses in Australia. The most significant was the Solar Q 1 house at Greenmount, WA which was on display to the public in 1978. This house featured a day-night heating and cooling system using hot and cold air collected in roof panels with heat and ‘coolth’ storage rock beds for comfort. It was the first example in Australia of wall insulation in cavity brick construction. An energy monitor was also incorporated into the home. Of significance was the method used to monitor heat flows through construction materials, and temperature heat exchange down to a depth of 3 metres for ground temperature effects. The project brought together research, the building industry and product manufacturers. More importantly it brought together Clarry Small and Ron Brown, and united many ANZ Section members in WA.

53 54

Solar Progress, vol.1, no.4, October 1980, p.4 Duffie & Tabor, p.60; Solar Progress, vol.2, no.1, Jan 1981, p.17.


The Solar Q1 House under construction at Greenmount, WA, 1976-78 Eventually the research work of the early pioneers flowed through to influence solar architects such as Garry Baverstock in WA, Gareth Cole and David Baggs in NSW, John Held in South Australia, Geoff Barker in the NT, Trevor Lee in the ACT, Richard Sale in Qld, and David Oppenheim in Victoria. Through the ANZ Section, they formed a fraternity that was to last for the next 30 years. One of the pioneers of solar housing in the ANZ Branch of AFASE, Norman Sheridan, introduced Dr Steve Szokolay to the ANZ Section. Queensland-based Szokolay became a prolific researcher and producer of design data for architects in Australia during the 1970’s through to the 1990’s, and was also one of the first to teach solar architecture at university level, offering a semester-long elective course in ‘solar energy and building’ at the University of Queensland in 1975.55 Most architects of this era would have a number of Szokolay’s books and manuals on their library shelves. The ANZ Solar Home Book by Szokolay and Ric Sale, published in 1979, was highly influential, inspiring young solar architects throughout the country. Szokolay would also play a leadership role in the ANZ Section, particularly as President from 1978-80. During this time, he replaced the annual publication Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand with the quarterly journal Solar Progress, of which he was founding editor. He remained editor until the end of 1983. Szokolay built a solar air conditioned solar house in 1978 (at Mt Cotton) and John Ballinger built the Solarch Mk.1 solar house at Fowler’s Gap (north of Broken Hill) in the same year and the Bonnyrigg (Western Sydney) solar village in 1981. The knowledge derived from these projects was invaluable to all the emerging solar architects in Australasia.

Dr Steve Szokolay, prolific scientific and ANZSES contributor. Pictured at the 2001 Solar World Congress, Adelaide


Solar Energy Progress in Australia and New Zealand, no.16, July 1977, p.35.


The Buildings Group of architects was well supported by scientific colleagues in each state. Dr Bob Lawrance, a physicist specializing in solar energy, became a driving force in WA and an invaluable mentor to solar architect Garry Baverstock, as did John Ballinger and John Barker in WA. As well as Szokolay, Angelo Delsante provided scientific support to the architects on the eastern seaboard. Early solar designed houses began in Western Australia with Peter Little and Bob Lawrance designing about 30 homes between 1976 to 1981. Their expertise was combined with Garry Baverstock’s firm, Tectprojects, in 1982. At this time Gareth Cole in NSW was leading the way in the practice of solar design principles. His work included numerous publications and seminars, in addition to the design and construction of many solar houses throughout NSW. Together with David Baggs, he was an inspiration to many other architects in that state. Terry Williamson’s team assisted architects in South Australia, as did Michael Leach in Tasmania. Bob Sutton was active in Tasmania, and in 1979 put forward a proposal for construction of two solar houses in Hobart. The idea was taken up by the State Department of Housing and Construction (DHC), which with a grant from NERDDC proceeded to build the houses, both with Trombe walls; they were opened in June 1980. As a result of this project, key DHC staff, including Rob McGregor, Detlev Gnauck (now Geard) and Kerry Watson developed an interest in solar housing, and along with their friends and colleagues were instrumental in establishing the Tasmanian Branch of the ANZ Section in 1983. Solar architecture was likewise the stimulus for the formation of the NT Branch in 1979: after Cyclone Tracy devastated the city on Christmas Eve 1974, there was a push for energy autonomy in the reconstruction of Darwin. This was supported by Szokolay, who set his students the task of designing a ‘solar village’ for Darwin – a project taken up as a private initiative at Humpty Doo in 1978. Debates over solar air conditioning also brought the local ISES-ANZ Section members together. One of the NT Branch’s first projects was a solar energy seminar organised with the Environment Centre of the Northern Territory, which was attended by over 200 people. It included an exhibition area, where the Branch had a fundraising stall selling ‘solar tea and coffee’ made with Trevor Lee’s solar boiler. Although there was plenty of interest in the boiler, little money was made, as nobody wanted to buy a hot drink in the middle of the day. Trevor Lee, inaugural President of the Northern Territory Branch, dispensing tea and coffee from his linearconcentrating solar boiler. Darwin in 1979. A number of dedicated New Zealanders had been involved in the ANZ section since its inception, but in 1979, following the Fourth N.Z. Energy Conference held in Auckland, a local group called ‘Solar Action’ was formed with Dr Robert Raine as Chair.56 It would remain the New Zealand branch of ANZSES until 2007. On a global scale, Australians were making a large impact at the International level. Apart from the contributions of John Ballinger and Steve Szokolay and Bill Charters many others were making a mark in the diverse applications of solar energy. These people were to ‘carry the baton’ from the Australian originators of ISES and ANZSES. The first 26 years placed Australians and New Zealanders in a 56

