Renewables for Artists Team

Foreground Solar Installation at Ripple by Josh Vermette

Background RAT Solar Installation at The Empyrean Temple 

by Laurence Renzo Verbeck, Sylvia Adrienne Lisse and the Temple Crew


Photograph by Jamen Percy


Doug Hanson "Radio" at Spacecats Final Landing

The Problem

Hundreds of electric generators that burn gasoline and diesel fuels are used each year at Burning Man. While they have provided the electricity needed to power Black Rock City the generators produce noise, odor, air pollution and greenhouse gases. Also, generator operations can cause hazardous liquid spills on to the playa that require expensive cleanup. And, the generators are a health and safety hazard because they emit harmful air pollutants including carbon monoxide that can cause adverse health effects and even death.*

Generators in use at Burning Man 2022

The Solution

The Renewables for Artists Team (RAT) was formed to assist artists to move away from having to use generators to power their art installations and helps artists who have no or little knowledge about renewable power systems that are suitable for use at Black Rock City.


by Josh Vermette

“Friendship Cube”

by Lindsey Fielding

Strategy - Who and What

The RAT is comprised of  individuals who are concerned about the noise and air pollution the electric generators produce at Black Rock City.  Their collective vision is a hands-on approach to moving Black Rock City towards using renewable energy sources as much as possible that will have a real and quantifiable impact on reducing noise, odor, harmful air pollution and greenhouse gases.

Tactics - How

The RAT's Technical Advisors provide hands-on education and mentoring to artists who want to transition from powering their art installations with generators to renewable power systems. The RAT assists artists with: 

Troubleshooting - “Giganty’s Boundless Energy Gadget” 

Building - at the "Empyrean Temple” 

Troubleshooting - “Spacecats Final Landing” 

RAT Partners

Burners Without Boarders

BWB promotes activities around the globe that support a community's inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches to disaster relief and grassroots initiatives that make a positive impact.

Green Theme Camp Community

How might theme camps come together to share best practices, form collective values, and design the future role of theme camps to make Black Rock City a sustainable (and regenerative) home?

BLAST (Burner Leadership Achieving Sustainable Theme Camps)

BLAST is a green camp rating system that offers a framework for energy and resource efficient, environmentally conscientious, and regenerative theme camps. We provide an incentive to “Green Your Burn,” awarding camps and their members for successful sustainability efforts. 

Burning Man Hive

Burning Man Hive is a space for the Burning Man community and the Burner-curious to share their skills and knowledge, to learn from one another, and to support each other’s work in the world.

NEW! - 2023 Camp Symposium

Power: Using Less While Living Large

Sustainability is an important focus for many camps. However, many don’t know that you can reduce your power usage and carbon footprint without materially reducing all the good things generators and their electricity provide. Hear from our experts on how solar, LED’s and other technologies can help you have your cake and eat it too.

The Burning Man Project aspires to power the infrastructure and art of Black Rock City via energy from the sun by 2030. Organizations, camps, and artists are heeding this call, engaging Black Rock City and neighboring communities as a testing-ground to research and develop ways to harness and utilize solar power, not only during the annual event on playa, but throughout the rest of the year. As they learn to power The Man, The Temple, camps and MORE, emerging systems, networks, and best practices mark this endeavor to make Black Rock City a carbon-neutral model for future civilization.

The RAT thanks Terence Pratt and the Profiles In Dust media team for producing this important documentary.

*Generator air pollutants harm human health and contain greenhouse gases that cause global warming.  

Burning gasoline and diesel fuel creates harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide that can cause serious injury and death to Black Rock City participants, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons, benzene, and formaldehyde - all direct human health hazards

In addition, generators emit carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that contributes to global warning. Global warming has caused the worldwide and regional climates to change resulting in potential adverse affects to the environment, human health and safety.