North Coast Energy Forums ~ 2010 to 2013

The purpose of the North Coast Energy Forum (NCEF) is to develop a comprehensive strategy for transitioning the region to a ‘home grown’ sustainable energy system.

This vision is being achieved by regularly bringing together the wide range of stakeholders to strategise and priorities the way forward. These stakeholders bring a broad range of interests across the range of energy matters such as local energy generation, energy storage, energy conservation and efficiency.

The transition to sustainable energy will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse emissions while at the same time grow the local economy, business and employment as well as strengthening community empowerment, leadership, learning and cohesion.

NCEF’14 | Cabarita Sports Club | Monday 27 October 2014

NCEF’14 was the fourth Forum held since 2010. It was a full house of 120 participants from business, government and the community. Its focus, as always, was to discuss recent and potential progress towards creating a sustainable energy system for the NSW North Coast.

This year’s Forum included:

  • mapping the many existing projects in the region, the sheer number of which surprised most participants
    four masterclasses ~ bioenergy, community energy, storage and selling energy
  • a plenary session to begin working out how to go about creating a social licence for the bioenergy industry in the region (bearing in mind it is the energy source, or rather range of sources, in which this region has the greatest natural or competitive advantage
  • an electric vehicle expo, featuring productiForum Outcomes on all-electrics and hybrids, as well as a scooter and solar charged bicycle
  • the use of innovative POLL everywhere audience participation technology.

A number of initiatives have come out of this year’s forum, including:

  • Utilitas’s extraordinarily generous offer to fund 5 bioenergy (anaerobic digester)  business case developments to turn agricultural and food processing waste into electricity at up to $200,000 each
  • Elevare Energy’s offer to fund the feasibility stage of a community energy project in the region, and
    the idea of the North Coast being part of a larger EV charging station network stretching from Noosa down to Ballina.

For the full summary of Forum Outcomes see here.

Starfish’s Role

Starfish is auspice for the North Coast Energy Forum and has designed and facilitated each of the North Coast Energy Forum programs to optimise the participation and outcomes they achieve from the 100+ attendees each year.

Starfish has also developed NCEF’s website and broader online presence.

In 2011 Starfish facilitated a business feasibility assessment for the establishment a community-owned renewable energy enterprise, which was an agreed priority from NCEF’11.

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