Brendan Condon believes we have been "sitting on our hands" regarding matters relating to climate change for too long and ignoring the urgent need for a serious vision for the future. Who could argue with that? Certainly the P.M. would agree that this is an "exciting time" but they would have amazingly different paths. Brendan has chosen to develop the means of capturing and re-using the storm water that we see flowing down our gutters carrying all the rubbish into the Bay, instead to capture the pollution by means of a plant filtering system. One of the largest of these systems of returning and re-using this water is in the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne.
Another of his areas of challenge and developed expertise is the development of good design in sustainable housing (e.g. The Cape Paterson sustainable housing project). He points out that apart from environmental grounds there are marked improvements economically with the rise in the price of gas coupled with the drop in the price of solar.
Other projects of interest include the development of vertical and horizontal gardens useful for city dwellers for urban food production, community gardens, autonomous electric vehicles (probable in the next decade), when one can read a book on the way to work!
All this should be of interest to anyone planning a home, living in the city or merely caring about the importance of food and water and waste management for the present and the future.
Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in London, joins us on his recent visit to Australia. His C40 network supports cities to share knowledge and drive measurable and sustainable action on climate change.
Trent Hawkins is Senior Consultant at renewables and energy efficiency consultancy Enhar. He joins Beyond Zero to talk about his latest technical research on Zero Net Energy Towns. This project looks at supporting Australian towns and villages assess and design their own plan to achieve 100% renewable energy over a period of 5-10 years. Trent has completed a report about Uralla NSW which is a Z-NET Case Study Town.
Trent was the Project Director of the recently published Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan at Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE). The report is a groundbreaking new pathway for Australia's existing buildings to respond to the challenges of climate change, dependence on fossil fuels, and rising energy prices. Trent was a research director with BZE, a climate change solutions think tank for over three years, including playing a role in senior management of the organization. He was a contributing author to the Banksia award-winning Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan. Trent is a Mechanical Engineer with a background in renewable energy and computational modelling.
The Fonzarelli 125 is Australia’s first electric scooter - 100% Australian owned and designed. Fonzarelli Managing Director and lead design engineer Michelle Nazzari, joins Beyond Zero's Michael and Niels to discuss her zero emissions city scooter.
Following the ATA's EV expo, we continue the theme with electric bicycles. Rebecca Lee from Melbourne company REV-Bikes provides electric bikes and conversion kits designed to get people riding bikes where they otherwise wouldn’t. REV-Bikes and 'REVbecca' encourages the use of recycled bikes for conversions,
David Metzke from Dyson Electric Bikes explains that an electric bike or e-bike utilises a battery powered electric motor to assist the rider when required, like when accelerating, climbing hills or pedalling into head winds. This is a pedal assist type, compared to a throttle type e-bike. As with a regular bicycle, they are completely legal to ride without a drivers' licence (or any other licence for that matter), even on bike paths. And, don't forget the added benefit of free parking!
Test drive the Tesla Model S Electric Vehicle with Heath Walker, Marketing and Communications Manager for Tesla Motors - Australia, based in Melbourne. Heath takes Beyond Zero's Niels and Michael through a mouth-watering ride through engineering evolution and sustainable transport that is the Tesla Model S. Unlike a gasoline internal combustion engine with hundreds of moving parts, Tesla electric motors have only one moving piece: the rotor. As a result, the Model S is the fastest 4-door sedan ever built, achieving 0 to 100kmh in 3.4 seconds! This performance has been achieved with the Dual Motor version of the Model S which has two motors - one in the front and one in the rear, which efficiently, digitally and independently controls torque to the front and rear wheels.
Other technology features include the 17 inch integrated touch screen, autopilot and over-the-air updates, which mean the car and features can only get better! Other advantages are the low cost of ownership, boot storage, front trunk storage, flat floor in the rear and more.
The Model S has a rated 500km range which overcomes the range anxiety generally associated with electric cars. Tesla have recently made 10,000 deliveries for the quarter world wide. They have committed to installing Superchargers - The World’s Fastest Charging Station - from Melbourne to Sydney so Tesla owners can charge their cars for free!
Heath also talks about Tesla's plans worldwide, with the construction of the Gigafactory, the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant. Heath is passionate about sustainable transport and technology, and has an interesting story about how he sought after a job with Tesla. Currently with 30 - 40 employees in Australia, Tesla is expanding now!
Byron Shire – in the northern rivers region of New South Wales – is aiming to become the first region in Australia to become “net zero emissions”, with a goal to reduce emissions from energy, transport, buildings, waste and land use to zero within 10 years.
The push by Byron mayor Simon Richardson means that Byron Bay will be the first town or council in Australia to adopt the master-plan created several years ago by the think tank Beyond Zero Emissions.
Project manager Hayden Smith leads Sunswift, a team of University of New South Wales (UNSW) engineering students, undertaking a most ambitious goals: Making eVe the Southern Hemisphere’s 1st road legal solar passenger car. The team has been working hard in the hopes of officially registering with the Roads & Maritime Services as early as March 2015. Making eVe road legal is a huge task requiring a major redesign and rebuild of almost every aspect of the car. The resources and engineering effort required is considerable and Hayden and the team ran a successful crowd funding campaign to .
Sunswift eVe is the fifth generation solar car designed and built by the UNSW Solar Racing Team, Sunswift. Built for practicality, speed, and endurance, eVe is the embodiment of Australian innovation and design. Originally created for the 2013 World Solar Challenge – Cruiser Class, eVe sets a new standard for sustainable transportation, offering high performance, efficiency, comfort and style – all powered directly from the sun.
Through the Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) research project, public engagement program and the Zero Carbon Communities (ZCC) initiative BZE is encouraging climate change policy and solutions across all sectors that are in line with the latest science and the Paris Agreement's mandate of peaking emissions as soon as possible.
Beyond Zero Emissions campaign seeks to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases to a level that will enable humanity and our natural environment to thrive and flourish. Website by Media Insights, Studioalto, Dvize and the BZE team.