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This article is the latest in our series #Art4Climate, a joint initiative by the UNFCCC secretariat and Julie’s Bicycle on the work of artists who make the issue of climate change more accessible and understandable by featuring it in their work. It was inspired by a session at the Salzburg Global Seminar in early 2017.

Solar energy is a central pillar of the global transition to clean energy which is currently under way. Solar energy can power cars, homes, industrial facilities – and cultural events. The organization SolarSoundSystem offers sound systems powered by the sun for dance parties.

With its renewable solar stages, DJ booths and juice energy bars, SolarSoundSystem has already powered several hundred events across more than ten countries, from France to Japan, using only power from the sun and from partygoers on bicycles. And the organization is looking for partners in developing countries to extend the reach of the project.

“The energy transition will not be made only by engineers and companies, but also by citizens. It is necessary to perform in public space in order to increase the level of general knowledge and catch a public not concerned by climate change,” said SolarSoundSystem founder Cédric Carles.

An eco-designer and solar energy expert who loves to party, Cédric Carles wanted to show the public that renewable energy could be accessible, easy, and fun.

Thanks to his design, participants can party with 100% renewable energy generated speakers, turntables, and sound mixers. Partiers get the opportunity to see solar panels working first hand and to participate in the production of electricity through bicycle power.

Solar Stage at Rainforest 2016, with music by Evo Taylor

By making renewable energy fun, SolarSoundSystem encourages discussion about energy efficiency and climate change. The organization hopes to teach the public about the ease of renewable energy use, and to inspire them to take steps to lower their reliance on fossil fuels, which is essential so that the world can meet the central goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which is to limit the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“The Paris Agreement is a giant step for the history of foreign policies, but just one small step regarding the issue of climate change. Let us be the change and become more environmentally responsible in our everyday lives,” Cédric said.

Able to power events that last from a few hours up to several days long, SolarSoundSystem can animate parties in any outdoor public space. Every sound system is designed uniquely for the event in which it will be used. The music systems offer units ranging from small portable renewable cellphone charging stations to DJ booths able to host large parties.

There is always a large social energy during these events, and many DJs have approached 3S to get a chance to play using the solar turntables. The systems have also developed a following, with many participants seeking out the next SolarSoundSystem events in their communities.

SolarSoundSystem also has their own radio station. Online 24 hours a day and seven days a week, the station, Radio 3S, broadcasts events, shows and documentaries, running solely on solar energy.

The same team also run La Paléo Energétique, a collective open-source history of energy innovations project that has recently developed RegenBox, a charger for alkaline batteries.

To learn more about SolarSoundSystem, see here.

#Art4Climate is a joint initiative by the UNFCCC and Julie’s Bicycle to spot and propose super recent and new works in this broad field, but we also want to hear from you! Please send any proposals for showcasing to newsroom@unfccc.int or Chiara@juliesbicycle.com.
Please amplify our web posts with Twitter hashtag #Art4Climate and #COP23!

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