Solar Progress, vol.1, no.1, Jan 1980, p.18. The treasurer was Graeme Jessup, and publicity was provided by Nigel Isaacs. Newsletter editors were Karel Lieffering and Craig Blackwood.


prominent position as researchers, developers, administrators and entrepreneurs to drive the development of solar energy as a more mainstream energy source for the future. How was this opportunity to be brought to fruition? The building blocks set in place by the early pioneers opened the scope for the development and applications of solar energy. The emergence of solar housing as a scientific endeavour was gaining momentum with a wave of enthusiasm sweeping the country as a new generation of architects and engineers took concepts from the early adopters stage to the broader market place. The early solar water heater innovators had inspired a new breed of engineers who took great interest in higher temperature solar thermal applications. Photovoltaic systems were consider an important focus for research as the cost of the systems was still two to three times more expensive than conventional energy generation for remote areas. Through the selfless efforts of many dedicated scientists and professionals, the impact of the ANZ Section on the progress of solar energy of Australia and New Zealand was set to grow. In his Solar Progress editorial of October 1980, Steve Szokolay noted that the society was ‘originally a grouping of top scientists and research workers’, but that some members now wanted to see it become a popular movement.57 Szokolay felt it could be both, and this intent was reflected in the form and content of Solar Progress, which contained information on solar energy research accessible to lay enthusiasts, as well as notes on ISES and the ANZ Section. This period saw a response to information dissemination about solar housing, which was seen as immediately applicable. The general public in Australia and the media showed great interest, as energy became topical. ISES and ANZSES were developing rapidly and it was not uncommon to have rooms full of visitors and members at monthly technical talks around the country. It was an exciting era where architects and enthusiasts among the general public joined the scientific community and key industry leaders in advocating the development and application of solar energy in all fields. Many industrial and environmental groups owed their origins and successes to the ANZ Section Branches across Australia and New Zealand. 1981 – 1987 Entrepreneurial Solutions At the beginning of the 1980s, solar energy was riding high on a wave of enthusiasm generated by oil wars and consequent high prices, as well as a broadening concern over the state of the environment. In his Solar Progress guest editorial of January 1981, Dr Ugur Ortabasi (newly-appointed director of the Solar Energy Research Centre at the University of Queensland) said: ‘The ongoing war in the Middle East must have a profound impact on our understanding of the perils that are associated with oil and the world’s futile dependence on it’. Meanwhile in Tasmania, one of the most significant environmental campaigns in Australian history was being waged, over the construction of a dam on the Gordon River in southwestern Tasmania. The strength of environmentalist sentiment in Australia was reflected in the election of Bob Hawke’s Labor government in 1983 on a policy platform that included opposition to the dam. The Tasmanian branch of the ANZ Section was caught up in the dam debate, as anyone advocating energy alternatives in Tasmania was seen by the establishment as anti-development, even though they were encouraging sensible use of solar energy grounded in strong economic arguments. In the wake of the ‘no dams’ and other high-profile conservation campaigns, and in light of international developments, by the mid-1980s the environment had become a mainstream issue that crossed class and political boundaries. Whereas concern had 57

S. Szokolay, ‘Editorial’, Solar Progress, vol.1, no.4, October 1980, p.3.


previously been focused on direct threats to nature, the public interest began to extend to issues such as pollution and recycling. Environmental organisations became professionalised, and governments took on greater responsibility for environmental protection by establishing new departments and agencies. As the ANZ Section and local branches increasingly moved within the orbit of environmental politics, its members and office-bearers spent more time and energy lobbying government for change. In 1981, a branch formed in the ACT to oppose the ACT Energy Authority’s unfair requirement for solar water heaters to use off-peak electricity only for boosting (which increased the expense of retro-fitting the systems). After a protracted confrontation, the ACT branch emerged victorious when the Federal Minister for Territories, Michael Hodgeman, overturned the off-peak requirement. The South Australian branch was also very active politically in the early 1980s, making submissions to important government inquiries into energy. In 1983, the 7th biennial international ISES conference was held in Perth. Co-hosted by SERIWA and ISES, this ‘Solar World Congress’ attracted over 1100 participants from 61 countries. The programme included some 500 technical papers, 180 posters, and social events. Visitors toured the new SERIWA research centre and the SECWA solar test site at Ballajura. Additional tours visited local demonstration projects: the solar air conditioning system at National Iron and Steel; Waldecks’ solar-heated nursery; Rottnest Island wind turbines; and the Meekatharra solar thermal power station.58 The associated ‘International Solar Energy Exhibition’ attracted more than 10 000 visitors to ‘a collage of PVs, flat plate collectors and concentrators in an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Outside, exhibits were busy pumping water and powering television sets, while indoor exhibitors demonstrated their products to a consistently enthusiastic crowd’.59 The Congress showcased the prolific innovations in solar energy, and its success was a barometer of the global interest in solar energy systems at the time. But as the price of oil fell from its 1980 peak, and the memory of the oil crises receded, times became harder for solar energy developers and advocates. Even prior to the Solar World Congress, Steve Szokolay noted that solar energy was not so high on the public agenda, and newsagent sales of Solar Progress had declined.60 However, work continued among ANZ Section members, and significant gains were made. A ‘solar buildings group’ was formed in 1985; by 1987 it was operating as the highly successful Buildings Special Interest Group (SIG) of the ANZ Section. The Group brought a cooperative team together with a common goal of changing the public interest in solar and energy efficient architecture and establishing a credible base for development of the architectural profession. In this era, the efforts of the Buildings SIG architects began to have a telling effect on the housing industry, and played an important role in maintaining public interest in solar technologies. They were also successful in influencing a group of innovative architects in each state. ANZ Section conferences (See Appendix B) often provided the inducement for the SIG to discuss strategy and share knowledge. In NSW Gareth Cole was supported by David Baggs, Mahalath Halperin and others, who spread the notion of the benefits of solar housing throughout the regional as well as urban areas of the state. In WA Garry Baverstock enlisted the support of Zdenka Underwood, Peter Jones, Rob Shand and others to spread the idea to the public and within the architectural profession. Ric Sale and David Oppenheim were undertaking similar educational efforts in Queensland and Victoria respectively. Both these architects also became active in lecturing at universities during this era. After he 58

