NSW Minister for the Environment Minister, Mark Speakman, launched the Z-NET Blueprint as well as the Z-NET Uralla Plan & Business Case on Tuesday 6th October 2015. The launch was attended by around 70 people.
Uralla’s plan highlights that a range of energy saving measures (such as LED lighting and insulation) together with on-solar power and sustainable hot water could achieve 40-70% of the renewable energy target. It could also collectively save the town $2.2m per year.
The Z-NET Blueprint, or model, is now freely available for towns and villages to consider using for themselves.
The focus for the Z-NET team now is to attract and secure resources to support implementation for Uralla and the second round of towns.
6th International Sustainability Transitions 2015 Conference
Dr Kerry Carmody is conducting post-doctoral research on Z-NET, particularly looking at how the social and cultural nature of communities interacts with the change process when taking up new technologies such as renewable energy. Kerry passionately believes in the need for, and value of, international collaboration if research is to play a meaningful role in crucial efforts to bring about transitions to sustainability across key sectors.
Kerry recently presented some of the initial findings in looking at the role of intermediaries in facilitating this change process ~ which for Z-NET are particularly Starfish Initiatives and Moreland Energy Foundation ~ at the 6th International Sustainability Transitions 2015 Conference, which is the annual conference of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network. Kerry is a member of the newly formed Australian branch of the network, ASTRA (Australian Sustainability Transitions Research Association).
Kerry’s participation was via a poster presentation and extensive discussions and exchange of ideas with individual researchers and groups within the conference ~ a very influential group of theorists, who are involved in policy advice and emerging directions in sustainability initiatives in the UK and EU. There were over 300 delegates at the conference.
A copy of the poster presentation can be downloaded here.
After the conference Kerry visited the University of Linkoping in Sweden, a major European centre for research on sustainability transitions strategies, to present a paper to their department of Technology and Social Change.
Several opportunities have arisen from Kerry’s presentations and may provide the basis for considerable collaboration and exchange. More immediate outcomes include research papers and a possible collaborative research project focussed on community energy transitions initiatives.