AS Genergy Project Engineer, Pierre Bessinger is a key element of the Genergy operations. Let’s get to know him a little better.
What is your full official title, and what is it you do as part of the Genergy team?
I’m the Project Engineer. I’m responsible for design through to implementation of all large-scale hot water projects, be it solar thermal, heat pumps or a combination of the technologies. I also assist in overseeing other projects in general, in collaboration with the relevant teams.
How does a standard day play out at Genergy?
Coffee, every good day starts with coffee! From there it involves getting the installation teams out and about, tending to some emails/admin till lunch, afternoons are spent processing info for new designs and proposals. This ensures we close the day off with the prospect of new projects.
What is the best thing about working for Genergy?
I’ve worked at a couple of places, some great and some not so great, two things you carry with you is what you learn and somehow you always remember the vibe. The industry we are in offers a lot to learn and the vibe is awesome and easy going.
Does it give you pride to work in the renewable energy space, knowing that you are doing good for the environment etc?
It sure does. I’m an outdoorsman and knowing that what I do in my work ensures that generations to follow get to enjoy the same quality of unspoilt outdoors makes it worth it!
What do you see as the next big step in renewables? Is it wave farms? Is it molten salt? Is there something out there that we haven’t even seen yet?
Carbon neutral resources… We have a huge resource in the form of alien trees (such as black wattles) that can be used for heating and energy generation in particular with a low degree of difficulty. Trees are a carbon neutral resource (meaning that when consumed they release as much carbon into the atmosphere as they have taken out of the atmosphere over its lifespan) and best of all alien trees can be grafted with indigenous species of the same family for regrowth. Sustainability in action…
What do you see as the biggest challenge in getting solar and renewables where they need to be in South Africa?
To be quite honest, I think our human races’ fear of actually getting things done is our biggest obstacle to overcome. We know it can be done, we however prefer searching for reasons not to get things done.
Do you have an opinion on the R1Trillion nuclear build that government have been threatening for some time now.
I think the decision makers are ill-informed and are driven by the wrong agendas.
Do you see a time when every single domestic roof, and every single building in PE, will be covered by solar panels?
Watch this space.
Do you think that the electric cars, for example the Tesla Motors models, will become prolific in South Africa?
The technology has a space in the market and the guys that can afford it will buy it, no doubt about that. Consumers however need to take the responsibility to ensure they are buying the right thing and not just the best marketed thing.
Do you think that electric cars might save the planet? After all, they might get their electricity from coal.
For as long as life on planet earth multiplies there will always be an increased demand for energy in one form or another. Majority of our resources are finite and we discover new forms of energy every day. Electric cars might not be the answer to our problems as a whole, it can however assist in solving the problems in a way. We need to become more efficient in consuming those resources as we discover them every day.
Do you have a renewable energy/solar joke to tell us?
Oh yes, wind turbines… I’m a big fan.