Tuesday, 30 July 2013


by Scott Willis

This month the big news is the development of the Dunedin Energy Plan. While work on the Energy Plan was approved by the Dunedin City Council (DCC) last year, in the past two months there's been such action and intensity on developing an Energy Plan owned by residents that we can see the DCC really means business. The Dunedin Energy Plan will provide a road-map for the next ten years and aims to set out how we will as a city:

·       save costs and enhance quality of life resulting from energy efficiency improvements;

·       boost the city's energy security and ability to adapt to change;

·       reduce Dunedin's climate change and environmental effects; and

·       take advantage of economic opportunities in a changing energy context.

With all the various energy initiatives that the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) is involved with now (Blueskin wind, solar, community energy advice, climate change), previously (insulation retrofits) and potentially (all of the above as well as low carbon transport, earth batteries, food sovereignty) BRCT has invested in a substantial contribution to the Dunedin Energy Plan discussion. There is a real opportunity in this Energy Plan to ensure that the city embarks on good stewardship of our resources while providing for the transition to clean technologies to provide energy security and affordability, rather than a careless, haphazard approach that will leave future generations with little to thank us for.

Some of the actions BRCT would like to see detailed in the Energy Plan are:

·       a local power procurement policy to ensure that the city can by supplied with at least 20% of its current electricity demand from within city limits;

·       a targeting rate to boost micro-generation installations;

·       building a shared 'Cosy Homes' vision, and financial mechanisms to counter fuel poverty;

·       support for community initiatives;

·       'championing' low carbon transport; and

·       employment at the council of an 'eco-design advisor' to assist builders and homeowners make sustainable living choices. 

Meanwhile in our own energy news, this month there's no wind rose, as we've heard people haven't been able to differentiate between each month's rose. We're approaching six months of wind data collection from the 30-metre tower on Porteous Hill (over 2 years from the 10-metre tower) and we know that the wind is good with robust analysis now possible. It may be that the testing towers will be in demand elsewhere soon, but no decision yet.

Solar installations continue in Blueskin, with another four independent installations that we know of now underway (three in one street), and Solarcity, mid-July have had five 'BS1' enquiries (if you make an enquiry with that code, you receive the Blueskin deal), completed four site visits and provided two solid quotes, with installations to follow. Little by little, Blueskin roofs are becoming mini power-stations and giving their owners a capital return as well as reducing their energy demand. Community wind and household solar will provide a great renewable cocktail mix. 

Visit us at: www.blueskinpower.co.nz, or at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. Telephone enquiries can be made on 482 2048 (the Wind Cluster) and for any information about the solar project email solar@blueskinpower.co.nz.

No comments: