Here is a listing of Podcasts since October 2011 sorted by views (desc)

Mindful of Climate Show - Rev Alistair Macrae, Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black and John Barter

In the first part of our "Mindful of Climate" show, BZE's Vivien Langford speaks to Rev Alistair Macrae, President of the Uniting Church in Australia. They talk about giving support to partner churches in Tuvalu and other parts of the Pacific and discuss the importance of Australia meeting its international responsibilities as a major polluter, by taking strong and swift action on climate change.

In the second part of the "Mindful of Climate" show, Vivien speaks with Rabbi Jonathan Keren –Black and meditation teacher John Barter.

Hope for Australia's first Solar Thermal Power plant in Port Augusta SA

BZE Radio starts the new year 2012 with a hopeful story about Port Augusta.

We interview the main actors in this Proposed Australian Project. Greg Perkin from Port Augusta Council, Mark Ogge Strategic Director at Beyond Zero Emissions, Robyn Waite from CLEAN and Dr David Shearman from Doctors for the Environment.

Simon Mackenzie CEO Vector NZ solar battery leasing

Simon Mckenzie is CEO of Vector, New Zealand’s largest distributor of electricity and gas, 40% of the business in related technology services and products where we are also committed to continued strong growth.

Simon explains that NZ is currently at 70% renewables, which is predominantly hydro.
There are no Feed-in tariffs (FiTs) or subsidies for renewable energy there, so 80% of customers are looking to control or manage their electricity use which can be as simple as turning off lights and moving on to complex building automation systems. Trials have included cloud computing control, time shifting usage and micro wind in urban areas. Vector have found difficulty with Solar Hot Water systems SHW in retrofitting to homes.

Laggard to Leader Launch


The Melbourne University launch of Laggard to leader on 23rd July throws down the gauntlet to diplomats and policy makers. Cut through the unwieldy UN Climate change negotiations and take action now in our sphere of influence.

In excerpts from the launch hear co-author Fergus Green, Associate Professor Peter Christoff and some of the audience wrestle with the challenge of this Critical decade.

How can Australia phase out coal and gas in our sphere of influence? What will stop other coal exporters ramping up their business? How can we assist emerging fossil fuel exporters to move to a more sustainable trade? Is it true that 80% of the global fossil fuels must remain unexploited if we are to stay within a safe carbon budget?
How can we become a climate action leader?

Nick Carson chats with BZE General Manager, Pablo Brait, about how the report has been received and what are the implications for our leaders.

The report supplements BZE’s Zero Carbon Australia work, and shows how our vision to transform the domestic economy can be expanded and leveraged in response to the broader international failure on climate change.
Programme produced by Vivien Langford


Mark Rayner, Project Manager at Greenough River Solar Farm


Mark Rayner is Project Manager at Greenough River Solar Farm in WA and member of the Business Development team at Verve Energy. He has many years experience in wind and solar projects, and was among the first to graduate from Murdoch University's Master's course in Renewable Energy in the late 1990's. 

Greenough River Solar Farm is a 10 megawatt (MW) solar farm being developed by joint venture partners Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services on a farm 50km southeast of Geraldton, Western Australia. At a cost of about $50 million, the project will create more than 50 construction jobs and be operational by mid 2012. It will be Australia's first utility scale solar farm and the largest to date (as of June 2012) in Australia.


First Solar, the world's largest manufacturer of CdTe solar modules, is providing the PV technology using more than 150,000 thin film PV modules to construct the solar farm. First Solar is also providing engineering, procurement and construction services and once the facility is built, operations and maintenance support.

Dylan McConnell: Merit Order Effect - How renewables are reducing electricity prices

Dylan McConnell is Research Fellow at the Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI), University of Melbourne and a major contributor to MEI and BZE's Zero Carbon Australia project - Stationary Energy Plan which details a transition to a completely decarbonised Australian economy within a decade.

Dylan's latest research paper has modelled how renewable energy generators are reducing wholesale electricity prices in the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM). This is explained by the merit-order effect where the generation capacity is ranked by the price that it is bid into the market (NEM). Low-cost electricity generators, including renewable sources such as wind and coal, are used before high-cost generators like peak gas turbines.

A consequence of this system is that significant deployments of low marginal cost electricity generators, including renewables such as wind and rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV), can reduce the spot price of electricity. In Australia, this prospect has been recognized in concern expressed by some coal-fired generators that delivering too much renewable generation would reduce wholesale electricity prices.

Dylan's research found that 5 GW of capacity, comparable to the present per capita installation of photovoltaics in Germany, the reduction in wholesale prices would have been worth in excess of A$1.8 billion over 2009 and 2010, all other factors being equal. Another finding was that feed-in tariff policies could deliver savings to consumers, contrary to prevailing criticisms that they are a regressive form of taxation.