Tervor Berrill and Peter Sries, ‘Solar World Congress, Perth’, Solar Progress, vol.4, no.4, Oct 1983, p.8. 59 Ibid. Visitor numbers from ‘Solar Energy Exhibition, Perth’, Solar Progress, vol.4, no.4, Oct 1983, p.11. 60 S. Szokolay, ‘Editorial’, Solar Progress, vol.4, no.1, Jan 1983, p.3.


arrived in the ACT from the Northern Territory, pioneering solar architect Trevor Lee influenced others such as Peter Overton. In South Australia the early efforts of John Held and colleagues inspired architects like John Maitland to be committed to the cause and produce numerous successful demonstrations of solar houses over the next two decades.

Early solar houses in Australia: Architects Trevor Lee ACT, (top Left), Gareth Cole NSW (top Right) Garry Baverstock WA (bottom left), David Oppenheim Vic (bottom right) Some enthusiasm also remained for industrial uses of solar thermal systems and their potential to run solar air-conditioning systems in commercial buildings. The 1980s would see a number of demonstration projects all over Australia. John McNab in South Australia, for example, combined the knowledge he gained as a major manufacturer and supplier of Cooling towers for central air conditioned commercial buildings, with research conducted by Don Pescod at CSIRO, to develop an indirect evaporative cooling systems commercialised as ‘Dricon’ in the mid-1980s. His practical genius resulted in the development of a workable, highly efficient component of a low energy air conditioning system for small commercial/institutional buildings.


The use of evacuated tube collectors was also a focus at this time. Research into this technology began in the late 1970s and was boosted when David Mills joined the team working in this area at the University of Sydney. It led to some early applications such as the Campbelltown Hospital (NSW) array which could produce 200 °C steam from panel arrays or in conjunction with parabolic dish reflectors (seasonally adjusted). Commenced in 1987, the system was commissioned the following year.

Solar Thermal System at Campbelltown Hospital NSW (photo courtesy of David Mills) Meanwhile, activity at local branch level continued apace. In 1983 the Tasmanian branch was busy setting up displays in shopping centers, and preparing a slide kit of solar houses for use in schools. Solar house open days were a popular activity among local branches, being run consistently in the ACT since 1983, and Tasmania since 1984. Both the South Australian and Northern Territory branches were involved in the World Solar Challenge solar car race, in which 23 solar-powered cars from around the world raced from Darwin to Adelaide in late 1987. In New Zealand, by the second AGM of Solar Action in December 1981, membership had grown to 149, and one or two meetings were being held each month. Through the 1980s the organisation continued to diversify, branching out from its Auckland base, and speaking to a range of renewable energy interests. Regular ‘I’ve done it’ newsletter features and talks saw members exchange their experiences with solar and other renewable energy technologies. Graham Stevens and Graeme Robertson, both solar architects, were stalwarts of the organisation in New Zealand in the early and late 1980s respectively. During reforms undertaken in mid-1986, the ANZ Section of ISES became incorporated under a new name, ANZSES, and all states became branches of the Australasian body. The electoral system was streamlined and the organization grew in maturity and professionalism. During this period, Joan Hamilton was the administrator of ANZ Section activities. She gave great service to the Society and her administrative support was highly valued by all office bearers and overseas colleagues.


