Today’s Solutions: October 22, 2021

Actress Cate Blanchett applauds Danny Kennedy’s work in the solar power industry. He helped in turning the Sydney Theatre Company into a green building.

Cate Blanchett | Jan/Feb 2010 issue

 
I first met Danny through my husband, Andrew, and have followed his work on clean energy for years. We’ve always shared a common concern about climate change and politics, which has only become stronger as we’ve both had children and further realized the importance of preserving the planet for their future. When Danny told us he was leaving his career with Greenpeace to start a solar company that would bring technology simply and efficiently to the broader public, we were extremely excited. He always seems to channel his incredible energy in successful directions.
Before leaving Sydney for the United States to start Sungevity, Danny was an invaluable resource for our initial dream to green the Wharf, the home of the Sydney Theatre Company that we were about to lead. I say resource—his expertise, insight and contacts are truly outstanding—but what we found most valuable was his ability to think flexibly and clearly about the specific nature of the project and troubleshoot while allowing our dream to expand. Now, two years on, the concept has become a reality. We believe this groundbreaking project, which will deliver the majority of Sydney Theatre Company’s energy and water requirements from sustainable sources, is a first for any theater company in the world in its scale and the comprehensiveness of its approach to sustainability. It will also include the second-largest capacity solar array mounted atop a building in Australia.
Danny reminds me of that oft-used quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Crack-Up, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” And he is all the more exemplary of the less used follow-up line: “One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” To wit, Sungevity is a response from his long-held and very real passion, to slow global warming, with one of the best solutions we have—solar power. He is making it simple and easy to access, first for homeowners in America, and as it scales and becomes cheaper, for all the world. That is a win-win situation for everyone.
Anyone who has a home and electricity bills can make a ­difference by going solar with companies like Sungevity. Having recently done this in Sydney on our home, I only wish the Sungevity service were already available here because it makes it even more easy and affordable. There is no better way to feel empowered than to take control of your own electricity and take a stand against climate change with solar. Danny and his brilliant team on the other side of that awesome website at sungevity.com are helping make that happen for people everywhere. I commend them to you.

Cate Blanchett, award-winning actress and theater director.

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