The full paper can be downloaded at:

Retrospective modeling of the merit-order effect on wholesale electricity prices from distributed photovoltaic generation in the Australian National Electricity Market

Dr. Keith Lovegrove - The value of storage & dispatchable solar thermal power

Dr. Keith Lovegrove, former leader of the ANU Solar Thermal Group and now Senior Consultant – Solar Thermal at renewable energy consultancy IT Power, speaks to Beyond Zero about the latest Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) plant technology, CSP storage developments and his recent trip to the SolarReserve Crescent Dunes project currently under construction in Tonopah, Nevada US.

As the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) generated electricity has dropped dramatically in recent years through larger commercial scale projects, the economic opportunity for solar thermal power has come through the ability to store the generated heat in chemicals, typically molten salt. This heat can then be used to drive a steam turbine and generate electricity when required. This 'dispatchability' is the ability to generate whenever the demand is there. Keith points out that peaking power is more valuable than baseload. He says the real value of storage and dispatchable electricity could be much larger. Although renewable energy portfolios and Feed-in Tariffs have increased solar installed capacity, there is no real policy that currently recognises your ability to generate at a time of high demand - there's no time signal.

In addition to electricity generation, Keith also sees this energy storage being utilised to make fuels. Fuels for transport and as a way of moving solar energy between countries, to replace the oil trade! 

PhD candidate, Joan Manuel Fernandez Mendoza from The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on transport infrastructure

Joan Manuel Fernandez Mendoza is PhD candidate from The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). His studies focus on the life cycle assessment of urban transport infrastructures. The aim of the research is to compare the environmental burden associated with different mobility infrastructures and the potential benefit of replacing conventional designs with more sustainable alternatives.

Chris Winter, CEO of RedFlow

Chris Winter is CEO of RedFlow, an Australian company, based in Brisbane, that is among the first in the world to install fully operational and functional zinc-bromine modules (ZBMs) into power utility applications. These batteries have energy storage applications to complement the intermittant nature of renewable energy power generation.

John Grimes - Australian Solar Council

Solar crushing profits of big polluters

John Grimes launched Australian Solar Council's Save Solar campaign on 3 Feb to counter the big polluter companies who are trying to get rid of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The RET has helped:

  • 5 million Australians to go solar (both PhotoVoltaic and Solar Hot Water),
  • installed over 3GW of PV,
  • created 2500 jobs,
  • allowed low and fixed income households to lock in power prices of the future (by offering a small Point of Sales discount),
  • reduced the wholesale cost of electricity during recent heatwave by reducing peak demand,
  • eliminated huge profits made by power generators,
  • seen the democratisation of energy.

No wonder it's all under threat! Solar is taking the customer away from the power company - from the archaic fossil fuel industry, based on a 100 year old business model which is protected by government subsidies and vested interests.

SolarX: Australia's first solar electric hybrid sports car

Founded in May 2013, SolarX Corporation Pty Ltd is a private Australian company which prototypes and commercialises electric transportation technologies. We are also striving to commercialise Australia's first fully road-legal solar-electric hybrid vehicle.

Beyond Zero's Anthony & Matt talk to entrepreneur & founding CEO of SolarX, Barry Nguyen, about the project collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and Aurora Vehicle Association.

We also talk to SolarX Director of Engineering, Dr Clint Steele, who is a Senior Lecturer at Swinburne's Faculty of Engineering & Industrial Sciences. He holds a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a PhD in Engineering. Nadasha Zhang, Director of Business Development & Intellectual Property, then talks about her work at SolarX and background as a multi-industry entrepreneur.

Aurora, a not-for-profit Melbourne-based group, has been developing solar racers for decades and was keen to produce a commercially viable street legal two-seat sports car to demonstrate the capabilities of solar power.

Tim Adams, F2 Design & President BDAV

Tim Adams is President (2010- 2012) of the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV), a not-for-profit, industry body which acts for building design professionals.  

Tim is founder of the BDAV 10 Star Challenge which is a competition to design 10-Star energy efficient homes in two categories: single dwellings, and multi-residential projects (units, townhouses, apartments). He also runs an architectural design and consultancy firm called F2 (pronounced F - squared) Design.

Ramping up against coal

Beyond Zero interviews Greenpeace Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner Georgina Woods on the Greenpeace report “Cooking the climate: Wrecking the reef", about the global impact of coal exports from Australia’s Galilee Basin.