Oil prices had been falling since 1980, but in 1986, in response to increased production and lower demand, the world price of oil more than halved, reducing the economic competitiveness of solar solutions. WA had been a leader in solar research, but in 1977 the government had committed to buy natural gas from the North West Shelf on a ‘take or pay’ basis,61 and when gas pipeline to Perth was completed in 1984, the Burke Labor government increasingly saw the state’s energy future in the petroleum resources of the north-west. SERIWA was reviewed, and closed in 1986. Its fate was emblematic of the tide that was turning against renewable energy.62 Then came the stock market crash of October 1987. As investors retreated, many innovators were left stranded economically; their access to capital would be affected well into the 1990s. Membership of ISES and the ANZ Section also fell, to 4200 and 450 respectively at the end of 1985.63 This was a difficult time for many, but members regrouped and sought new ways to further the solar cause. In Western Australia, for example, a private consortium underwrote a new Solar Energy Information Centre. Designed and built by Garry Baverstock, it opened in 1989.64 The building was the first to win an Australian Design Award in 1990; then, based on validated energy performance, it won the 1993 National Energy Award. The building integrated state of the art solar energy innovations that are still having impacts on the architectural design of energy efficient buildings to this day.65 More broadly, research, advocacy and education activities continued as the ebb tide for solar energy started to turn, drawn by scientific and political developments at a global level. Solar Enery Information Centre, Perth. Winner of a 1990 Australian Design Award, and 1993 National Energy Award. 1988 – 1996 The Greenhouse Mandate In 1983 the General Assembly of the United Nations established the World Commission on Environment and Development. Its report, published as Our Common Future in 1987, put sustainable development firmly on the international agenda.66 The Commonwealth Government subsequently commenced work on a strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, which was ultimately endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in 1992. The ESD strategy set out challenges, strategic approaches and objectives in relation to a wide spectrum of environmental 61

Edmonds, p.95. Other casualties included the Solar Energy Research Centre at the University of Queensland, which was closed at the end of 1987: Solar Progress, vol.8, no.3, Sept 1987, p.23. 63 Solar Progress, vol.5 no 4 Dec 1984 p.26; Solar Progress, vol.7 no.3 June 1986, p.24. 64 For more information on this initiative see: 65 A complete history and case study of this project is available at: 66 World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987. It defined sustainable development as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ 62


issues. It was ambitious in scope, but its objectives were modest; ultimately its implementation was very patchy across sectors and states. Renewable energy formed part of the sustainable development agenda, but its potential importance was dramatically increased by a series of events in the 1980s. As David Mills commented in a 1986 guest editorial for Solar Progress, It is important to realise that we can no longer afford to speak about long term implementation: we have just passed through a year in which we have witnessed the appearance of a hole in the Ozone Layer, a calamity at Chernobyl, and the emergence of widespread agreement about atmospheric warming due to excess CO2.67 Doubts about nuclear energy, but even more so, an emerging global focus on the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ was about to shift the rationale for adopting solar energy, although the changing political fortune of environmental issues in Australia meant that consistent support was far from assured. The possibility of a ‘greenhouse effect’ caused by humans burning fossil fuels was first raised by a Swedish scientist in 1896, but it wasn’t until 1960 that scientists were able to show that levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were indeed rising. Subsequent research revealed our relative lack of knowledge of global climate systems, but gradually more researchers agreed that human emissions of CO2 and other ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere were very likely to lead to climate change.68 From the late 1980s, concerns about air pollution, health, preservation of the natural environment and wildlife gave way to global environmental concerns about the effects of global warming and climate change due to the greenhouse effect: suddenly oil prices and pollution as such (although considered important problems) became insignificant compared with the looming threat to human settlement and life on earth as we had known it for thousands of years. This issue of climate change became a driver of ISES and ANZSES initiatives for the next decade, and will arguably remain so for decades to come. Membership of ISES began to increase slowly from 1988 after being weakened by the dissipation of the oil crisis issue, low fossil fuel prices, and attempts to discredit the vision for solar energy emanating from the fossil fuel sector. Many advances occurred through ANZSES members, in areas such as energy conservation, recycling, waste management, water harvesting, and ecologically sustainable development. As all these areas began to be investigated, embryonic private enterprises sprang up. Interest was renewed at all levels of governments as the media and the public became aware of the seriousness of environmental problems for the planet. Rural solar applications became a viable business and solar housing flourished around the country, as more home-builders committed themselves to action. A new breed of younger people replaced the baby boomers on ANZSES Committees around the country, though the existence of many separate industry groups and government advisory bodies tended to detract from the positioning of ANZSES as the peak organisation disseminating knowledge and furthering the cause of renewable energy. One of those organisations, the Australian Wind Energy Association (AusWEA) amalgamated with ANZSES in 1988, at a time when wind energy


David Mills, ‘Guest Editorial’, Solar Progress, vol.7, no.4, Sept 1986, p.21. Spencer Weart, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’, American Institute of Physics, [online],



technology was moving from demonstration to commercial implementation.69 Although the proliferation of other specialised bodies continued to fragment the potential membership, ANZSES Australasian Conferences and ISES Solar World Congresses continued to advance knowledge and promote new viable solutions and applications. During this period ANZSES gained its first female Chair, Muriel Watt. Women had long played an important, if rarely high-profile role in ANZSES, ISES and their predecessors. In the very earliest days of AFASE and SES, women such as Jean Jensen and Mary Weber had provided the essential behind-the-scenes administrative support, while Hungarian-American physicist Mária Telkes was one of the highprofile scientists behind the founding of the organisation.70 In Australia, women have also played an important role in the organisation. Two iconic ANZSES figures, Barbara Hardy and Monica Oliphant of South Australia are excellent role models for young women hoping to achieve in any area of solar energy development, from scientific endeavours to the administrative and political spheres of influence. Monica Oliphant commenced her research career in the area of lasers, but was inspired to shift to solar energy research when she heard Australian Nobel laureate immunologist Macfarlane Burnet advocating solar energy during the 1973 oil crisis.71 She subsequently worked for almost two decades as an Energy Research Scientist for the Electricity Trust of South Australia, where she was involved in a range of renewable energy projects. She was also active in ISES at several levels: an office-bearer of the South Australia branch at its foundation in 1979, almost three decades later she was elected President of ISES for 2008/09. Barbara Hardy joined ISES in 1977, and attended some of the early meetings of the ANZ Section. With a background in voluntary conservation work and earth sciences, she brought to the organisation drive, a commitment to the environment and expertise in lobbying. When Watt’s first term as Chair of ANZSES was finished (she would serve another term in 2002/03), the organisation was served well by Dr Graham Reading (Chair 1989/90), followed by a strong period of leadership from David Oppenheim.


