Columns & Sunburst

In this section we post columns and articles written by ISES Board of Directors, Staff and other contributors to our monthly newsletters. The regular President's Column can also be found here.

In regular "Sunburst" columns, Dr. David Renné, ISES Immediate Past President, highlights key recent ISES activities through his own personal experiences and opinions. Articles include impressions from international conferences as well as observations of current projects, events and movements for the work towards a 100% renewable energy future. The Sunburst is featured in the monthly ISES Newsletter.


02. March 2021

President's Column - February 2021

Time for Long Term Solutions Humanity tends to more intensively experience and evaluate short-term threats higher than longer-term. Such conditioning may have been evolutionarily helpful in the Stone...

Read more

27. January 2021

Sunburst: January 2021

SunBurst Column 26 January 2021   A New Decade for Action At 11:49 AM, U.S. Eastern Standard Time in Washington, DC, on 20 January many of us felt as if we were emerging from a long dark...

Read more

30. April 2020

Sunburst: April 2020

Is the Global Response to COVID-19 a Prelude to the Response to the Climate Crisis? The global coronavirus pandemic is a frightening event unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. My...

Read more

31. January 2020

President's Column - January 2020

Do we really need a catastrophe for global change? Things are playing out the way scientists predicted years ago: The ambient temperatures increase and extreme weather events occur more frequently,...

Read more

29. January 2020

Sunburst: January 2020

100% Renewable Energy White Paper Rolled Out at High-Level IRENA Event ISES Board member Monica Oliphant and I made the long journey to Abu Dhabi three weeks ago (10 to 15 January) to attend the...

Read more

19. December 2019

Sunburst: December 2019

My Farewell to You as ISES President With this message I bid a fond farewell to all of the ISES membership and our extended family of partners and renewable energy enthusiasts as President of ISES. ...

Read more

29. November 2019

Sunburst: November 2019

Solar World Congress Delivers Key Message on Addressing Social Issues with Renewable Energy        Just days before the launch of our Solar World Congress 2019 in Chile, serious civil unrest broke...

Read more

28. October 2019

Sunburst: October 2019

How Can Renewables Support Global Economic, Energy, and Environmental Justice?             The word is in quite a tumultuous state…despite the absence of any major global military conflicts. Civil...

Read more

30. September 2019

Sunburst: September 2019

Public Sentiment for Tackling the Climate Crisis is Growing             The public voice demanding that government decision makers around the world address the growing threat of climate change has...

Read more

02. September 2019

Sunburst: August 2019

Brazil’s Solar Markets are Attracting Strong International Attention   According to the Solar Power Europe (SPE) Global Market Outlook (GMO) 2019 Brazil has the 11th strongest PV market of any...

Read more

30. July 2019

Sunburst: July 2019

Does Asia need more coal-fired power plants?   In the weeks following the celebration of humankind’s first successful landing of two men on the moon, who stayed there for over 21 hours and left their...

Read more

28. June 2019

Sunburst: June 2019

UN Climate Change Conference Delegates Urge Faster and More Ambitious Action on Clean Energy   Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend three days of the Bonn Intersessional Climate Change...

Read more

27. May 2019

Presidents Column: May 2019

More Studies Demonstrate the Feasibility, and Necessity, for 100% Renewables   For those of you who follow this column you will note that I often fly the flag for 100% Renewable Energy. So, spoiler...

Read more

23. April 2019

Presidents Column: April 2019

As we celebrate our 50th Earth Day, the environmental movement is shifting to a global climate focus   At the start of this week, on 22 April we celebrated, for the 50th time, Earth Day, which...

Read more

01. April 2019

Presidents Column: March 2019

ISES Sets its Work Priorities for the Next 3-5 Years   The ISES Board of Directors held its annual face-to-face meeting in Freiburg, Germany on 14-16 March with the specific purpose of solidifying...

Read more

22. February 2019

Presidents Column: February 2019

ISES Board to Meet for Annual Strategy Discussions The 19 members of the ISES Board of Directors will soon be meeting in Freiburg, Germany to review plans for the Society’s 2019 activities and to...

Read more

28. January 2019

Presidents Column: January 2019

ISES Launches New Year with Participation in annual IRENA events   On 5 December 2018 the Global Carbon Project published its annual update of the global carbon budget and trends. The report shows...

Read more

21. December 2018

Presidents Column - December 2018

How you can take individual steps this new year to address climate change In this final ISES newsletter of 2018, on behalf of all of the ISES Board of Directors and our wonderful team at ISES...

Read more

29. November 2018

Presidents Column November 2018

The Other Shoe Falls:  New U.S. Climate Report Predicts Dire Consequences from Climate Change   At the end of last week (23 November), when most Americans were enjoying their post-Thanksgiving...

Read more

26. October 2018

Presidents Column October 2018

Solar deployments in India expected to grow rapidly, if not with some challenges Karl Böer celebration of life held during award eremony at University of Delaware In early October, at the Invitation...

