Chris Cooper

SunCrowd - the home battery movement from SunCrowd on Vimeo.

SunCrowd is Australia’s first bulk-buy for solar storage solutions. Let’s use our bulk purchasing power to make batteries affordable!  Join the movement at


An entrepreneur in renewable energy

Chris Cooper is Chief Energy Officer and co-founder of SunCrowd, who are helping communities run local bulk-buy campaigns to make rooftop solar and storage easy and affordable. Chris Cooper became a keen clean energy student whilst at high school studying Economics and Geography and he was encouraged by gaining a Winston Churchill Fellowship scholarship which took him overseas to U.K., U.S. and Europe.  He favoured working for a practical change rather than joining academia and to concentrate in a local area.  To achieve this, he co-founded SunCrowd mainly situated in Shellharbour, Nowra and recently launched in SunCrowd Newcastle, NSW, although he has received calls from places as far afield as Alice Springs, Broken Hill and Melbourne. He finds people are keen for information on dispatch and storage of power.

Specialising on local communities seems to resonate with Germany where ownership of power has been returned to local communities. And of course in Australia with the development of rooftop solar despite the drop in feed-in tariffs. At the same time he has found problems in achieving grants and government funding and has found ARENA rather bureaucratic compared with the US which has provided millions in Government grants. ARENA seems to favour large organisations such as AGL.  Hopefully he says his submissions will change this but there is certainly room for that considering the present Prime Minister speaks regularly of "innovation"!

(Summary written by Bev McIntyre)

Dr Sara Bice talks social licence

Need for understandable data on increasing prevalence of unconventional gas and its impact on sedimentary basins

The BZE team talks to Dr Sara Bice with a history of journalism, sociology and now research fellow at Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne. 

Dr Sara Bice spoke of the need to create a regulatory basis and need for management of underground resources considering sedimentary basins comprise to a great extent  Australia's primary energy and water for agriculture and general rural population needs - in particular relating to CSG. This will have major effects on environmental economy and communities.  There is of course a need for a baseline for the effects of CSG and fracking in particular and with a moratorium such as that in Victoria.  The growth in CSG wells in Queensland alone has amounted to possibly 40,000 from 3000 in 2003! There is in particular a need for a better connection between University research, industry and policy makers and for the use of social media to provide a strong platform and despite for example, AGL giving the reasons for withdrawal as being financial with no mention relating to the power of protests. Reference to  AGL and "the license to operate" was also made by Green's Jeremy Buckingham. Is "social license" controlled by companies?

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Further reading:

Coal seam gas debate is more than hot air: Did community opposition have a role in AGL’s decision to quit exploration of natural gas?

The Sustainable Sensibility - Blog by Sara Bice

Sara Bice on The Conversation

Do mining companies have a "social licence" to operate?

Dr Sara Bice Awarded Research Fellowship

Shenhua vs Liverpool Plains Farmers

This show was broadcast on Mon 5th October 2015

Retired Independent MP Tony Windsor, NSW Farmers mining spokesman Tim Duddy and farmers from the Liverpool Plains. They came to Lane Cove to mobilise support and they want to prevent Shenhua's Watermark coal mine spoiling their aquifers, and Aboriginal sacred sites. ‪#‎WrongMineWrongPlace‬
People are very upset about the defeat at Maules Creek. Half the forest has been bulldozed now and Whitehaven is already producing coal from an open cut mine. Now citizens are putting all their campaigning energy into defending the Liverpool Plains farmland against Shenhua Chinese state owned coal company.

Wendy Bowman  

Listen here to the podcast

Further Reading:

"Innovative, Agile, Disruptive"

This show was broadcast on Mon 28th September 2015 

In light of Australia's new Prime Minister and as momentum gathers towards the Paris Climate talks, BZE will be featuring a talk from Malcolm Turnbull​ launching the Zero Carbon Australia Report.
Also we give you a taste of some of the campaigns pushing climate action;
Artist David Watson on his Abbott Proof fence, Prof David Karoly on how he got into Climate science.

