BZE Discussion Group

BZE Discussion Group 2017-03-08T10:26:32+00:00

Open to the public, the Melbourne-based BZE Discussion Group is an opportunity to hear  and question experts in the field of climate change solutions.

Topics vary from renewable energy technical innovations to high-level analysis of industry trends and regulations to climate-solutions technologies we can all use at home or in our businesses.

The event is always on the first Monday of each month at 6:30pm at the University of Melbourne – take any tram on Swanston Street and get off at Stop 1, Melbourne University.
This page records past discussion group presentations with videos. See our events page for up coming discussion group topics.

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The Future of Solar & Storage

Peter McKernan presents The Future of Solar & Storage.Battery storage, particularly Lithium technologies, are predicted to see dramatic price reductions in the next couple of years due to economies of scale through Electric Vehicle (EV) production. Peter is a power systems and battery expert, specialising in commercial scale hybrid solar with storage. He has seen the economics become more favouarble as his clients – on both sides of the meter! – need energy storage to maximise the benefits of their solar power, and provide peak shaving, voltage stabilisation, self consumption, tariff optimisation and much more.

Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here  to view on the BZE YouTube channel

(Remember to <Subscribe> and also please <Share> and <Like> the video) 

Peter McKernan completed a degree in Electronics Engineering at RMIT and an Electrical Apprenticeship at Box hill Technical College. He has completed training in environmental auditing and is a Clean Energy Council accredited designer and installer. He has successfully started, developed and sold three businesses. He has worked in professional audio, power rectifiers, television transmission, construction, mining, manufacturing, power generation and solar systems. 

Peter has been involved in the renewable energy industry since the early eighties. In the early nineties this interest took him to The Middle East, where he demonstrated solar autonomy to people who had no grid. He has worked on a 500KW solar hybrid power system in Kalabakan, Borneo and multiple remote area installations all over Australia. He spent six months at Casey Station in Antarctica where he commissioned the synchronisation system for two 500KW generators. Prior to this he spent ten years manufacturing houseboats at Lake Eildon, Victoria. During this time he developed a range of technologies that enabled these boats to become “five star floating motels” with total solar powered autonomy. He is passionate about science, the environment and renewable energy.

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 13 April 2015 *McCoy Building

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

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25 Mar 2015|

Energy Freedom: Discussion Group Video

Energy Freedom is the new initiative from BZE. Its been up and running for over six months now and already over 1000 Australian householders have pledged to transform their homes. Energy Freedom aims to support and educate Australian households on how they can retrofit and install technologies to make their homes zero-net energy and remove fossil gas as an energy source.

Richard Keech, one of the Principal Researchers of the ZCA Buildings Plan, will recap the key findings of the Buildings Plan as they apply to retrofitting homes and talk about how the Buildings Plan has been translated into a new book for home owners. In the second half of the session, Manager of the Energy Freedom initiative James Bramwell will be facilitating an extended Q&A with you, discussing:

  • What steps you may have already taken with your home to reduce your energy use, install rooftop solar, and perhaps even get off gas.
  • What information or support would help you make changes at your home.
  • What materials can the Energy Freedom initiative provide that would help you promote the idea to your friends and networks.

Any knowledge and experience you can share will help us make Energy Freedom more effective and able to help others!

Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here  to view on the BZE YouTube channel


About the speakers

Richard Keech is an engineer working as an energy efficiency consultant.  He was a lead author of the BZE Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan and is a regular contributor to ReNew magazine, RenewEconomy , and to the recently released Efficient Hot Water Booklet  published by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

James Bramwell studied Mechanical Engineering at ANU, and completed his honours thesis on the Green Star Design Program. He worked in environmental assessments and energy efficiency consulting before joining BZE in 2010. As BZE’s Public Engagement Director James lead the presenter training program and helped launched major reports. In September 2013 he created the Energy Freedom initiative and in his current role as Energy Freedom Manager James works with the member households, companies, industry bodies, and councils to grow the initiative.

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 2 March 2015

McCoy Building
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.

Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry:Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.
Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm.

 

Codes: zClean

22 Feb 2015|

Switching from Gas to Electric

We kick off the new year of BZE’s monthly discussion group series with one of our favourite topics – Switching from Gas to Electric.
Craig Memery, Energy Specialist and Consumer Advocate at the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), will present findings of their new report, Are We Still Cooking with Gas?  Many households in Australia would be better off switching from gas to efficient electric appliances – for both financial and enviromental reasons.

The report found that the combination of increasing gas prices and improving electric appliance efficiency is making electricity a cheaper option for many traditionally gas-fuelled energy needs – including space heating, water heating and cooking. Efficient electric appliances include heat pump hot water systems, induction cook tops and split system reverse cycle air-conditioners. The analysis is the first piece of detailed research that considers the impact of future gas price rises on residential households in Australia.

