Winning idea

Fenced in with affordable energy

Idea: Residential housing estates have millions of square metres of fencing. Fences generally stand dormant and could be utilised for energy generation.

Details: Elon Musk developed roof tiles / shingles that can harness solar energy as well as to continue providing waterproof roof shelter. A variation on this idea is making use of the combined surface area of a fence to generate clean energy.


Solar Pole - Mary Zegura
Energy trade offs app - Kate Chaney

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About the winner

Pete Clausen

Pete Clausen completed a part time Master of Business Administration (USQ), where persistence paid off after 5 years - graduating August 2016. Pete started PAAC Construction Materials Pty Ltd in September 2015 and he is progressing a startup residential construction company based on a business model he developed during his studies. Pete and his wife Kelly have four children and they are in the process of building their second home. Pete enjoys looking for solutions to 'problems' and 'hurdles' that he and colleagues are confronted with. He likes to generate ideas that can be researched and potentially commercialised, particularly ideas involving the clean energy sector and construction materials industry.

What inspired your idea? 
All my ideas are borne from an immediate need or the way things are shaping up in the world and need changing. My idea last year and two this year have each been shortlisted and so 3 from 3, I figure I'm punching above my weight. The 'fenced in with affordable energy' idea came from a need for me to source privacy fencing and solar energy solutions for my family and home.  The question was: Could the need for privacy fencing and a solar energy system be incorporated into one solution?

What does winning mean for you?
A validation that some of my 'many, many' ideas that I float past people have some merit and could be pursued with the support of like minded and innovative colleagues that share the same vision as I do. 'Winning' isn't so much anything I aspire to achieve but rather myself and others getting 'value' from the idea(s), the journey and the end goal.

What are the three key steps to take your idea to the next stage?
1. Establishing like minded contacts and firming up approaches for a solar energy solution that could be incorporated into fencing materials
2. Proof of concept - including performance, reliability and robustness (in a residential setting)
3. Production, commercialisation and marketability - any comparable product and product differentiation.

What will you do with your $500 prize?
Pay down any associated debt generated from my various 'idea generation' activities and continuing investment in my 'entrepreneurial pursuits' that others may find of value. Initially pin the $500 to the fridge door and show the kids that 'not every idea, and certainly very few will ever pay off - but you only need that 'one good idea!'