The society has 30,000 members globally from industry, research, and government; there are national sections in 54 countries. The following goals are stated in the society's mandate: to encourage the use and acceptance of renewable energy technologies; to realize a global community of industry, individuals, and institutions in support of renewable energy; to create international structures to facilitate cooperation and exchange; to create and distribute publications for various target groups to support the dissemination of renewable energy technologies; to bring together industry, science, and politics in workshops, conferences, and summits on renewable energy, and to advise governments and organizations in policy, implementation, and sustainability of renewable energy activities world-wide. The motto of the ISES is "think globally, act locally."
The ISES is headquartered in Freiburg, Germany. The international office is supplemented with national sections that network and coordinate energy professionals and sponsor activities in the member countries. The national sections spearhead local projects. Members are encouraged to engage at both the national and international level. In addition, regional offices have been opened to coordinate beyond the national level. Regional offices exist for Africa, the Asia Pacific region, Europe, and South America.
The society was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1954, as the Association for Applied Solar Energy. The first meetings of the society were held the next year in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. The society journal began in 1957. In 1963, the name of the society was changed to the Solar Energy Society.
In 1970, the society headquarters were moved from the American Southwest to Melbourne, Australia. The current name was adopted in 1971. The society took part as a consulting nongovernmental organization in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1991. In 1995, the international headquarters moved to Freiburg, Germany.
publications for debate and dialogue
The ISES has several publications, most notably its official journal Solar Energy, which includes articles on the science and technology of solar energy applications. The journal also publishes articles on indirect applications of solar energy, such as wind energy, and biomass.
The ISES also publishes Renewable Energy Focus, formally known as Refocus. This bimonthly publication aims to provide a "forum for debate and dialogue" between research, industry, and government on the topic of renewable energy. The society also hosts the biennial Solar World Congress, which fosters communication between industry, government, and the research community. The conference is a major event within the field.
The ISES supports a variety of projects. The Solar Academy training program focuses on the integration of solar technologies into building design, with a focus on renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency. The Solar Cities initiative aims to promote renewable energy use in long-term planning processes. The project highlights "solar communities"; cities or towns that make a commitment to emissions reduction targets, renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency.
The RESuM project, (Rural Energy Supply Models) is a tool-design project intended to help rural areas secure a sustainable energy supply. The solar food processing and conservation initiative is a newer project designed to increase knowledge of solar cooking and drying by creating a global network of interested solar food experts, farmers, producers, and decision-makers. The Solar Schools-Brighter Future program, launched as part of the 2000 Earth Day Celebrations, aims to bring solar applications into the classroom setting, both to save energy and to act as a teaching aide.
The ISES is dedicated to the use of the internet as a networking tool and as a means of knowledge dissemination. Refocus is also published as a weekly online newsletter, and the society has also designed a global network and database with online cooperative authoring, known as WIRE, or World-wide Information System for Renewable Energy. ISES is also a member of the International Renewable Energy Alliance.
sEE ALso: Alternative Energy, Solar; Energy Efficiency; Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
BIBLIoGRAPHY. Karl Boer, ed., The Fifty-Year History of the International Solar Energy Society and its National Sections (ISES, 2005). International Solar Energy Society Web site, www.ises.org (cited January 2008); Worldwide Information System for Renewable Energy (WIRE), http://energy.nstl.gov.cn/MirrorResources/562/index. html (cited January 2008).
Lenore Newman Royal Roads University
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)
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