Climate action groups

Brett Mashado

Brett Mashado talks about his passive solar designed Energy Freedom home in the lead up to Sustainable House Day. The site has no gas connection, and running costs are a fraction of their gas bill alone in their previous home. 

Brett and Gilda Mashado and their three children have been living in their home in Mt Gambier SA and collecting energy usage data for almost one year. He is planning to open his home for Sustainable House Day next year (He couldn't, due to work committments, for this Sunday 11 Sep. There are many other houses you can see so check out the website)

https://sustainablehouseday.com/

Brett's house features:

7.2 stars on the NatHERS rating 

Bondor construction

Sanden heat pumps for hot water

Heat pump hydronic heating, through skirting 

Very well sealed, with an air change rate of 2.05 per hour, which is equivalent to the best standards internationally (for naturally ventilated homes)

NO GAS connection

induction cooktop

3kW PV system 

... and much more!

Queeensland University of Technology (QUT) is collecting one year of opearating data on the whole house, as well as individual circuits, and analysing this for a report due out soon.

Dr Sara Bice

Dr Sara Bice, Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, talks about her new book "Responsible Mining".

"Responsible Mining " - Is it an oxymoron or is it possible?

Dr Stephen Bygrave

AN OVERVIEW OF THE WORK OF BZE OVER THE YEARS
To speak about such a topic, the guest was BZE CEO Dr Stephen Bygrave who is about to embark on a new challenge to join the Queensland government as executive director in the field of environment and climate change.

The work of BZE has encompassed such diverse areas as 100% renewable energy and how soon this may be viable, buildings, battery storage, agriculture including land clearing, industrial processes (such as alternatives in the production of aluminium), and transport to name just a few. In fact BZE has attained worldwide acclaim.

Transport in particular is responsible for 15% of national emissions but the ridiculous dependence on cars in Australia is badly in need of a "mode shift" in favour of public transport and electric cars not forgetting the movement of freight. It is so short-sighted by governments to move freight on the road in lieu of rail which had been achieved in the past. BZE has also written on the topic of high speed rail which has been utilised so successfully in other countries, in particular India and China where there are so many people to accommodate!

So Stephen will perhaps be involved in the different challenges that Queensland can throw up  - none bigger than the Great Barrier Reef and Adani and land clearing!

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre 12/8/16)

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 www.suncrowd.com.au

 

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)

Hannah Aulby

Transition from Coal

Hannah Aulby grew up in Tasmania and she said she had an "environmentally aware youth" and her family were interested in environment matters .Since then she has travelled extensively globally, worked with Nick McKim, been Fundraising manager for BZE, Lock the Gate to mention a few. She is now Clean Energy Campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

She mentioned the problem of mine rehabilitation where there is a big need for money to be available for mines at the end of their use. For example Hazelwood (Australia's dirtiest coal fired power station) whose owners are "considering" closure with insufficient funds to so. But there are many who merely desert mines and just leave without legal redress. So it seems then the taxpayer would have to foot the bill. There is also a need too for the communities to plan and have some alternative transition to alternative employment. There is of course too much coal in the system at present.

Hannah concluded by reminding listeners of the Forum - Coral, Coal and Climate Change forum on 16th June at Box Hill Town Hall with Lighter Footprints and  ECAM ( Eastern Climate Action Melb.) as joint hosts. Local candidates and politicians to attend with Rod Quantock as M.C. One can only wonder how/if he can make an endangered Great Barrier Reef light hearted!

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Dr Stephen Bygrave

Dr Stephen Bygrave

Dr Stephen Bygrave on "Empowering Local Communities" 

BZE radio's Laura, Kay and Michael talked to Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO Beyond Zero Emissions, who described Australia as a "solar paradise" and rated as third globally on the availability of renewable resources but of course rated most extreme when it comes to emissions per capita. Yet as Stephen says the coal industry is "static" and the COALition is "stuck in the old ways". 

This writer is often inclined to feel depressed at the criminal lack of progress and disinterest displayed in the development of renewables so Stephen feels like a breath of fresh air - somewhat equivalent to that of Tasmanian air being sold to China in tins! Travelling widely it seems, Stephen's plans include developing blueprints for  change  across different states and sectors. Addressing the welcome drop in the cost of batteries he says not to forget the importance of agricultural emissions frequently not so recognised, but no less important than renewables (which he described as "more sexy"). The agricultural sector of course includes land use, land clearing, production and wastage of food, water, transport etc. all of which mainly driven by local communities as it seems are most such progressive movements.

On closing Michael mentioned the Newcastle demonstration. which was held the previous weekend where they were watching some of the coal ships depart and estimating each ship to be the equivalent to 100, 000 cars on the road!  So much for Adani v the Great Barrier Reef!

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Prof Kate Auty: Environment IS us

Professor Kate Auty, new Commissioner for Sustainability and Environment brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on Arts/Law, Environmental Science and Aboriginal Affairs. She enumerates similarities between these main areas. "Environment IS us" and climate change is pivotal to everything including water, transport, energy, bio-diversity etc. But leadership (seriously lacking) is important, not that of Napthine for example, who used the term "climate variability" which insinuates that climate change is a natural phenomenon that will right itself.  There is need for leadership such as demonstrated by Cathy McGowan in Indi who has shown a welcome propensity to listening and communicating, and one is reminded of the present Labor initiative such as the old-fashioned town hall meetings etc.

Kate tells us, our present ecological footprint is "outrageous" and 3 times the world average. We need more worlds! (Having a timley interview with the BZE radio team) the 22nd of April is also date for ratifying Paris agreements and Greg Hunt is participating (this accompanied by cynical laughter in the background by BZE interviewers present). 

Despite all this Kate says people should not despair, that BZE is a "standout organisation" and she enumerated some positive grassroots initiatives. We must look to the future with a new approach. One is reminded of Tim Flannery's comment that stress needs to be put now on adaptation rather than on mitigation.  

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre)

Further reading:

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

Trent Hawkins - Zero Net Energy Towns

Trent Hawkins is Senior Consultant at renewables and energy efficiency consultancy Enhar. He joins Beyond Zero to talk about his latest technical research on Zero Net Energy Towns. This project looks at supporting Australian towns and villages assess and design their own plan to achieve 100% renewable energy over a period of 5-10 years. Trent has completed a report about Uralla NSW which is a Z-NET Case Study Town. 

Trent was the Project Director of the recently published Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan at Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE). The report is a groundbreaking new pathway for Australia's existing buildings to respond to the challenges of climate change, dependence on fossil fuels, and rising energy prices. Trent was a research director with BZE, a climate change solutions think tank for over three years, including playing a role in senior management of the organization. He was a contributing author to the Banksia award-winning Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan. Trent is a Mechanical Engineer with a background in renewable energy and computational modelling.

Adrian Whitehead calls for climate action!

Beyond Zero editorialises ahead of the multiple climate rallies and Paris climate negotiations as a preamble to talking with Adrian Whitehead a climate campaigner currently advising Australian agricultural systems to intergrate bio char, which is a well known soil enhancer and carbon sink.

Implementing BZE Plans at Emergency Speed

Syndicate content