Thursday, 22 November 2007

Power to, for and of the People

Energy! Carbon! Eco-design! This is a description of a proposed
applied research project. The project will pilot dispersed,
appropriate scale energy production and enhanced energy efficiency in
the Waitati community. Lets make Waitati a case study of how to make
the world more sustainable!
� It is Waitati initiated and led
� It is supported by Sustainable Dunedin City (Incorporated Society)
� The OU Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment
(CSAFE) will provide oversight
� The Otago Energy Research Centre (OERC) is interested in
establishing research partnerships
� We are exploring partnerships with business
� We are applying for government funding
What we want to do:
1. Examine 'Demand Side' energy (consumption) in Waitati at the
household level; identify existing policies and initiatives (both
public and private) to greatly enhance energy efficiency and reduce
energy consumption per household; construct a comprehensive programme
to ensure wide implementation of reduced energy consumption strategies
within Waitati; make our homes healthier, more energy efficient, less
carbon costly, and cheaper to run.
2. Explore 'Supply Side' energy (production) in Waitati, in the
context of both households and the community. This will involve:
assessing technical options for production; examining regulations and
possibilities for 'distributed generation'; establishing partnerships
all the way along renewable energy supply chain
3. Document the process. We will keep a web-log of the process to
trace policy in practice. The pilot is aimed at exploring, testing
and showcasing a community-based response to enhanced energy security,
addressing climate change issues in a reflexive way
What we are not going to do:
1. We are not going to deal with transport (at this stage)
2. We are not going to deal with waste (at this stage)
We are primarily talking about energy within households in our
community. This is a deliberate choice in order to make the pilot
manageable, as is the designation of a bounded community (Waitati).
Where it is at now
This project is going ahead. We are applying for funding and exploring
partnership possibilities. The level of funding will determine the
scale of the pilot project.
Goals
1. Reduction of energy use
2. Increasing energy efficiency
3. Making our homes healthy places
4. Reduction of community carbon footprint
5. Appraisal of local energy reticulation
6. Assessment of production potential
7. Developing new renewable distributed energy production
8. Building a more resilient community
9. Establishing relationships with the Energy Industry and OU researchers
10. Providing a model for change, providing a model for policy in action
Summary
There have been many eco-initiatives in Waitati and around Blueskin
Bay in the past, and this project builds on them. Recently in
September 'Planning 438' students from University of Otago presented
eco-design proposals for Waitati to the community; the 'Be the Change'
Bus visited on the 11th of November accompanied by a whole host of
presentations around the theme of sustainability; and early in
December representatives of the Energy Pilot in Waitati are to meet
with Otago Energy Research Centre researchers to discuss research and
pilot study partnerships. It is all coming together. There is much to
be gained from this project and we need wide community input. If you
would like to get involved, please contact me on scott . willis @
stonebow . otago . ac . nz , or call 4822249.
by Scott Willis


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From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All our material is "copyleft" and may be freely re-edited and
republished. If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

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