September/ October 2017 News
One of our major projects the proposed Blueskin Turbine has had a major setback this past month (see Blueskin Energy column). Great progress, however, has been made on our other two large projects, the Climate Safe House project and the Blueskin Smart Grid marketplace. As well as that, we’ve been snowed under by demand on our Cosy Homes services, but with warmer weather on the way and with reduced resources for providing these community services, we plan to scale them back over Spring and Summer.
Recent global events have made it clear how climate change is increasing risk, through more extreme weather events. Climate change is going to profoundly reshape our world in the coming decades. To effectively address the threat, collaboration is critical. The “Coastal Hazards and Climate Change” Ministry for the Environment 2017 draft report estimates some $19 billion worth of property is at risk in New Zealand. The problem is global, however effects are local and we are all exposed to that risk in Blueskin Bay. With this in mind we’re planning a large engagement project to help develop a local, coordinated, and participatory approach to tackling climate change here in Blueskin Bay. During the process, we aim to construct a model Climate Safe House that can be used as a blueprint for adaptive housing. It will be modular, warm and cosy, affordable and transportable. Active supporters of this initiative include the Dunedin City Council, Wise Response, Generation Zero, the Centre for Sustainability, the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Cosy Homes and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.
Meanwhile subscribers to the BRCT Update e-list have all been sent a survey link related to the Blueskin Smart Grid marketplace. To date we’ve had 50 responses to the survey and this has helped the team confirm some of the desirable design elements. Most people are thinking about ways to have more control over the electricity supply and cost of electricity. There’s a strong preference for renewable, eco-friendly energy and for locally produced electricity. More work will go into the research side of things, as we aim to develop a distributed, intelligently connected local smart grid marketplace to improve efficiency, flexibility and resilience and to support the development of local renewable electricity supply. If you haven’t received the survey and want to see what it’s about, just email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with “subscribe” in the title bar and we’ll get the survey sent out to you.
By the time you read this, we will have held our 2017 Annual General Meeting. So passes another year with our reporting obligations met. We still have much to do before the end of our real year however. One of my first tasks this month is to recruit more staff as we have with great regret said goodbye to Kat, who has been the Trust’s Projects Coordinator for over two years. Kat is leaving the Trust to be with her partner in Wellington, and she will be sorely missed. Our office is in the old dental clinic at Waitati School. Look us up on Facebook as Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, on Twitter as @BlueskinPower and you can call the office on 03 4822048 directly to find out more about any of our work. Our website is www.brct.org.nz and you can contact us by email at: email@example.com.
By Scott Willis