This bolsters BZE’s Zero Carbon Australia philosophy as well as our new Energy Freedom program which promotes switching from gas to electric for all households and businesses.

Below is a video recording of this event or you can click here to view on the BZE YouTube channel

Click here to download the slide presentation (PDF)

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 2 February 2014
McCoy Building
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry:Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.
Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm.

24 Jan 2015|

Implementing BZE Plans at Emergency Speed

Beyond Zero Emissions is leading the way in developing a detailed, costed blueprint for the transition to a completely Zero Carbon Australian economy with publications of the Stationary Energy, Buildings, High Speed Rail and most recently, Land Use Plan.
Within 3 years BZE is hoping to complete all the industry sector reports so now is the time to make them a reality!

Philip Sutton, co-author of Climate Code Red, will lead the discussion on:

Implementing BZE Plans at Emergency Speed

Philip will be joined by Adrian Whitehead and Luke Taylor. There are too many vital actions listed in the BZE reports for them to all be implemented in a reasonable time by being driven by single issue campaigns. So the only way to deliver them is by getting governments to adopt the whole package and implement all the major changes at the same time. Speakers will cover how could we build the breadth and intensity of community support so that the government of the day will be forced to commit to the wartime speed economic mobilisation to deliver the BZE package within 10 years.

We will discuss:
– How do you communicate the ZCA plans?
– What would it be like to live in a world where the plans take effect all at once?
– How do we change our mindset to see how it could be possible?

Join us to help build a strategy for 2015 that will see us build our 21st-century renewable energy powered clean-tech economy! 

Further Listening: Frid 14th Dec 2014 Technology Radio Show

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 1 December 2014
McCoy Building
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry:Gold coin donation
Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.
Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm.

 

17 Nov 2014|

Dr Hugh Saddler: Why is electricity consumption decreasing?

For more than a century the quantity of electricity consumed in Australia was more than the year before. That all changed in 2010 and electricity consumption has been falling for the past four years. Dr Hugh Saddler, Principal Consultant, Energy Strategies, at pitt&sherry is author of The Australia Institute report Power down: Why is electricity consumption decreasing?

Dr Saddler will talk about, the three largest factors contributing to the dramatic changes in demand for electricity:
1) the impact of energy efficiency programs,
2) structural change in the economy away from electricity intensive industries, and
3) the response of consumers to higher electricity prices.

Dr Saddler takes an in-depth look at each of these factors in his report, explaining what impact they’ve had on Australia’s falling use of electricity. He will join us via video link.

Slide Presentation here
Audio Capture here

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 10 November 2014
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

* Please note this event has been delayed to the second Monday of November due to Melbourne Cup day.

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.

Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.

Entry: Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm.

Further reading:

Peak or pique: the electricity use conundrum

Coal generation, electricity demand rebound after carbon price dumped

Electricity demand: Looking back at 2 years with a carbon price

pitt&sherry is a leading Australian multi-specialist infrastructure consultancy servicing the transport, industrial, mining, energy, food & beverage, and community sectors.

Dr Hugh Saddler has been engaged in the analysis of major national energy policy issues in the United Kingdom and Australia for more than 30 years.

In the past two decades his consulting work has focused on a range of issues relating to greenhouse gas emissions, emissions mitigation and energy policy. This has included methodologies for emissions estimation and reporting, compilation of emissions inventories, detailed aspects of the design of emissions trading schemes, and the analysis and development of State and Federal policy on greenhouse gas emissions energy efficiency and renewable energy.

09 Nov 2014|

Andrew Reddaway ATA – Sunulator’s economic feasibility of a solar system

Andrew Reddaway is an Energy Analyst at the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).  He has expertise in modelling energy and business operations, including experience working with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). He was also a key contributor to the BZE Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) Buildings Plan.

Andrew has created Sunulator – a free tool which estimates the economic feasibility of a solar system. Sunulator is a simulation tool that can help you plan a grid-connected solar project. Based on half-hourly consumption and generation data and electricity tariff information, it calculates the impact on your electricity bill and projects the savings over a 30-year time frame. Financial results include payback period, net present value and return on investment. Sunulator is designed to assist community organisations to install solar systems via additional investment options.

Slide Presentation here
Audio Capture here

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 6 October 2014
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.

Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry: Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the pub next door to continue the discussion after 8pm.

20 Sep 2014|

Political campaigning for climate change and the Victorian state election

Politics for climate

Climate change & environmental issues have been constantly attacked by the Victorian
government. The upcoming state election in November is a critical campaign for our climate! Join us for practical solutions on how you can make a difference.