Prof Will Steffan on the new Climate Council report:
Dr Stephen Bygrave on 100% reduced emissions, Prof Kevin Anderson on Naomi Klein, and Bill Mc Kibben on Divestment.

Listen here to the podcast

The below video is an excerpt from the launch of the 2010 BZE Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan in which Malcolm Turnbull endorses rapid climate solutions focused on renewable energy and grid innovations


Zero Carbon Australia Launch Video with Guest Speaker Malcolm Turbull

"Real Clothes For the Emperor, Facing the Challenges of Climate Change"

This show was broadcast on Mon 21st September 2015

What they won't tell you about the climate catastrophe

Interview with Prof Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Are the climate deniers right? Are some scientists colluding with government to hide the truth about climate change? "Yes", according to top British scientist Kevin Anderson - but not the scandal you've heard about. (Courtesy Radio Ecoshock)

Listen here to the podcast

Resolution on Climate Action

This show was broadcast on Mon 27th July 2015

Vivien interviews members from the Labour Environment Action Network(LEAN)
Members interviewed include Felicity Wade, Asren Pugh and Claire O'Rourke
Beyond Zero Emissions appreciated the fringe events at the ALP conference in Melbourne.
Vivien attended and made this compilation of voices from the climate rally outside featuring Fiona Armstrong from CAHA, Peter Marshall a firefighter, John Grimes ASC, Anthony Albanese MPand Mark Butler MP
Vivien also interviews Senator Larissa Waters about her reactions to this latest Labour initiative.

Listen here to the podcast


This show was broadcast on Mon 5th Jan 2015

 The subject of today's discussion is 'Methane'
Here we replay a segment from the popular 3CR show 'Radio EcoShock' broadcast on Sunday 6:00am to 7:00am' which warns of the sinister danger of excessive methane in the atmosphere.

 Later in the show Vivien introduces the subject of Heatwaves and how to deal with the effects on vulnerable members of the community.
 The presenters in this interview are
 Gerard Mansour Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Anthony DeWit from Ambulance Victoria

Listen here to the podcast

Gerard Mansour

Is Coal Obolete?

This show was broadcast on Mon 29th Dec 2014

Is Coal Obsolete?

This show brought to you by courtesy of the 'Wheeler Centre'

A debate on the subject of coal.. Is coal obsolete?

First speaker is Bob Brown
Followed by Dr Nicky Williams and Lane Crocket representing Pacific Hydro

Prepare yourself for this heated debate!

Listen here to the podcast

Gloucester.. You Are Not Alone

This show was broadcast on Mon 22nd Dec 2014

The subject of this show is:
Gloucester.. You Are Not Alone

First we hear a session recorded live from this majestic venue.
You will hear speeches by several prominant campaigners.

Listen here to the podcast

  Here Vivien speaks with Phil Laird National Co-ordinator at Lock the Gate Alliance

Later we present a segment from an Alan Jones broadcast in which he refers to popular Australian rugby union player David Pocock who was recently arrested for chaining himself to machinery at the Whitehaven site.

Finally she interviews activist Phil Laird about the 'Lock the Gate' protest movement
and then speaks with some members of the local community.

Enjoy your outing!

Divestment Day 18 OCT 14

This show was broadcast on Mon 13 October 2014

A jam packed show with reasons to divest from fossil fuels. Vivien talks to participants at an Erskenville workshop and Mara Bun and Bob Welsh speak to the good economics of divestment. Christine Milne defends the RET and the Pacific Warriors come to Australia to highlight that their homes are going under due to the rest of the world’s failure to take action on climate change.

It’s time to move our money out of the industry causing climate chaos. Join on October 18 for a national day of Divestment Action, where Australians will tell the “Big 4” banks to stop financing fossil fuels. As hundreds of us turn out across the country, we’ll be joined by a delegation of Pacific Island Climate Warriors, who will be arriving on our shores to peacefully stand up to the fossil fuel industry. You’ll want to be part of it!

Join at a location near you - National Divestment Day 18 OCT 14

Mara BunChristine Milne

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