Homes that don't cost the earth
People with an eye to making their homes run more efficiently would do well to get to the inaugural Clean Energy Expo.
The Inaugural NZ Clean Energy Expo takes place at the NZ Clean Energy Centre (NZCEC) in Taupo from October 13-16. While the first two days are indursty based the weekend Expo focuses on the household and how consumers can embrace clean energy and dramatically cut the cost of running their homes Towards the Energy Positive Home, a free public workshop held on Saturday, October 15 is a comprehensive look at the action we can take.
Among the speakers is Jeroen Brand, guest lecturer at Auckland University of Technology for solar energy technology, who will cover the renewable energy resources available to the average New Zealand home and how to become a positive energy home, where you actually contribute and sell energy to the national grid.
Russell Judd from the NZ Clean Energy Centre will demonstrate an affordable way to dispense with the grid altogether, while Albrecht Stoecklein, from Righthouse, breaks down our energy use and shows us opportunities on how to tackle it. He takes a particular look at the insulation and ventilation systems in our homes.
Lee Barry from the World Wildlife Fund casts the net wider, looking at the possibility of New Zealand becoming 100% renewable and the gains to be had from striving for that goal.
Andrew Pollard, building physicist, Building Research Association of New Zealand, makes the case for solar water heating.
The venue for the Expo, the NZ Clean Energy Centre, is worth a visit in itself. The centre is a demonstration venue and showcase for a wide variety of clean energy solutions and it is a central hub for the hosting of clean energy related events. It is owned by a Taupo-based Community Trust.
The Expo should hold interest for industry professionals and public alike.
Day one is a Geothermal Workshop which includes a field trip to Mokai to see geothermal energy being used not only for electricity generation, but also for glasshouses, milk processing and worm farming. Day two is a bioenergy workshop. And days three and four offer a public expo along with several free informational workshops.
One such workshop is titled: The Car of the Future: Is it Electric? The workshop will feature presentations from global leaders in the electric vehicle market and will examine the value proposition of current electric vehicles, the implications for society and environment, and why EVs will be a catalyst for change. All Expo attendees will also be given opportunities to test drive electric cars and to see what the “fuel station of the future” looks like (NZ’s only networked EV charging station is installed at the Clean Energy Centre).
Rob McEwen, CEO of the NZCEC, says the Expo provides an opportunity for all New Zealanders to see what’s available today and what may be available in the near future as far as solutions which either produce or use clean, renewable energy. “Our Centre produces all of its own space heating and hot water from a combination of geothermal and solar systems, and produces much of its own electricity from two wind turbines and two solar photovoltaic systems. Visitors will be able to tour our Centre and see first-hand how these solutions work.”
The Public Expo is open from 10am-4pm on October 15-16, with an entrance fee of $10 per adult; children free. More information is available at www.cleanenergyexpo.co.nz
While the first two days are indursty based the weekend Expo focuses on the household and how consumers can embrace clean energy and dramatically cut the cost of running their homes