This lo-tech shipping container bristling with hi-tech renewable energy bits and pieces is the Green Energy Pod, unveiled this month at the Clean Energy Expo in Taupo. Built by Wellington-based ESG energy, the pod’s purpose is to demonstrate the capability and cost effectiveness of small-scale renewable energy generation. The pod is its own power station, running on wind and solar-generated electricity, and also energy from hydrogen gas. It is fitted with a special water splitter to allow hydrogen to be made from water. The hydrogen is then stored and used when the wind isn’t blowing to produce electricity, or can be used directly for cooking or heating. This allows the peaks and troughs of wind generation to be evened out and also allows the transmission pipework to act as an energy storage buffer. The Pod has been fitted to operate basic lap-top functions, an electric car charging unit, a mobile phone charging facility and the ability to a make coffee or cook a sausage. The applications for this technology are many and varied, from disaster relief situations, to remote communities or developing nations. ESG hopes to have a deployable version of the pod ready for market by mid 2012.