Read more

01. October 2018

Presidents column: September 2018

As Conference Season Sets in, Solar Technologies Show Ever-Growing Strength in the Marketplace It is September, and the renewable energy conference season is in full swing, with ISES playing many...

Read more

31. August 2018

Presidents column: August 2018

ISES’ US Section Pushes for Climate Action at its Annual Conference   The American Solar Energy Society, the U.S. Section of ISES, held its annual conference,  Solar 2018, at the University of...

Read more

30. July 2018

Presidents column: July 2018 - ISES supports ISNA’s message of a growing global solar electrification and storage sector

ISES supports ISNA’s message of a growing global solar electrification and storage sector   Paulette Middleton (ISES Secretary) and I travelled to San Francisco to participate in the 11th annual...

Read more

28. June 2018

Presidents column: June 2018

The Grand Renewable Energy 2018 (GRE2018) International Conference and Exhibition was held at the Pacifico Yokohama, Japan on 18-22 June. This major event – occurring every four years since 2006—is...

Read more

24. May 2018

Presidents column: Wanted - Your eyes for ISES

An important note to all of our readers:  this week marks the deadline for ISES to achieve compliance with the EU’s GDPR.  I know many of you have had a lot of messages flooding your inbox regarding...

Read more

24. April 2018

Presidents column: The energy transition is here…or soon, anyway

On 17-18 April Joanna Costello, the ISES Deputy Executive Secretary, and I attended the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) where there was much discussion about the status and future prospects...

Read more

28. March 2018

Presidents column: The global voice for renewables

This month the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) is expanding the reach of its monthly newsletter to everyone who has been in touch with our Society via e-mail over the past several years for...

Read more

28. February 2018

Presidents column: A view of our earth… from two perspectives

Every year around this time ISES Secretary Paulette Middleton and I attend the Boulder International Film Festival, a 3 ½ day event packed with documentaries, feature films, and short subjects...

Read more

29. January 2018

Presidents column: The siren and the solution

At the start of 2018 I attended two back-to-back conferences. Although they were unrelated, together they provide an interesting storyline for this column. The first was the 98th Annual Meeting of...

Read more

23. December 2017

Sunburst: As we come to the end of a transformative year…

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “We live in interesting times”.  And 2017 has certainly been no exception.  We are seeing transformations in our political, social, and technological landscapes that...

Read more

30. November 2017

Presidents column: Highlights from COP23 in Bonn

Shortly after ISES closed out its successful Solar World Congress, held jointly with the International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s 2017 Conference, several of us trekked from...

Read more

28. September 2017

Presidents column: ISES participates in two key partner meetings in September

Over the past few years ISES has established a number of key strategic partnerships with global organizations that support the rapid development and deployment of renewable energy technologies around...

Read more

08. September 2017

In pursuit of the Great American Eclipse

Early on August 20 I loaded up my car with camping supplies, and my colleague Roger Taylor, with whom I worked for many years at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and I headed north to...

Read more

26. July 2017

Presidents column: Growing support for massive renewable energy development at global conferences

In my recent Sunburst column I alluded to a number of conferences I have attended recently that show growing support and technical feasibility for massive global renewable energy development. However...

Read more

29. June 2017

Despite recent U.S. action, national and global commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement are stronger than ever

Over the past several weeks I have had the good fortune to participate in a few key events in Europe and Mexico. Along with Joanna Costello and Liane Aziz of ISES HQ I attended Intersolar Europe in...

Read more

26. May 2017

Presidents column: Over 350 gather to learn about renewable city developments

It was late evening when we pulled into the Pacific Central railway station in Vancouver, British Columbia. Paulette and I were attending the Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum 2017, organized by...

Read more

28. April 2017

A new urgency for Earth Day

Last Saturday, 22 April, was the 47th Annual Earth Day, celebrated in 192 countries around the world. This year the event took on a new important movement…the March for Science , which was observed...

Read more

30. March 2017

President's Column: Newsletter feeds show strong global support of renewable energy despite policy shifts in U.S.

As I am sure is the case with most of our members, my e-mail in box is flooded daily with newsletters, conference offerings, blogs, and announcements of recent publications, all coming from...

Read more

10. August 2016

Obama’s Clean Power Plan: A big step towards global 100% renewables

On 3 August U.S. President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan for reducing carbon emissions from the U.S. power sector by 32% by the year 2030. This much-anticipated announcement has been...

Read more

04. January 2016

Ringing in a new era for solar energy

I would like to wish all ISES members and partners a very happy and prosperous 2016. As we ring in the New Year it is appropriate to reflect back on some of the major events that made 2015 a truly a...

Read more

16. October 2016

SAIREC highlights solar energy market opportunities in Africa

The South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference was held in Cape Town on 4-7 October.  This was the sixth of a series of “IRECs” held every couple of years in different locations around...

Read more

19. December 2016

Shifting global market and political landscape presents new challenges to

As we enter into this holiday season, it is important to reflect back on the key market and political trends of 2016, and also to look forward to what might be in store for the renewable energy...

Read more