Australian Renewable Energy Agency

On 11 November the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $305,000 funding for a $743,000 partnership to strengthen the South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) initiative – NCEF’s equivalent in the southeast of NSW and the ACT – to establish a Regional Renewable Energy Industry Cluster in the south east NSW-ACT region.

This is the sort of initiative that NCEF sees as critical for the North Coast to develop as well: a collaboraiton to coordinate technology trials; project scoping and feasibility; and public and stakeholder engagement including a social licence process; all backed by a medium term regional strategy and buy-in from major stakeholders.

Find out more:

Northern Rivers Energy on the ABC

Finally, keep your eyes on ABC TV’s Lateline. There will be story on Northern Rivers Energy this week – including film of the Brookfarm (the Byron-based macadamia muesli producer) PV installation and the 300kW solar installation at the Ballina STP.

Lateline: ABC Tuesday, 11:30pm and ABC News 24, 10:30pm.


OEH Funding Opportunities

NSW OEH has announced a new round of funding for community energy projects.

Applications are now open until 12pm 15 December 2014 for grants up to $70,000.

Find out more about the Growing Community Energy program and grant applications at the  Office of Environment and Heritage website.

Byron New Energy Open Day

Thin film solar cells will be explored on the day

Thin film solar cells will be explored on the day

Byron New Energy will hold an open day  to examine the latest renewable energy technology including thin film solar panels and a new battery bank that is first of its type in Australia.

WHERE: Tyagarah Airport South (north of Byron Bay. Turn off the highway at Grays Lane and take the first left)

DATE: Saturday November 29

TIME: 2 to 6 pm

There will be speakers exploring these and other renewable technologies, and other energy technology suppliers will have displays. A member of Northern Rivers Energy will speak about the plan to develop a community based energy retailer.

Find out more:

North Coast Energy Forum

75% tickets sold so hurry to secure your place:



renewable energyNCEF is proud to be associated with the project to create Australia’s first community renewable energy retailer on the North Coast. The successful tenderer was Northern Rivers Energy.

The project involves preparing a business plan and submitting an application for a retail licence to the Australian Energy Regulator. The consortium behind the project is encouraging NRE to collaborate with the other bidders for the project to create a robust, viable and innovative retailer with a focus on local generation, ownership, jobs and customers, to begin operation by early 2016.

To find out more and register your interest:

MEDIA RELEASE: An Effervescence of Energy Experts

NCEF logoNCEF media release, 16 September 2014.

Sparks are sure to fly when four of Australia’s energy experts descend on the Tweed coast next month for the region’s annual renewable energy showcase.

As North Coast Energy Forum convenor Mark Byrne explained, “Every year the Forum provides a venue for industry, government and the community to come together to work on progressing the North Coast to a sustainable energy system. We made substantial progress in relation to solar and bioenergy, but there is much more work to do.”

“This is the biggest shift in the world of energy in a century. We need to be up to date with what is happening with new technologies and policy changes. So this year, instead of having breakout sessions with lots of short presentations, we’ve decided to offer a series of masterclasses with experts in four critical areas of the energy transformation.”

“Jarra Hicks from Hepburn Wind and the Community Power Agency will talk about how to set up a community energy project, including raising money, creating the right investment vehicle, and dealing with potential opposition.”

“Fiona Waterhouse from Utilitas will talk about a range of bioenergy technologies, but especially the potential for anaerobic digestion to create energy from waste streams on farms, in food processing and waste management plants.”

“Andrew Simpson, an engineer who helped develop the early Tesla electric vehicles before starting his own EV consultancy in Brisbane, will explain the various ways that energy can be stored, how soon storage is likely to be widely affordable, and how the energy system will change radically when storage becomes ubiquitous.”

“Finally we have Craig Memery from the Alternative Technology Association, who knows more than is healthy about the National Electricity Market. Craig and I will discuss the various ways that you can make money out of selling energy into the grid as well as onsite, and the regulatory changes on the way that will make that easier.”

“It’s definitely a case of something for everyone,” said Mark Byrne. “We are aiming to continue to upskill North Coast locals to take on the challenge of shifting from the old centralised fossil fuel grid to a new world of decentralised, home-grown energy.”

More details about the masterclasses and the presenters are available at Earlybird tickets are available from only $49 until 26 September.

For media comment please call Mark Byrne on 0403070442 or email

The North Coast Energy Forum is a community-driven, not for profit event that in 2014 is supported by major sponsorship from Tweed Shire Council and Cape Byron Power. Other sponsors are Byron Shire Council and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Partner organisations include Total Environment Centre, Sustain Northern Rivers and Starfish Initiatives.

The Forum and EV expo will be held from 9-5 on Monday, 27 October in Cabarita. Go to or for more details and to register. For more information about the Forum please call Jess on 0438 905 825 or email 


Lismore City Council’s all-electric car

777b573f01ee20d65bd4e19f7566db8cLismore City Council has an electric car. That’s right, a 100% electric car.
The car – a Nissan Leaf – is a new Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre fleet car. It does not use any fossil fuels and plugs into the wall at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre so it can charge straight from the rooftop solar panels.

Find out more:

Trigeneration Project Launch

BanoraOutside009-small_-jpgJoin the launch of the state-of-the-art Trigeneration project at Club Banora on Thursday 18 September. A free educational seminar on “Energy Efficiency for your Business” will be held prior to the launch.

To find out more:

Zero Net Energy Town (ZNET)

The race is on to choose the New England town that will be Australia’s first to achieve a net export of renewaWildpoldble energy at all times: that is, to satisfy the town’s own energy needs at all times from renewable energy sources.

Find out more: