August 2014 News

9. BEPcolumn AUg 2014 photoAs Dr Wayne Cartwright wrote in the Herald recently, “the low cost oil and gas fields that have been an essential foundation to economic growth over many decades are already exhausted or nearing depletion”. He goes on to point out that all existing and new fossil fuel energy requires significant investment, has higher extraction costs and requires larger energy inputs. Dr Cartwright joins the dots between energy and the economy and argues that soon, Business As Usual (and Life As Usual) will no longer be feasible: “It will be essential for countries and communities to adapt and innovate human ways of living creatively so that they have much lower energy requirements, while also striving to provide greater wellbeing, satisfaction and happiness for citizens”.

This analysis is also the rationale behind our own community efforts to build greater energy security for Blueskin settlements via our main project of the Blueskin wind development, and via all the other actions, including reducing energy demand, increasing thermal comfort, encouraging micro solar and more. The clean fuel of renewables is free, once we have built the means to harness it. This is where our work on developing community wind is really exciting. What is truly fascinating is how great the diversity in wind quality is in New Zealand. We really do live in a country of extremes, and it is no surprise that New Zealand is known as the ‘Saudi Arabia of Wind’. Turbines must cope with a highly variable wind environment and this environment is why turbine manufacturers like New Zealand so much – we’re a ‘proving zone’ for turbines.

During a recent snow day we took possession of our second large meteorological tower, the 40 metre tower donated by the Meridian Energy generation team. We are still someway from kitting it out and installing it but it is exciting to be contemplating having that comprehensive wind testing coverage for our work. Blueskin Energy Ltd (BEL), the company formed by BRCT and tasked with getting the job done, is now also supported by a team of energy experts from the Akina foundation. BEL reports each month on progress to its shareholder (BRCT) and this month has been working with PledgeMe Equity in the start of a thorough process prior to seeking investment. One of our bottom lines is deriving income from our investment to be able to provide more ‘Cosy Homes Flash Mobs’, solar subsidies and energy advice to progressively reduce and eventually eliminate fuel poverty from Blueskin.  

Overseas meanwhile, Denmark’s plans to double its wind power and go fossil fuel free by 2050. “It has a cost, to invest in this future – but there is also a cost not to do it” the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy, and Building is reported to have said. What do you think? Should we sit by idly, hoping things stay the same, or participate in building a better world?

To stay in touch with developments, subscribe to our BRCT update (you will be taken to the subscribe page of our 'Blueskin Energy Project', as we are in the process of moving this across to this site) or pop into the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. Telephone enquiries can be made on 4822048.