The first commercial wind farm in Australia was commissioned at Salmon Beach near Esperance in 1987 by SECWA. 70 Duffie & Tabor, pp.8, 14, 16, 19, 29, 33, 35, 38, 40. 71 ‘Eco Voice interviews Monica Oliphant’, Eco Voice, issue 5, November/December 2003, p.3.


Monica Oliphant (left) and Barbara Hardy (right), both at the Solar World Congress, Adelaide, Australia 2001. The Brundtland report recommended that a global conference be held to discuss sustainable development issues, and subsequently a United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED or ‘Earth Summit’) was planned for Rio de Janiero in 1992. ISES was accredited as an NGO at the Summit, and sent four delegates, including Wal Read. There they were diasppointed to see a coalition of OPEC countries and the United States preventing a stronger commitment to renewable energy,72 though renewables retained a significant role in documents produced by the Conference, including Agenda 21 and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Participation in the Earth Summit sparked a period of debate regarding the future direction of ISES: ‘Should ISES stay a more scientific organization run by scientists and engineers or should it be a popular movement pro solar energy?’73 In 1992, changes to the international society’s by-laws opened membership to anyone with ‘an interest in advancing the purposes of the Society’.74 However, although there was considerable enthusiasm for a broadly-based society with a large grass-roots membership, there were also some misgivings from those who felt that the organisation could play a more effective role as a specialist technical society, devoted primarily to advancement of research and development, than as one political lobby group among many.75 The need for some political activity was undisputed: the question was, how much? ANZSES would encounter similar 72

D.R. Mills, ‘The International Solar Energy Society: The Second 25 Years, 1980 to 2005’, in K.W. Böer (ed.), The Fifty-Year History of the International Solar Energy Society and its National Sections, Volume 2, American Solar Energy Society, Boulder, 2005, pp.70-71. 73 Adolf Goetzberger, ‘Editorial’, ISES News, December 1991, quoted in Mills, p.67. 74 Mills, p.72. 75 This view is exemplified by a letter from Steve Kaneff of ANU to the ISES Board in 1994: ‘While not disputing the need and benefits of political interaction at all levels, it is hardly prudent to direct almost all… ISES activities and resources to political ends, while rejecting the learned society role of ISES, the only role which ISES can claim as their area of expertise and credibility.’ Quoted in Mills, pp.100-1. In 1995 the ISES Board also received a letter from nine former ISES Presidents, including Peter Morse and Wal Read, criticising the shift in ISES’ identity, from a ‘technical society to a populist organisation’.


questions around the identity and purpose of the organisation, as opportunities for political activity increased. As the locus of ISES activity moved to the North Atlantic region, and a relatively small group of Australians struggled to maintain the activities at State/Territory and National levels, as well as the international HQ, ISES decided to call for proposals for new Headquarters. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in Freiburg was successful, and the new HQ was opened there on 26 January 1995. In 1992, Australia became party to the UNFCC, which aimed to stabilise emissions of greenhouse gases at an acceptable level, and subsequently released a National Greenhouse Response Strategy in November 1998. Although the Howard government declined to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, it did implement numerous programs intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. John Ballinger, David Mills, Trevor Lee and David Oppenheim were influential leaders during this important period for solar energy in Australia. The political activity of ANZSES increased substantially and by the early 1990s the organisation was issuing press releases on relevant issues. Issues were pursued vigorously with various governments, but there was great frustration as vested interests with influence in government circles sought to delay the progress of the solar industry. Still ANZSES, through prolific correspondence, and a series of well-written reports and submissions, helped to shape the government energy policies of the 1990s, including the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, formation of the Australian Greenhouse Office, changes to the Building Code of Australia to improve passive solar performance of all new residential and commercial buildings, increases in funding for renewable energy research, subsidies for photovoltaic panels, solar water heater rebates, and urban design guidelines for state bodies to follow.76 Trevor Lee (left) and David Oppenheim (next to him) at a meeting with colleagues Brett Stokes and Terry Williamson at the University of Adelaide preparing the 1995 edition of the ‘Australian Solar Radiation Data Handbook’ (now Š ANZSES) David Mills went on to become ISES president in 1997/98 after serving as Vice President for the previous four years. In this period he put his career on the line for the greater good of the community and ANZSES, as well as defending the ethics of his research work and its viability for implementation in power generation strategies. He subsequently made great progress in electricity generation in China utilizing his solar thermal innovations, yet sadly found it necessary to move to California to progress his solar thermal technology commercialization. The branches, too, were actively working for change. In Queensland, the downfall of the conservative Bjelke-Petersen government after 23 years presented an opportunity for members to lobby for an energy policy that promoted energy efficiency and 76

