Zero Carbon Australia 2020

Dr Stephen White

Dr Stephen White is CSIRO's Program Leader for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) talks about the EnergyFit Homes Project research, which is a collaborative approach to unlocking the value of energy efficient homes for buyers, renters and investors.  The EnergyFit Homes Project proposes a national voluntary home energy efficiency disclosure system, designed to empower consumers to rate and value homes with lower running costs and health, comfort and sustainability benefits.

Further reading:

CRCLCL Media Release: Consumers want energy-efficiency facts on homes – new research shows

Miriam Lyons

Miriam Lyons is Senior Campaigner - Renewable Energy at GetUp! She is co-author (with Nicky Ison) of the new report by GetUp! and Solar Citizens called Homegrown Power Plan, which shows how we can repower Australia's homes and businesses with 100% renewable power by 2030.

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)

Alexander Greig - Architect Green Magic Homes

Image result for green magic homes nz jpg

Beyond Zero speaks to Alexander Greig, Architect in New Zealand and Australasian dealer for Green Magic Homes. This technology provides arched structures made of fiber reinforced polymer modular components to build earth-sheltered green homes.

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.

Consumers and Economy Big Winners if Australia Captures Renewable Energy Advantage


Media Release

New report -Consumers and economy big winners if Australia captures
renewable energy advantage

Australia could become a world Renewable Energy Superpower if it captures the
competitive advantage its wind and solar resources provides, a new report by climate think
tank Beyond Zero Emissions finds.

The report also recommends reforming the nation’s energy markets, following dramatic
price rises over the past decade since deregulation.

Tim Forcey- NSW gas demand could halve in 10 years

Tim Forcey is the Energy Advisor at the Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) at The University of Melbourne, and is a regular guest on Beyond Zero (speaking previously on pumped hydro energy storage). In this podcast, Tim Forcey speaks about a new MEI paper which found that gas demand in NSW could fall to as much as half within ten years. 

MEI made a submission to the New South Wales Parliament's Upper House Inquiry into 'The supply and cost of gas and liquid fuels in NSW'. Tim was recently invited to testify at this Inquiry and present his work. The NSW goverment, AGL, Santos and many other organisation also testified, focusing on the supply side and warning of gas shortages. However Tim's research was really the only one that was focusing on the demand side. 

Network costs often make up the largest part of a consumer’s gas or electricity supply bill. Investments in network infrastructure are based on estimates of future demand. If demand is overestimated, unnecessary infrastructure is built. Such poor investment decisions drive up the costs that small and large gas consumers must pay.

Recent unprecedented electricity price increases across eastern Australia were partly due to overinvestment in network infrastructure that, in turn, was partly a result of year-after-year overestimation of electricity demand by the responsible planning bodies.

A present danger is that future gas demand in eastern Australia now likewise being overestimated.

Bruce Mountain and Paul Szuster


Time to write down the value of NSW networks

Carbon + Energy Markets (CME) Director Bruce Mountain, and Consultant Paul Szuster, join Beyond Zero radio's Niels and Michael to talk about the NSW Government's plan to partially privatise, two of its three distribution network service providers. One of the key issues is that the assets are over-valued.
Considering the conflicting interests and the high price NSW household consumers are currently paying for network services, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) commissioned CME to examine the regulatory valuation at privatisation, and identify relevant issues.

Emeritus Prof Stuart Hill - Dr Stephen Bygrave - Dr Tim Read

This show was broadcast on Mon 1 December 2014

Vivien from the Beyond Zero show speaks to University of Western Sydney Emeritus Professor Stuart Hill about BZE's recently released Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Plan. Then, BZE CEO Dr Stephen Bygrave and Dr Tim Read, Greens candidate for Brunswick, join her in the studio to talk climate change politics.
Tim Read Stuart Hill Steve Bygrave
Tim Read Stuart Hill Steve Bygrave



Colin Seis - Farmers & Regenerative Agricultural

This show was broadcast on 17 November 2014

Col Seis Bio on Winona from Peter Hill on Vimeo.

Colin Seis is the inventor of the Regenerative Agricultural practice of Pasture Cropping. Col tells the story of the history of his family's farming enterprise from the 18 Hundreds to the present. His journey and experiences are documented, and how he came to the conclusion that it is critical for farmers to manage their native grasslands well, to achieve a goal of Profitable Regenerative Agriculture.

Beyond Zero Emissions recently released research - Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry - has found that the best part of half our greenhouse gas emissions come from land clearing, savannah burning and methane  from livestock. The discussion paper takes six farms as case studies of how to reduce or balance out these emissions by carbon sequestering plants, cell grazing and increasing soil richness. BZE Radio's Vivien Langford speaks to Colin Seis's farm Winona is at Gulgong NSW and he features in the report.
A shorter interview is with retired farmers Liz and Bruce Irvine who share with us their hard won insights once they stopped fighting with nature. The interviews cover many topics including the pioneering days, Aboriginal land management and the network of like minded farmers around the world who are leading the way with climate friendly practises.

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