Mark Byrne, convener North Coast Energy Forum
The biggest group of energy experts ever assembled on the northern rivers, for the North Coast Energy Forum to be held in Lismore next Friday, 31 May, should help to jump-start the move to a sustainable energy system for the region.
We are thrilled to have 90 delegates confirmed already, including 28 speakers. These are experts in their fields, community leaders and passionate community members who will help us to work on ‘growing our own’ energy system.
This year’s forum builds on successful events in Bellingen in 2010 and Mullumbimby in 2011.
This year, in order to pack it all in, we are running some concurrent sessions. But these will report back to a plenary session, and we’ll present the outcomes to a panel of politicians late in the day. So it’s a very interactive event.
To name just a few of the things we haven’t focused on before, we’re including bioenergy, the built environment, energy efficiency, and funding opportunities. So this is not just a grab-bag of goodies for renewable energy tech-heads.
We are focused on a holistic approach to the regional energy system. This means looking at where our energy comes from, how it is consumed, and the best ways to reduce our dependence on ‘imported’ fossil-fuelled energy while growing the regional economy.
One of the forum’s partner groups, Farming the Sun, will be launching its north coast project the evening before the forum at the same venue. This is a good example of the community-scale initiatives that are needed to bridge the gap between individual and government actions to address climate change.
The North Coast Energy Forum is a community-driven, not-for-profit event that is being supported by sponsorship from Juno Energy, Lismore City Council, Total Environment Centre, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Nickel Energy, AusIndustry and SAE Group. Partner organisations include Sustain Northern Rivers and Starfish Enterprises.
The forum will be held from 9am till 5pm on Friday, 31 May. Go to www.facebook.com/northcoastenergyforum or www.ncef.net.au for more details, and www.trybooking.com/CPXS or http://ncef.eventbrite.com.au to register.