David Mills, pers. comm., 2003-2004.


renewable energy. They formed a policy group and produced a 70-page report in response to the incoming Goss government’s energy policy discussion paper. In the 1990s they continued to lobby the state government, and by the mid-1990s rebates for domestic solar water heaters, remote area power systems and some energy efficiency measures had been announced. In Western Australia, the local ANZSES branch had regular meetings at the new Solar Energy Information Centre. They continued to protest at the lack of support for solar research and development following the closure of SERIWA; this ultimately led to the implementation of a funding scheme under the auspices of the Minerals and Energy Research Institute of WA, and in 1989 the government established a Renewable Energy Advisory Council. Other organisations also helped to fill the vacuum left by the closure of SERIWA: several SERIWA staff found a new research base at the Murdoch University Energy Research Institute (MUERI); in 1996 Murdoch would also host the Australian Co-operative Research Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE). In New Zealand, considerable effort was directed toward closer connections with ANZSES, and in July 1991, Solar Action formally agreed to become the New Zealand branch of ANZSES. It also in this period experienced a shift from a focus on ‘do-ityourself’ to energy policy, technical developments, commercial-scale equipment, and the international solar energy scene. The Wind Energy Group started strong in 1993, and saw the wind industry grow hugely; the N.Z. Wind Energy Association now provides an active voice for the industry. Solar Action members (including the late Neil Cherry, Geoff Henderson and Graham White) were actively involved in the promotion of commercial wind generation in New Zealand. The result led in 1996 to the world’s first non-subsidized windfarms: the 7 turbine, 3.5 MW Hau Nui windfarm (‘strong wind’ in Maori) near Martinborough and the 48 turbine 32 MW windfarm in the Tararua Ranges (near Palmerston North).

The Energy for Life Conference in Darwin 1996 During this era Garry Baverstock introduced Dr Bill Parker to the Society as part of the activities of the Solar Energy Information Centre in Perth. Bill’s high levels of ethics, enthusiasm and intelligence would benefit the Society at the state, national and international levels. Bill became active in the late 80’s and early 90’s with the local branch before shifting his attention to the Australasian committee and taking over as 27

editor of Solar Progress, introducing a degree of innovation in writing and editing style. Making appropriate political and social commentary as well as presentation of technical material has been the hallmark of Bill’s contribution to the society, through Solar Progress.

Bill Parker hard at work editing Solar Progress in the late 1990s After the high quality start that Steve Szokolay gave Solar Progress magazine as its inaugural editor, Trevor Lee carried the baton for many years. It could often be a thankless task, as interest in and membership of ANZSES waxed and waned in Australia. Undaunted, Trevor, a pioneering solar architect, ethical investment executive, and solar scientist from the ACT, was a steadying influence on the administration of ANZSES during that time. Throughout the 1980s and 90s Trevor played an active part in Society liaisons between government and industry groups, furthering the cause of energy efficiency and creating strong lobby groups among the solar and renewable energy industries. The task of disseminating information to members, and reaching a wider audience was always a challenge for ANZSES. Solar Progress played an important role, but advances in electronic communication would increase the potential reach of the Society. 1997 on: The Education Era In 1993 the Internet surfaced as an option for communication. By the mid 1990’s this technology was heralded as the most significant communication breakthrough since the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century. The Internet gave ISES and ANZSES a much-needed boost, as the ease of communication through email and the web made it far less onerous for members to communicate and make decisions on policy. The advances made after 1997 and the Internet boom were remarkable. ISES and ANZSES established sophisticated web sites; universities also disseminated information about solar energy through online learning and promotion of research. An ANZSES seed capital grant supported the development of a solar information portal site, ‘’, as a means by which to raise public and commercial awareness of renewable energy issues, as well as promoting ANZSES and ISES membership and disseminating their publications. Annual conferences were well patronised during this period as decisions at a Federal Government level in establishing the Australian Greenhouse Office, and the 28

implementation of subsidies to encourage the use of grid connected PV systems and solar water heaters on houses created more interested in the field, and a number of new, younger experts emerged. The ISES Solar World Congress also returned to Australia in 2001, for the first time in 18 years. The programme encompassed both technical and non-technical aspects of renewable energy; events associated with this highly successful conference included the World Solar Challenge solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide, and an indoor/outdoor world sustainable energy expo. Although the last ANZSES branch to form in Australia, the ACT branch was particularly active in this period, driven by the enthusiastic participation of researchers from ANU and others. The branch remains a very active cohesive group of committed people with positive influence in the affairs of the Society.

