Dynamics How do we keep abreast of changes

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Finally we must expect that external events will change the terrain upon which we have mapped our course. We might find the situations for the different target groups have evolved differently than we expected or planned for. Indeed, the more successful the campaign, the more likely there is to be a strong reaction from the proponents and opponents. Thus to ensure wise use of resources, the campaign strategy cycle must be periodically reviewed and updated.

This process may be more difficult than it appears. Once underway, campaigns quickly expand to occupy all available time and resources. However, a strong strategy and implementation plan can help maintain focus on the original plan, keep the necessary discipline to stick to core business, and help gauge which opportunities to seize or let pass. To achieve the dynamic balance of a campaign one must not let the heat of the moment swing the campaign around so much that strategy is lost. Yet one must also avoid campaigns that are too inflexible to evolve with events.

Box 5.11 SUNTEC: Using fiction to underscore fact

An EU study released in the mid-1990s by a team led by BP Solar indicated that the challenges facing PV's progression to a lower-cost technology had more to do with economies of scale than with technology constraints. This differed substantially from conventional wisdom that said what solar needed was a technological breakthrough.

This knowledge had very significant policy ramifications since it indicated government support should focus on market development rather than R&D. Clearly this would also have repercussions for existing and prospective companies and investors in the energy and electronics sectors.

Given these identified target groups, the next question was how to relay this information to them in a credible and intelligible form. First, Greenpeace Netherlands commissioned KPMG to use the results of the MUSIC FM study to calculate whether enlarged PV markets would lead to costs comparable to the existing delivered cost of electricity in the EU.2

The results were compelling. Rooftop solar panels using existing technology would be competitive against conventional generation if manufacturing levels were raised to 500 megawatts peak (MWP) per year, enough product for about 200,000 houses per year. The authors based the analysis on conditions for northern Europe.

(noted for its lack of sunshine). They also noted that this number did not exceed roofs built or replaced in any given year in a small country like the Netherlands KPMG's point was that from a business angle, solar PV could be considered to be like mobile phone technology; starting with an expensive product and small market, but with the basic technology in place the market would grow and costs would decrease in tandem.

The report was released internationally and received coverage in the business and finance media. A key aspect in its acceptance was that the news came from KPMG, a credible name in the business sector - one of their own so to speak. This report consequently reached the grassroots of the finance sector, the investors in the types of energy companies that might be in a position to act - the ultimate decision-makers.

At the report's launch a London-based marketing company called Cosmonaut were commissioned to help communicate the concept. The brief: 'There is a new energy company that is about to roll out competitive rooftop solar power. Design the pitch to investors and the first advertising campaign.' Some of the results are shown in Figure 5.9.

Source: Greenpeace (1999)

Figure 5.9 Promotional materials from the fictional company Suntec (given to BP shareholders to illustrate what BP might offer if it were to expand its PV operations)

Source: Greenpeace (1999)

Figure 5.9 Promotional materials from the fictional company Suntec (given to BP shareholders to illustrate what BP might offer if it were to expand its PV operations)

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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