MEDIA RELEASE: Event Details

TIME TO CONNECT

12 AUGUST 2014

Connecting” is the theme of this year’s North Coast Energy Forum, which will be held on the Tweed Coast on Monday, 27 October.

“With the demise of the carbon price and the threat to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, communities are banding together to see what they can do to grow renewable energy while also supporting their local and regional economies,” said Forum convenor Mark Byrne. “The time is ripe to make the North Coast a national leader in renewable energy. But to get there we will have to work hard to connect the people, projects and technologies that can make it happen.”

“The North Coast has been near the top nationally in terms of the number of rooftop solar systems installed, but there is so much more we can do. Above all, we have a natural advantage in various forms of bioenergy. Many of the opportunities are relatively small-scale, and connecting projects and selling the energy can be hard work, so we want to focus on solutions.”

“One of the other connections we want to make is with the anti-CSG movement on the North Coast. The concept of ‘social licence’ that was so successful in that campaign might also be applied to bioenergy, so we can work with the community to decide what forms of bioenergy will readily gain community acceptance in this area, and which ones might be problematic.”

Other highlights include the North Coast’s first electric vehicle expo (in the car park at lunchtime), and more detail about plans for this region to host Australia’s first ever community owned and operated electricity retailer. As Mark Byrne explained, “We are hopeful we can establish a home-grown alternative to the big retailers that will help people save energy, support the expansion of renewables, and keep jobs and profits local.”

The forum will make use of the latest in interactive polling technology, using mobile phones to give instantaneous feedback to the group about who is attending and their views.

The event will be fully carbon offset.

As usual, to make the event affordable there is a range of ticket prices, from only $49 inclusive for earlybirds at the community rate (until 25 September).

Find out more:

www.ncef.net.au or call Jess on 0438 905 825.

For media comment:

Call Mark Byrne on 0403070442

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