Ellen Sandell, Greens candidate for Melbourne, is campaigning on issues such as, investment in public transport – not the East-West toll road – and strong action on climate change. The Greens are proud of running grassroots campaigns that are driven by our volunteers. Learn how you can help Ellen become the Greens’ first lower house MP in the Victorian Parliament.

Adrian Whitehead is a 25 year environmental campaigner, educator and public speaker and co-founder of Save the Planet and Beyond Zero Emissions. Adrian founded Save the Planet after he saw a need for a party to focus on global warming and call for solutions that actually have a chance of saving us.

Philip Sutton is Co-author of Climate Code Red and Manager of RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation). Philip is also the Save the Planet team leader for the development of a Community Mobilisation Plan for the Emergency Restoration of a Safe Climate for the Darebin Municipality.

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 1 September 2014
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry: Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.

 

20 Aug 2014|

Prof David Karoly – Climate science and Australian impacts: What’s new?

Climate science and Australian impacts: What’s new?

In 2013 Australia experienced it’s hottest year in the instrumental record, and this year dramatic new research on tipping points in Antarctica is being called a “game changer”. Professor David Karoly will join us to talk about this research and its Australian impacts.

David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne.
He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

Professor Karoly was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles.
Professor Karoly is a member of the new Climate Change Authority in Australia. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Panel to the Australian Climate Commission, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and the Joint Scientific Committee, which provides oversight of the World Climate Research Programme.
Professor Karoly joined the School of Earth Sciences in May 2007 as an ARC Federation Fellow funded by the Australian government.

Further reading:

Explainer: how are IPCC reports written?
Australia’s hottest year was no freak event: humans caused it

The blame for rain is mainly done in vain

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 4 August 2014
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8.
Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.
Entry: Gold coin donation
Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.

 

14 Jul 2014|

Richard Keech – How Heat Pumps work

Dave and Joe

Heat Pump domestic hot water was a key recommendation from the Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) Buildings Plan which was released in 2013 to demonstrate how all existing buildings in Australia can reach zero emissions within ten years. Principal researcher Richard Keech will present:

How Heat Pumps work

Heat pump hot water systems use 80% less energy than gas and standard electric-based hot water systems. Richard’s presentation will cover:

  • refrigeration cycle
  • thermal modeling, energy calculations and cost savings
  • Coefficient Of Performance (COP)
  • comparison with solar water heaters
  • taking gas out of the equation
  • choosing a heat pump water heater for your home
  • bust common myths

Richard Keech is an engineer working as an energy efficiency consultant.  He was a lead author of the BZE Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan and is a regular contributor to ReNew magazine, RenewEconomy, and to the recently released Efficient Hot Water Booklet published by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

Earthworker has recently introduced a heat pump retro-fit product designed by Siddons Solarstream,  – here represented by managing director Mr Chris Siddons – that can be added to an existing tank, called the Solar BOLT-ON heat pump. Earthworker founder Dave Kerin has just launched a crowdfunding & facebook campaign to install these BOLT-ON solar hot water heat pumps in low income households. Joe Caygill, Director at Everlast, will also join us to tell us about manufacturing Everlast Solar ready stainless steel Tanks with Earthworker. Follow Earthworker on Twitter with @Earthworkercoop.

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.

Further reading:

The massive subsidies in Victoria’s gas expansion plans

The household exodus from gas

Earthworker has partnered with Australia’s first customer owned bank, bankmecu, giving Earthworker members access to a special fixed low-interest loan to pay off a Eureka’s Future solar hot water system over 5 years.

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 7 July 2014

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8. Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.

Entry: Gold coin donation

07 Jun 2014|

2 June | Vicky Fysh — 350.org — Divestment and the Climate Wars

Led by 350.org Australia, Go Fossil Free Australia is a national divestment campaign to move public institutions’ and individuals’ money out of fossil fuels and into clean energy.

Vicky Fysh is 350.org Australia’s National Campus Divestment Coordinator and the Coordinator of Fossil Free Melbourne University. She mentors and trains 15 grassroots campus campaigns that are calling on their universities to stop investing in fossil fuels. Vicky will also talk about fossil fuel divestment for superannuation and banks and other activities by 350.org Pacific. 

 

Time: 6:30 – 8pm Monday 2 June 2014 

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)

McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Public transport: Stop 111 Cnr  Elgin & Swanston Streets on tram routes 1 & 8. Entry to building is on south side of Elgin St up the ramp.Entry: Gold coin donation

Thank you to the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Energy Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for supporting us in bringing you this event.

23 May 2014|