Nine mega coal mines are planned for Queensland's Galilee Basin, with five of these projects larger than any coal mine currently operating in the country. If these go ahead, they could produce more coal than Australia currently exports. In addition, the federal government has recently approved the expansion of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal which is likely to affect the Great Barrier Reef. Greenpeace examines the health effects on coal-affected communities and the global implications of coal exports.
The Greenpeace report can be downloaded here.

We also discuss coal with Blair Palese, CEO of Australia and the Communications Director, Antarctic Ocean Alliance. in well known for organising international 'Days of Action', most recently for 'India Beyond Coal'.'s online campaigns, grassroots organising and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by people in 188 countries. We also ask Blair about her views on solutions such as those detailed in BZE's Zero Carbon Australia plans.

Georgina and Blair encourage you to get involved in your local community climate group and take action at:

Stefan Larsson, Vice-President of Engineering of Solarus, solar PV + thermal hybrid technology

Stefan Larsson is CTO and Vice President of Engineering of Solarus, an inventor and manufacturer of solar PV + thermal hybrid technology. The Swedish designed hybrid system is a combination of the two systems - PV modules and thermal collectors. The heat output from the hybrid panel is transferred through solar pipes to the heat storage boiler while the electricity is transferred to the inverter and then to the grid.

Cameron Lewis, Hydrostor - Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage


Cameron Lewis is President and Founder of Hydrostor, a Canadian start-up developing Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) which complements renewable energy generation. The intermittent nature of wind and solar can be overcome with storage offering many benefits such as load shifting, transmission line savings and generation loss avoidance. Cameron believes the 100% renewable energy future is approaching.

Hydrostor’s world first Underwater CAES 1MW/4MWh demonstration facility is scheduled to begin construction in 2013. It will be located 7km from the shore of Toronto, the system will be situated in Lake Ontario at a depth of 80m.

Hydrostor's rapidly deployed, low cost system uses non toxic substances with minimal environmental disturbances while offering 70% round trip efficiencies without the need for additional fossil fuel heat.



Mark Diesendorf UNSW - 100% Renewables

  Mark Diesendorf Image

Associate Professor Mark Diesendorf, Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW, has recently co-authored a report about a 100% renewable energy grid for Australia.

The results of the peer-reviewed study by an interdisciplinary team at UNSW are to be published in the journal Energy Policy. The researchers are Dr Diesendorf, Ben Elliston, of the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, and Dr Iain MacGill of the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets. The study titled ‘Least cost 100% renewable electricity scenarios in the Australian National Electricity Market’ can be downloaded here.

Lindsay Soutar- National Director of Solar Citizens

Lindsay Soutar

Solar Citizens is a Sydney based solar advocacy organisation that campaigns to protect the interests of solar producers and that now has groups in every state in Australia.

Today Matt Grantham and Niels Becker discuss their latest campaign to help save the renewable energy target and the changing demographics of the solar consumer as represented by their membership base.

Solar Citizens currently has fifty thousand members and continues to grow. In today's interview we discuss the trend of increasing support for solar on the conservative side of politics as they aspire to higher levels of energy independence.

Nigel Morris, Director of SolarBusinessServices


Nigel Morris is Director of SolarBusinessServices, an award winning consultancy, established in Sydney in 2009, specialising in business development in the Australian solar PV (PhotoVoltaic) industry. Beyond Zero talks to him about the massive growth of grid connect rooftop solar in Australia to a current installed capacity of about 2GW (gigawatts) and the effects of depleting government incentives. With average PV manufacturing costs as low as $0.70c/W, Nigel sets some predictions for grid parity in the near future.

SolarBusinessServices has consulted on many commercial solar PV projects as well as providing market intelligence, analysis, strategy, business plans and public relations advice. Nigel has worked in the solar industry for almost 20 years, including 12 years at BP Solar. He regularly speaks at seminars, conferences and workshops for industry professionals. He also writes for Climate Spectator and RenewEconomy. 

Nigel received the Australian Solar Energy Society “Advocacy and Industry Leadership Award” in 2011.


Mara Bun, CEO Green Cross Australia

Mara Bun is CEO of Green Cross Australia, a not-for-profit helping people to adapt to our changing climate, in ways that embrace sustainability and foster community resilience. Green Cross Australia's latest program, Every Rooftop, aims to make solar energy accessible through an innovative leasing model that also financially supports their work.

The vibrant Mara joins Beyond Zero's Anthony and Matt for an informative and entertaining interview which will change your perception of solar to a financial instrument that offsets your electricity bill and also has environmental and community benefits. In Australia, over 1 million homes have gone solar to date. Every Rooftop's mission is to make solar energy accessible to even more Australians by offering Australia's first residential solar lease.

