Solar Industry using Performance Enhancers:
…more rife than drugs in sport
Hot on the heels of doping allegations that have rocked professional sport in Australia, evidence is emerging about the use of performance enhancers in the local solar industry. Benefits have been claimed to be offered akin to those provided by vitamin tablets, blood transfusions, and doping injections. But these performance enhancers are re-shaping the solar industry, and threaten to delineate the ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots’. In this exclusive investigation, we take a look at some of the performance enhancers in common use, their claimed benefits and potential side effects.
The highly-competitive Australian solar industry is a fertile breeding ground for performance enhancements. The companies that finish first on the Australian ‘solar coaster’ are those that can achieve targeted growth during times of boom and fall back on strong foundations during times of bust. But our investigation shows that performance enhancers won’t show up in blood or urine tests. Instead high-tech solutions are embraced – think of a cyborg Lance Armstrong, complete with genetic engineering, GPS tracking, surveillance drones and augmented reality.
The latest performance enhancer to hit the street is codenamed ‘forecast’. If this were a surfing competition, ‘forecast’ would enable the surfer to choose the most powerful wave, paddle into the best take-off position, and aggressively ride the fastest sections, before coasting off the end while the competition gets dumped and rag-dolled in the impact zone. It’s possible that a time machine has been used in the latest shipment of ‘forecast’ to arrive on the shores. Shown a confiscated copy of Australian PV Forecast 2012-2017, a race official commented “this type of performance enhancement would put users at a massive advantage”. One of the most valued items on the black market, it fetches $4000. Thankfully it’s only released once a year.
Another performance enhancer boasts it will improve user’s vision. Codenamed ‘Insights’, this product has faster and more accurate espionage than the intelligence agencies themselves. The solar industry’s every movement is monitored as it happens by surveillance squads, GPS tracking, and private eyes. Similar technology helped football coaches manage their team more effectively, ‘Insights’ turns General Managers into a solar supercoach. One PV wholesaler was found to be using ‘Insights’ to identify the best rookies to recruit into its team. Its users are addicted, eagerly awaiting each monthly release with $275 clutched in sweaty palms.
An Artificial Intelligence implant is transforming ordinary people into super salesmen. Clutching their tablets to their chest, they perform thousands of calculations in a second, determining the most profitable option for their customer and delivering compelling results in the field. Complained one out-of-work installer, “this game used to be easy, but I can no longer sell with back-of-envelope calculations”. His competitor Geoff Bragg’d “for me PVSell is now faster than ever before… confirmed a sale of a 90kWp system on a University College this week on the back of PVSell analysis!” Development of new features that instantly profile energy consumption is rumoured for release next month, but its pricing seems to be too good to be true, from $450 per year.
New evidence is emerging that traders of what the underworld calls ‘certificates’ are now using a sophisticated online interactive insider intelligence tool (codenamed ClearView) that allows them to track creation, ownership, and trading or ‘certificates’. It is believed that every week they are using this for competitive advantage when selling these ‘certificates’ to addicted energy companies, and paying as little as $56/week for the weekly update. Though previously a small-scale operation, rumours have it that a service (codenamed RETelligence) is about to get Large.
Finally, a rumour has it that some solar companies are using growth hormones. Copies of a tool that instantly identifies high growth regions have turned up on laptop left inside an abandoned Mercedes. Witnesses said the owner drove off in a Ferrari, excitedly thanking “Solar Hot Spots” for his financial success. The growth hormone is suspected to result in a localised outbreak of solar panels, and its believed this may spread like contagion if a tipping point is reached. Police are tracking a receipt for $825, believed to meet four-quarter’s worth of addiction.
Most users of performance enhancers keep their usage a secret from others, which has kept them operating in the shadows. But pushers of the performance enhancers are brazen in their advocacy of their wares. One of the ringleaders and staunch advocate, Nigel Morris, defends the performance enhancers. “They’re not illegal, and the only side effect is improved wealth. You’d be a fool not use the latest technology to improve performance.”
Says Warwick Johnston of Byron Bay-based SunWiz (believed to be behind the most potent performance enhancers) “these technologies are used secretively because their users know that they’re a secret weapon. My clients simply want to maintain their competitive advantage.” But even as some solar companies are out-maneuvered by those using performance enhancers, Warwick is so bold to claim that his wares benefits the solar industry, “the real competition is not from within but against a dirty old foe. Modern technology is the best way to beat their devious old-world methods of ensuring favourable outcomes.”