The Z-NET Blueprint is the model that has been created for towns and villages to be able to assess and design their Z-NET plan ~ to achieve the goal of 100% renewable energy. It sets out the approach taken, the logic and principles applied in assessing options and the framework used for developing the implementation plan.
The original Z-NET Blueprint was funded by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage and was created in partnership with the community of Uralla in NSW.
The Blueprint is currently being expanded as part of the Z-NET Hepburn Shire work. An updated Blueprint is being created to also include electric transport and energy storage.
This updated Z-NET Blueprint will be made available, under Creative Commons License, via this website once it has been completed.
Uralla Case Study
The Z-NET Blueprint was developed at the same time as creating a plan for Uralla ~ the Z-NET Case Study Town. This approach has given the model a very practical and ‘real world’ grounding, and includes a business case assessment to quantify the costs, benefits, opportunities and risks of the various options available.
Creation of Uralla’s Plan was funded by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage.
Becoming a Z-NET
Becoming a Z-NET requires a path that’s ambitious, realisable and in the long-term interests of each local community. To do this, it needs to be technically and practically feasible, financially viable and desirable to the local and wider community. The approach taken has been to carefully consider the context, identify all possible options and assess whether they will work and then resolve how they are best implemented.
What’s the context?
The first step is to understand the context, which includes identifying the characteristics of the location and the community and its existing energy use. The context defines current and future energy requirements, identifies opportunities and highlights issues that present limitations or risks.
What’s possible and will it work?
The next step is to understand all the possible options and determine the best fit within the local context. There are many options to reduce energy use and produce energy from renewable sources.
To find the right approach we need to identify if options are feasible, viable and desirable.
How it might work?
Having a model is great but it’s crucial to have a plan to ensure it gets done. Understanding who is responsible for what and being clear about the resource requirements are key to ensuring we have a practical and reasonable path to achieve the goal of becoming a Z-NET.
The Blueprint and the Uralla Case Study are both useful resources for communities seeking to become a Z-NET.