Sustainable Fashion & Climate Change

Have a look down at what you’re wearing. Do you know what that top’s made out of? Or where your jeans were made? How much did you pay for your dress? And how many times will you wear it before you throw it away? Do you wash those trousers each time you wear them? And throw them in the dryer as well?  Are you wearing something that you got from a second hand shop? Are you wearing something that has a special meaning or memory attached to it?

In this show, we take a look at the fashion industry and the ways it’s responding to issues like sustainability and climate change. We speak to four passionate ladies from the world of fashion design; Kate Fletcher, Georgia McCorkill, Genevive Edmonds and Patricia Brien.

Genevive Edmonds, of Little Green Dress.

Kate Fletcher, Leader in Sustainable Design at London College of Fashion and director of design for sustainability fashion consultancy; Slow Fashion.

Patricia Brien, Lecturer in Trend Forecasting, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT.

Georgia McCorkill, Fashion Designer and PHD student with the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT

Senator Christine Milne and Drew Hutton Interviews

In today's Community Show Podcast (broadcast on Mon 3 March 2014).. Vivien Langford interviews Christine Milne and Drew Hutton.
Drew Hutton is leader of the 'Lock the Gates' activist group.
Recently John Kerry raised concerns about the powerful lobbies and Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund says future generations will be fried and toasted unless we as a community take action urgently to reduce the adverse affects of climate change.
Here Drew discusses the hypocracy of Coalition Govt policy and the powerful lobby groups who militate against the farmers who wish to protect their long term interests. He makes the point that the Greens and Christine Milne are outspokem on environment issues more then they need to be because environmental groups are not being vocal enough.

Dr Roger Dargaville from the Melbourne University talks about optimizing the renewable energy network by using computer modelling

Dr Roger Dargaville is Senior Energy Systems Analyst and the lead of the Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) Energy Futures Group at the University of Melbourne, a group of active researchers with interests in energy technologies and the economic and legal aspects of the energy system.

He is working on Melbourne University Renewable Energy Integration Laboratory (MUREIL), a computer model which aims to design an optimal renewable energy network for Australia to provide the most reliable and least expensive electricity onto the national grid. Computer optimisation is calculating the best locations and mix of wind farms, wave, tidal, solar power stations to match Australia’s energy needs.

Exporting more coal and gas?

Newcastle, home of the biggest coal loader in the world, is set to expand at Terminal 4.Tonight we talk to activists Steve Phillips, Amanda Albury and Fergus Green. Music from The Lurkers


Steve tells us how cancer rates have soared among families on Kooragang Island. A wetland there, protected by an international treaty for birds migrating from China, Japan and Korea is set to be destroyed.

Amanda is president of Rivers SOS. She has campaigned for many years against the impact of coal mining around rivers .Shereports on the recent case where Duralie Coal Co was taken to court. She challenges the heart warming ads we see from the Mining Industry and the myth they put about
that coal seam gas is a “clean” energy.


Fergus Green is the co-author of BZE’s latest report “From Laggard to leader”.

We are laggards in that we have the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world. When we try to evade this by saying “Well , Australia only causes 1.5% of World emissions:” we have our heads down the coal mine.

Our fossil fuel exports are booming and we are on track to export twice the fossil fuels of Saudi Arabia creating 4% of world emissions. The expanded coal facility at Newcastle is a case in point. Fergus analyses how stopping exported emissions in our sphere of influence can make us a leader in turning around irreversible climate change.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Albury

Terminal 4 would have new rail lines running through the wetland with coal dust full of cancerous particulate matter whirling off the uncovered wagons day and night. Submissions from the public scream out a message to the planning minister

” Climate change is happening faster than predicted; the impacts are more serious than people realized. To contribute ,...nay actively encourage developments such as T4 is a grossly irresponsible act of governance.”

Rob Murray-Leach CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council


Rob Murray-Leach is the CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC), the peak body for commercial and industrial energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, with HSBC estimating that global revenue from energy efficiency more than doubled between 2008 and 2009 to reach $164 billion. Rob joins Beyond Zero's Anthony Daniele to talk about emissions abatement, demand response, efficient appliances and the effects of the recently introduced carbon price on energy efficiency policies. Rob believes that most businesses can reduce 30- 50% of their emissions through energy efficiency.

Rob has an extensive background in climate change, energy, transport and sustainability, as an author on the Garnaut Climate Change Review and senior policy expert in the South Australian Government. His academic background from Oxford and Adelaide focused on behaviour and sustainability, and he has contributed to a number of texts in this field.
9/10/2012 EEC Member - Big Switch Projects conducts study on impact of carbon price on business power bills
31/7/2012 Rob Murray-Leach, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council talks about how the amount of energy is wasted in Australia.


