Posts Tagged sustainable

Solar, call now and get a free set of steak knives

Posted 19 February 2020 by Chris Hargreaves

Making solar part of your business's energy mix has never been more appealing. But risk and opportunity balances between an optimised design and types of PPAs. While there's heat in the market, there are incentives - but don't unthinkingly sign away your business for a free set of steak knives! Or solar panels, for that matter. According to the Electricity Authority, New Zealand's solar energy generation capacity increased to just under 115MW in 2019. Putting this into perspective, 115MW of installed capacity is similar to one of Contact or Mercury's Geothermal stations. As a...
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Big risks in avoiding corporate sustainability

Posted 20 January 2020 by Chris Hargreaves

Your corporate sustainability targets might be in for a shock! Prior to Christmas, the Government announced a raft of proposed changes to the emissions trading scheme (ETS) to rapidly decarbonise the economy. This included lifting the ETS price cap from $25/tonne to $50/tonne and creating a market floor of $20/tonne. If we take natural gas as an example, where at $25/tonne the ETS is priced at $1.37, at the market cap of $50/tonne this would increase the cost of the ETS to end users by $1.37/GJ (0.49c/kWh). With current raw gas pricing hovering around $9/GJ for large...
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How efficient, sustainable energy innovations could boost your brand

Posted 9 January 2020 by Chris Hargreaves

Research shows that using low-carbon energy solutions can improve your reputation – helping make the case for sustainable energy innovation. Deloitte recently published The Global Millennial Survey. This reinforced a number of other surveys that concluded that brands with a strong corporate social responsibly and sustainability plan will attract a higher caliber pool of prospective employees and a large range of engaged customers. 42% of those surveyed stated that they would start and or deepen a relationship with business who has products/services that positively impact the...
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“Accelerated Electrification” Misses the Mark on Process Heat

Posted 21 August 2019 by Richard Gardiner

Most of us now agree that climate change is all too real and we therefore all need to do something about it, sooner rather than later.However, some impulsive political changes in the past 18 months, like unilaterally banning all new offshore oil and gas exploration, can be environmentally counter-productive. For example, NZ coal usage in 2018 was the highest for a decade! Undoubtedly, this is a decision our political leaders didnt want to see happen.Wood biomass however is a great renewable resource and therefore represents an important and growing energy solution.At this time, NZ...
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Searching for ecological nirvana in energy supplies

Posted 14 August 2019 by David Spratt

“A society grows great when people plant trees whose shade they know they will never lie in.” - Greek Proverb I spent the best part of Saturday planting trees, flaxes, and ferns along a stream bank with my son, Tom, and his best mate. The task was “wholesome” according to Tom, as the plantings should facilitate the recovery of a stream that was once badly polluted but now runs mostly clear following positive steps by my dairy farmer neighbor to abide by the Fonterra clean stream accords. As I patted my own back for my newly enhanced green credentials, I turned my...
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Sustainability now considered economic and environmental

Posted 7 August 2019 by Chris Hargreaves

New Zealand has set a target under the Paris Agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and to adopt increasingly more ambitious targets in the future. Per capita, New Zealand's emissions are one of the highest in the world with an output of <1% of the total world's emissions. Business New Zealand recently released a report which concluded that "opportunities to improve our performance in productivity and renewable penetration lie in every part of the energy supply chain. While productivity and renewables are not necessarily mutually...
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Tech That Keeps The Planet Cool

Posted 31 July 2019 by David Spratt

I lit my first fire at home for the year on the unusual date of May 31, just one day before the official beginning of winter. I live in the sunny north side of Auckland, but I would have expected to see my dog sleeping in front of the fire by around late April. There are some of us who believe that to the detriment of future generations the planet is suffering from global warming and others who feel that the scientific consensus is still a long way from being agreed. Either way, I do believe there is a general accord that we can’t keep consuming the planet’s resources at the rate...
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Business at the Speed of Light – Podcast with David Spratt

Posted 20 May 2019 by David Spratt

Recently David recorded a podcast as part of Umbrellar's Key Technology Hub series. The podcast covers a wide range of topics including: The business reasons Cloud computing is now the norm rather than the exception The business impact of SaaS, PasS and IaaS services “doing business at the speed of light” The cost, consumption and spend issues around a variable cost IT model Changes to the way IT teams are structured in a cloud environment The critical role of partnerships in running and optimising cloud...
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Can New Zealand Electrify Industry?

Posted 20 May 2019 by Chris Hargreaves

The Government has set a target for New Zealand’s economy to be net-zero emissions by 2050. Does our current approach stack up? Methanex - adding 15% to national electricity demand? In a recent submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Methanex, New Zealand’s largest single gas user suggested that should the company transition from gas-based manufacturing of methanol to electricity, this would increase New Zealand's national electricity demand by around 15% (5,800 gigawatt-hours). In other words, there would be a Rio Tinto Aluminum Smelter-sized...
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Mercury’s pioneering direct grid-connected battery: it’s large and in-charge

Posted 24 September 2018 by Richard Gardiner

During the recent two-day EMANZ Conference that I attended in Auckland with our Energy Manager, Tânia Coelho, I was struck by the surge of genuine enthusiasm for and commitment to renewable energy from the diverse group of Energy Managers and others who attended. In this regard, our country is in the fortunate position that 85% of our electricity supply already comes from renewable energy, mainly hydro-electricity, geothermal and wind-generation based. Successive National and Labour Coalition Governments have made a strong and binding commitment to New Zealand meeting its global carbon...
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