The ANZSES ACT display at the Science Week ‘Solar Boat Race’ Expo. Among the ACT group are Trevor Lee, Keith Lovegrove, and the late Jim Were. George Hardy (Secretary) is to the far left. Although there was a long tradition of education initiatives within ANZSES, especially at state branch level, with the advent of the Internet and new ways of communicating, people involved in promoting the use of solar energy began to understand education as the key to a sustainable future. Initiatives including the national ‘Solar House Day’ tours in 2001, championed by the then ANZSES President Dr Keith Lovegrove (Canberra), were a significant step forward and heralded a new era of proactive initiatives aiming to help solar energy to achieve its destiny in the 21st century. The project has enjoyed continued success with the work of Renewable Energy Promotions Officer (Julien Lacave) and the broadening of the focus from solar to include water and waste. By 2004 it was called ‘Sustainable House Day’. In New Zealand, energy system reforms were undertaken from the mid-1990s, in which energy generation was separated from distribution, and many local government owned systems were sold. This led to increasing opportunities for renewable energy, and the nation began to see a greater number of homes and commercial buildings operating off the grid. From the late 1990s a new generation of members gave Solar Action a real presence. Physicist Andrew Pollard, a former editor of Solar Action Bulletin and administrator for the New Zealand branch of ANZSES, is typical of the younger members who were making a difference. Through his professional work with 29

BRANZ (Building Research Association), he provided the building industry in the Australasian region with monitoring and testing expertise that was set to help modify the way we evaluate energy efficiency in buildings in the region. The Solar Action Bulletin continued to inform and publicise a range of renewable energy developments, and in 2002 the first solar house open days were held (in Wellington and Christchurch). The establishment of the first National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy provided another focus for the group’s activity. Solar Action became a very important and influential branch of ANZSES, and provided a number of ANZSES board members, including Nigel Isaacs, Graeme Robertson, David Haskell, and Paul Bannister. Unfortunately good will across the Tasman dissipated in 2008 due to poor communication, and by mutual agreement the Australians and New Zealanders went their separate ways. As a result, the name of the Australian organisation was changed to the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES).

Retiring Chair, Dr Muriel Watt, at the 2003 Melbourne Conference It was under the Chair of Muriel Watt and Keith Lovegrove in the early 2000s that relationships with government and industry were consolidated. The efforts of Mills, Lee, Oppenheim, and Ballinger from the late 1980s into the mid 1990s set up opportunities for these two diplomats to establish solid working relationships. This has placed ANZSES in a strong position for future leaders to build even greater support from industry and government sources, as solar energy becomes a more serious option in the public consciousness. It will be up to future Chairs and committee members to maintain the high ethical stance of ANZSES and the ANZ Section of ISES, while moving into a more commercial era of solar energy development. There is, however, a sense of urgency emerging as scientists, frustrated in getting messages through to politicians and industry leaders, struggle to imagine change occurring fast enough to avert irreparable damage to planet earth. Obviously development of technology and providing a forum for exchange of knowledge remains a main function of ANZSES in the future, but more effort must be devoted to educating the wider community on the need for the ‘big switch’ to solar energy. Increased memberships and resources are needed to become more effective: this great organization needs an army of committed people to achieve a better world in the future and maintain intergenerational equity and environmental protection. The challenges are manifold. As Australia has experienced a productivity squeeze, those in full-time employment are working longer hours, leaving less time for the voluntary work that sustains essential organisations like AuSES. There is also potential for time and effort to be fragmented among organisations, though the capacity for mergers can be limited. In the early 2000s there was some collaboration between ANZSES and the Australian grassroots renewable energy organisation Alternative Technology Association (ATA). In 2003 some advocated a merger, but advice from within 30

government was that ANZSES’s high level of government influence would be jeopardised if they were to merge with what the bureaucracy saw as a small political grouping, so a separate identity was retained.77 As long term Administrator of the American Solar Energy Society Cindy Nelson said in Boulder, Colorado in August 2002, ‘Solar energy people are the best!’ This ethical, highest common goal approach to life seems to bring intelligent well-meaning people to solar energy societies around the world. Undoubtedly, AuSES. Solar Action and ISES will continue to play an important role in acting as forums, facilitators, and catalysts of this process as mainstream use of solar energy continues to unfold. Looking Toward the Future of Solar Energy We have seen in this history how pioneering Australians and New Zealanders were active from the early days, beginning with innovations in solar water heating, then solar housing, followed by solar thermal, photovoltaics and wind power. Often ANZSES conferences publicised exciting innovations that went well beyond expectations for two countries with such a small population base. The following list is a sample of Australasian solar achievements: •

Solar water heaters providing up to 75% solar contribution in temperate climates. (Morse, Riley, Brown, Small, Beasley, and others).

Photovoltaic efficiency from 16% to 28% (Green, Blakers, and others)

Solar housing saving 60%-90% energy in temperate climates. (Ballinger, Szokolay, Lawrance, Baverstock, Oppenheim, Cole, Baggs, Lee, and others)

Solar thermal power applications bringing power costs below that of coal. (Kaneff, Mills, Lovegrove, and others)

Solar design of commercial buildings. (Ballinger, Szokolay, Baverstock, Oppenheim, Prasad, and others)

Use of photovoltaics for remote telecommunications applications (Mack, Muirhead).

Computer thermal analysis simulations (Oughton, Delsante, Ballinger, Prasad, D’Cruz, Marsh, Snow, and others).

Climate Data for Australia and New Zealand (Szokolay, Lee, and others)

Stand-alone hybrid power systems, using a range of renewable energy sources, plus diesel generators, inverters and batteries, for off-grid power supply (Phillips, Langworthy).

