The Gosford Climate Forum organized by the CEN committee Climate Future “Cool It” has received great support over the weekend. More than 50 community members participated. The Forum focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the home.
The first speaker, Dr Richard Corkish of the University of NSW explained how solar photovoltaic systems were being developed. The latest thin film solar cells are being printed onto solid flat surfaces using the same methods used in ink jet printers and photocopiers. This technology provides for considerable reduction in manufacturing costs.
Dr Adam Lucas of University of Wollongong presented the results of the Beyond Zero Emissions Project. The project has established how Australia could replace all its green house gas emissions in just 10 years. It covers power stations as well as transport and includes the estimated costs. “To become a zero emissions nation, Australia would have to spend around $37 Billion per year for ten years under this plan” said Dr Adam Lucas.
“This is equivalent to around $16 Billion per year to achieve the 40% reduction currently recommended by 2020.” said John Wiggin. The currently recommended target to avoid 2 degrees global temperature rise is 40% reduction in emissions by 2020 and 80% to 90% by 2050.
The plan calls for a network of new transmission lines. The core of the system would be a number of very large concentrating solar power stations scattered around Australia and linked together. “This is practical and achievable” said Richard Weller, “and that’s more, it is necessary if we are not to destroy our children’s inheritance.”
After a short break, Climate Future presented practical ways in which people could reduce their energy usage around the home. John Wiggin reported “that the presentation covered reducing draughts which is always a good way to reduce heating and cooling costs.” Solar hot water and Green Power were promoted. LED lighting is rapidly increasing in efficiency with LED lights now available for down-lights, ordinary light fittings and to replace 600mm and 900mm fluoro tubes. LED lights are expensive, but use a tenth of the electricity and last more than 20 times longer than ordinary bulbs. They almost never need to be replaced and have no mercury.
“The issue of Climate Change is an ethical one – we are currently living at the expense of our descendants. The science is telling us that the changes will be slow initially but will accelerate and that the decisions taken today will significantly affect the future outcome.” said John Wiggin.
“There are some really easy things that we do have the solutions to, so what are we fussing about, let’s get on and do the easy stuff – it’s an urgent issue.” Richard Corkish.
In answering the question “What can we do to get our politicians to actually do something about Climate Change?” Dr Adam Lucas said “Write to your politicians, write to your local members of parliament, write to government departments, write to ministers, call talk-back radio, write to newspapers, speak to your friends, speak to your family.”
The event was held with the support of Gosford City Council and Superior Solar. The presentations will be posted on the CEN web site.
If you would like to be involved please contact CEN on 4349 4756 or firstname.lastname@example.org
John Asquith at CEN 0414 730 032