20 September 2016 Local Energy Revolution Comes to Coffs

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20 September 2016 Local Energy Revolution Comes to Coffs

The Coffs Coast will host Australia’s longest-running regional energy get-together when the North Coast Energy Forum comes to town on November 25.

The forum, which began life in 2010 in Bellingen but has moved around the North Coast in the years since, brings together decision-makers in industry, government and the community for a day to work on creating a sustainable energy system for the region.

“Thanks to generous sponsorship from Coffs Harbour City Council, we are able to hold the event on the Coffs Coast for the first time since 2010,” says forum convenor Mark Byrne. (Other sponsors are the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Bellingen Solar Depot, North Coast TAFE and Farming the Sun.)

“We are in the midst of a profound shift in the energy system. Instead of big coal-fired power stations hundreds of kilometres away bringing energy down the wires to passive consumers, now – thanks to solar power and now batteries – we are seeing households, communities and businesses take charge of their own energy supply.”

“This shift presents great opportunities for the Mid North Coast to generate locally more of the energy it consumes, and then to share and sell it locally. But there are also challenges. How can we bring low income households and tenants into the local energy revolution? How do we know when it makes sense for businesses to put on solar and batteries? Does it work to go off grid? How do we plan for the inevitable rise of electric vehicles? What role should local government play in leading this transition to clean energy?”

“These are just some of the questions the forum will consider,” said Mark. “It’s on Friday  November 25. We would encourage anyone who might be interested to save the date now. There’s a range of prices from $55 for earlybird tickets. You can register at www.trybooking.com and type in North Coast Energy Forum 2016.”

The forum will be held at the Coffs Harbour Showground. For the general public, there will be a free home battery expo just outside the Norm Jordan Pavilion featuring the latest batteries from the big makers like Tesla and LG, plus some alternative chemistries like Aquion’s environmentally friendly saltwater based battery, and Brisbane company Redflow’s innovative “flow” battery.

“Batteries are coming down in price all the time, but that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. We are showcasing a range of products so people can make informed choice about whether batteries suit their needs and their budget right now,” said Mark.

NCEF is a not-for-profit, regionally created and led event. For more information about the forum go to http://ncef.net.au or https://www.facebook.com/NorthCoastEnergyForum.