High Speed Rail - all aboard for Brisbane!

This show was broadcast on Mon 1 September 2014

High Speed Rail & Electric Cars

Beyond Zero's Vivien and Jane talk to Brad Shultz, organiser of the Brisbane launch for the ZCA High Speed Rail report. Speakers at the launch will discuss the technical, economic and social issues relating to high speed rail in Australia. Speakers included Stephen Bygrave, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters

Doug McClenahan, Project Leader of the Drake Landing Solar Community

Doug McClenahan is Project Leader of the Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC) and Natural Resources Canada’s Manager of Active Solar Research and Development. District heating at the DLSC is provided by seasonal solar thermal energy storage. Solar thermal energy is collected in the summer, stored underground, and then returned to the homes as heat during the winter.

Doug says 97 percent of space heating needs for the community’s 52 single-detached homes were met by solar thermal energy last year, a feat unprecedented anywhere else in the world. He is planning for 100% solar this year, which is its sixth year of operation. The energy efficient homes are very well insulated and air tight. 

An array of 800 solar panels located on garage roofs throughout the community generate 1.5MW of thermal power during a typical summer day and supply heat to the district heating system. During the warmer months, the heated water is distributed from the short-term storage tank to the borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system via a series of pipes. As the heated water travels through the pipe-work, heat is transferred to the surrounding earth. The temperature of the earth will reach 80 degrees Celsius by the end of each summer. In winter, the heated water in the bore hole field passes to the short-term storage tank and is then circulated to the homes through the district heating loop to provide space heating to the homes. 

Natural Resources Canada won the 2011 Golden Energy Globe World Award for the DLSC project, the first time a Canadian project has achieved such a distinction.

Check out the live performance of the DLSC site here (updated every 10 mins):

Richard Keech - Why no gas in buildings?

Anthony Daniele and Ben Courtice are joined by Richard Keech, BZE researcher for the Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) Buildings Plan - a blueprint to transition buildings to zero emissions. Richard and the team have released briefing paper drawing on the available research into the various problems of using gas, and conclude that gas use should be phased out (in buildings in particular) – based primarily on its climate impact. Download the paper here: Why no gas in buildings?

Craig Memery ATA

Craig Memery is the Alternative Technology Association's (ATA) Energy Market Specialist and Consumer Advocate. The ATA is Australia's leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable technology and practice. Craig has over ten years experience in renewable energy and his consulting work includes feasibility studies and wind assessments for state and local governments, businesses and increasingly community funded renewable energy projects. 

He joins Beyond Zero's Anthony Daniele and Ben Courtice to talk about the impact of large-scale wind generation on the National Electricity Market (NEM), electricity pricing, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Renewable Energy Target (RET), merit order effect and other energy policies.

From Boorowa to Vietnam


Boorowa is a NSW town surrounded by rolling hills where dependable winds gave local farmers an idea to approach the wind industry. The proposed wind farm, at Rugby nearby, has caused divisions in the town. So Vivien Langford interviews Lisa Cotter from the shop front Community information centre which is giving maximum opportunity for consultation. We talk to a local farmer Paul Reardon and the CEO of “Re-Power” Chris Judd. This is the first in a series where we hope to follow the Rugby wind farm through the “gateway” process and potentially to generating enough clean energy for 75,400 homes.

Vietnam has plans for more coal fired power plus new nuclear plants to fuel its development. Vivien talks to Patrick Kirkby, who researched the possibilities for renewable energy in Vietnam. He went there as a catalyst for change with ”Journeys for Climate Justice”. He found a wind farm that’s grid
ready but not connected and many obstacles in the path of a clean energy future. In partnership with An Giang University in the Mekong Delta, Patrick met the key stakeholders, organised a climate conference and convened workshops. He showed them the Zero Carbon Australia plan and generated great interest. Patrick’s individual leadership is a model for what Australia could be doing as a global partner to developing countries.

You can now join the Mekong Climate Action Group on facebook:

Photos of the project can be found on JCJ's Facebook Page:

Pooran Desai OBE, BioRegional & BedZED eco-village

Pooran Desai OBE is Co-founder of BioRegional and International Director of One Planet Communities, not-for-profit organisations creating an initiative of practical projects and partnerships that demonstrate how we can live within our fair share of the earth’s resources.

Pooran Desai and Sue Riddlestone also created BedZED (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK’s first and best-known large-scale mixed use sustainable community, with 100 homes, office space for around 100 workers and community facilities, which was completed in 2002 (in South London).

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