An Effervescence of Energy Experts

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Sparks are sure to fly when 4 of Australia’s energy experts descend on the Tweed coast next month for the region’s annual renewable energy showcase.

As North Coast Energy Forum convenor Mark Byrne explained, “Every year the Forum provides a venue for industry, government and the community to come together to work on progressing the North Coast to a sustainable energy system. We made substantial progress in relation to solar and bioenergy, but there is much more work to do.”

“This is the biggest shift in the world of energy in a century. We need to be up to date with what is happening with new technologies and policy changes. So this year, instead of having breakout sessions with lots of short presentations, we’ve decided to offer a series of masterclasses with experts in four critical areas of the energy transformation.”

“Jarra Hicks from Hepburn Wind and the Community Power Agency will talk about how to set up a community energy project, including raising money, creating the right investment vehicle, and dealing with potential opposition.” “Fiona Waterhouse from Utilitas will talk about a range of bioenergy technologies, but especially the potential for anaerobic digestion to create energy from waste streams on farms, in food processing and waste management plants.” “Andrew Simpson, an engineer who helped develop the early Tesla electric vehicles before starting his own EV consultancy in Brisbane, will explain the various ways that energy can be stored, how soon storage is likely to be widely affordable, and how the energy system will change radically when storage becomes ubiquitous.”

“Finally we have Craig Memery from the Alternative Technology Association, who knows more than is healthy about the National Electricity Market. Craig and I will discuss the various ways that you can make money out of selling energy into the grid as well as onsite, and the regulatory changes on the way that will make that easier.”

“It’s definitely a case of something for everyone,” said Mark Byrne. “We are aiming to continue to upskill North Coast locals to take on the challenge of shifting from the old centralised fossil fuel grid to a new world of decentralised, home-grown energy.”

More details about the masterclasses and the presenters are available at www.ncef.net.au . Earlybird tickets are available from only $49 until 26 September.

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