SFSF - Schools For a Sustainable Future
Joseph Natoli, SFSF Project Director, surrounded by happy, enthusiastic children
synergy vol 1 issue 2

Synergy Issue 2, Oct 1999

whats new      whats old      about us      our stories      get involved      home

Technology to help Save the Planet
If the price is Right!

How challenging would it be to slash electricity use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save households hundreds of dollars a year and offer Third world countries a significant opportunity to improve the lifestyle of the poorest of their population?

If such an opportunity was available would the company responsible for discovering it ensure a rapid effective production and distribution of the technology?

Well the answer will be
coming very quickly?

Scientists have developed a new product Gallium Nitride that could make lights last for 100,000 hours and cut energy costs by 80%. The material is already in production - it is being tested in a set of traffic lights in London. Essentially Gallium Nitride is a semi conductor that can be made to emit light in any colour but without wasting any energy in heat.

So the question remains. Will the holders of this technology quickly produce the billion light globes to replace the current incandescent globes and herald a big reduction in energy usage?

Will governments make strong requests for such action and in fact offer to promote and support such a program as away of showing genuine leadership in reducing the impact of greenhouse gases while savings citizens billions of dollars a year in unnecessary energy costs?

The American Multinational, General Electric (G.E.), is the parent of the new company established to promote this technology.

According to their press releases they will begin marketing late in 1999. The trouble is G.E. lighting produces thousands of lighting products - Will they quickly promote a technology that would undermine the billions of dollars they have invested in current practices?

Make no mistake the discovery an development of this new material is an outstanding achievement which can profoundly change our world.

The list of applications ranges from dramatically improving the reception of mobile phones to producing magnificent new full colour advertising screens. But on all current evidence the development of this glittering prize will be guided solely by commercial considerations.

The future of this innovation will be a litmus test of whether our society can effectively address our common environmental future.


If it's just too hard to ensure the quick cost effective commercialisation of a long life low energy light globe who are we trying to kid about saving the environment?

by Joseph Natoli SFSF


Information regarding Gallium Nitride
based on an address
by Colin Humphreys, Professor of Materials Science
at Cambridge addressing the
British Association Festival of Science.



Top of Page


Schools For a Sustainable Future

1 Curdies St.
E. Bentleigh Vic. 3165
Joe Natoli
Ph: (03) 9579-7224     Fax: (03) 9579-6153      Mobile: 0411-568-523


Website designed & maintained by



© 2000 Schools for a Sustainable Future