Pines could con­vert to en­ergy source

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JES­SICA MAD­DOCK

Po­ten­tial fu­ture elec­tric­ity sources in the Queen­stown Lakes and Cen­tral Otago dis­tricts will be ex­plored at a pub­lic fo­rum next week. The two district coun­cils, the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and the En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency and Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity have com­mis­sioned a study on the pos­si­bil­ity of us­ing re­new­able en­ergy sources, such as wild­ing pines, in the re­gion. Lo­cal busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions have been sur­veyed on their en­ergy use and their in­ter­est in switch­ing to a re­new­able source. Wanaka’s swim­ming pool, Mt Dif­fi­culty win­ery and Dun­stan High School were among ex­am­ples of lo­cal fa­cil­i­ties which had switched from us­ing coal to heat spa­ces and water, to us­ing wood. But de­spite the abun­dance of pesky wild­ing pines in the area, the wood chips they used were trucked in from forests. The fo­rum would dis­cuss the re­gion’s en­ergy use, along with the past, present and fu­ture sup­ply of en­ergy and how it may be af­fected. The speak­ers would in­clude en­ergy con­sul­tant Lloyd McGinty on the po­ten­tial for us­ing wild­ing pines as a source and two so­lar en­ergy spe­cial­ists, Yevrah Orn­stein and Scott Jones. Task force vol­un­teers would also be sought to de­velop the ideas fur­ther, be­fore pre­sent­ing their rec­om­men­da­tions mid year. The fo­rum is open and or­gan­is­ers hoped peo­ple with in­ter­ests in po­ten­tial en­ergy sources, or with views and ex­per­tise on tra­di­tional sources, would at­tend.

Photo: BROOKE GAR­DINER/ FAIR­FAXNZ 627619912

What: En­ergy fo­rum to dis­cuss the re­gion’s cur­rent and fu­ture en­ergy needs and how they may be sus­tain­ably met Pumped up: Healthy hearts were the fo­cus of Valen­tine’s Day for the young pupils of Ar­row­town Early Learn­ing Cen­tre who wore red and spent the day learn­ing about healthy hearts, good food and ex­er­cise. Teacher Alice Orr said the chil­dren had dressed in red and they had a vol­un­tary gold coin do­na­tion to raise funds for the Heart Foun­da­tion. ‘‘We’ve been learn­ing about what makes a healthy heart and talk­ing about the im­por­tance of good food and ex­er­cise.’’ Above, Chloe Ire­land, 3, feed­ing her brother Cooper Ire­land, 2, an ap­ple, while Fehn Cox, 3, cuts his healthy treats in the back­ground.

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