In the early 21st century, Australia’s solar water heater companies are among the largest in the world, and Australasian individuals and companies are placed among the world leaders in areas such as energy conservation, and energy management, and production of bio fuels. Apart from providing quality researchers, abundant sunlight and a stable political system, Australia and New Zealand offer a convenient time zone and proximity for doing business in the nations to our north. Australasian companies and individuals have already played a significant role in an emerging Asian solar 77

Mills, p.96 n.4


industry, and this role is set to increase: Australia in particular is fast becoming the systems experts in this region and is certain to be an important player in applying European and American technology, as well as innovations developed in our country and our region It makes sense for the international partnerships and joint ventures to be strengthened as solar energy emerges as a more mainstream source of energy over the next few decades. With a new generation of scientists, professionals, and industrialists emerging, AuSES and Solar Action are set to play an important part in the global movement toward solar and renewable forms of energy, as significant energy sources for the 21st century.

Acknowledgements In writing the history of the ANZ Section of ISES, the authors acknowledge the invaluable assistance of a number of people. Each branch in Australia and Solar Action in New Zealand has supplied information, text and editing assistance. We are grateful for the interest and contributions. It would have been impossible to attempt the overall history task without it. It was possible to write the story of the first 30 years of the history due to the past efforts of Frank Hogg and the records kept by ISES. We are indebted to Cesare Silvi of Italy and David Mills of Australia, both past presidents of ISES, and George Hardy our ANZSES Administrator, for the supply of records and prior work, and Steve Szokolay for his numerous contributions to enable this first period of the history to be more comprehensively and accurately covered. Interviews by Garry Baverstock with John Ballinger, Trevor Lee, and Bill Charters were very useful in putting together this first part of the history as well as setting the structure for the second part (1980 onwards). They enabled the research information to be put into a context that reflected what was happening in the world in general and in the Australasian region in particular. Assistance with proof reading and editing from Trevor Lee and Steve Szokolay, in particular, was invaluable in completing this chapter of the early history. In relation to the history from the 1980s onwards, we must thank Nigel Isaacs, Muriel Watt, Bill Parker, Trevor Lee, John Ballinger, Bill Charters, Steve Szokolay, David Mills, Monica Oliphant and Barbara Hardy and many others, for their contributions and advice. Appendix A – ANZ Branch/ANZ Section/ANZSES/AuSES Presidents (and other office-bearers) 1969/70 1970/71 1971/72 1972/73 1973/74 1974/75 1975/76 1976/77 1977/78

F G (Frank) Hogg C D Campbell - “ N R (Norm) Sheridan - “ C M (Charles) Sapsford - “ W R (Wal) Read - “ -


1978/79 1979/80 1980/81 1981/82 1982/83 1983/84 1984/85 1985/86 1986/87 1987/88 1988/89 1989/90 1990/91 1991/92 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04

S V (Steve) Szokolay - “ D J (Don) Close - “ W W S (Bill) Charters - “ Malcolm Peck John Ballinger - “ - “ Muriel Watt Graham Redding David Oppenheim - “ S V (Steve) Szokolay - “ Deo Prasad - “ Trevor Lee - “ John Todd - “ Keith Lovegrove - “ Muriel Watt Mahalath Halperin

Appendix B – Partial list of ANZ Branch/ANZ Section/ANZSES Conferences 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981

1982 1983 1984 1985 1986

Melbourne (with ISES) 7th Sydney, Uni of NSW 8th Highett 9th Adelaide 10th Melbourne, Nat.Sc.Centre 11th Sydney, Uni NSW 12th Canberra, ANU 13th Melbourne, Nat.Sc.Centre 14th Brisbane, Uni of Qld 15th Melbourne, Nat.Sc.Centre 16th Sydney, Uni of NSW 17th Melbourne, Uni of Melb 18th The ‘Solar Energy for the Outback’ conference in September was organized jointly with the Institute of Energy in Alice Springs and the Section’s annual conference was held in November at Macquarie University (Sydney) on ‘Solar Energy at Work’. The 21st annual conference: ‘Solar Energy Coming of Age’ was held at the Uni of Queensland in November. ISES Solar World Congress was held in Perth, in August. AGM of ANZSES held in Auckland, NZ, (August, 23-24) (November 14- 15) the annual conference was held at the Uni of NSW,with the title: ‘Selling Solar’. (April 15) the Victorian Branch organised a meeting on ‘Passive Solar Cooling’ and in May (9-10) the Buildings Group had a meeting at theUni of Melbourne, with the title: ‘Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitude’


1987 (Nov 26-28) the ‘Solar ‘87’: ‘Creating the Future’ meeting was held at the ANU in Canberra. 1988 (Nov 17-19) the ‘Solar ‘88’ conference, ‘Environmental Improvement Through Solar Energy’ was held at the Uni of Melbourne. 1989 Nov 30-dec2) the ‘Solar’89’ conference: ‘Renewable Energy in Manufacturing’ was held at the uni of Qld, in Brisbane. 1990 New Zealand, Auckland. 1991 South Australia ‘Energy for a Sustainable World’ 1992 Darwin ‘Under One Sun’ 1993 Perth ‘Bridging the Gap Between Research, Development andMarkets’ 1994 Sydney ‘Secrets of the Sun’ at University of New South Wales, 1995 Hobart ‘Renewable Energy, The Future is Now’ 1996 Darwin 34th Annual Solar Conference, ‘Energy for Life’