Audacious idea: New Zealand X-Prize Environmental and Energy

Kea “New Zealand, New Thinking” event, New York

### Last updated 05:00 22/05/2011
$1b prize plan for NZ’s future
By Rob O’Neill – Sunday Star Times
The Government is being urged to invest in new strategies to lift the country out of the economic mire, with one successful entrepreneur suggesting it invest $1 billion in future energy technologies through an audacious prize.
New Zealand needs to build a country around the promises of tomorrow, not the legacies of yesterday, Hyperfactory founder Derek Handley told expatriate Kiwis in New York last week as the government announced the partial sale of many state-owned energy assets.

Handley said $1b is less than a tenth of what the current government has committed to infrastructure projects in the next few years and about the same amount spent bailing out South Canterbury Finance investors. It is also “about twice as much as the amount we hope to lose by hosting the Rugby World Cup”, he said and about the same as our bill for six weeks of imported oil.

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Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Design, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, People, Politics, Project management

18 responses to “Audacious idea: New Zealand X-Prize Environmental and Energy

  1. Elizabeth

    Less audacious, meanwhile on the energy theme in Dunedin:

    ### ODT Online Tue, 24 May 2011
    Council might offer loans for solar water heating
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin homeowners may soon have an opportunity to take lower interest loans designed to encourage solar water heating. But the city may take the idea a step further than other councils, adding insulation and double-glazing to the scheme to fit local conditions.

    There were some hurdles to be overcome for Dunedin implementation, including deciding which areas of the city, and which houses in those areas, would be suitable for solar energy.

    Read more


    ### ODT Online Tue, 24 May 2011
    Wood chips catch on for boiler heat
    By Simon Hartley
    A fledgling energy resource from southern forest harvesting waste is gaining traction in Otago and Southland with a growing number of organisations installing or converting to wood-chip fired boilers. With proposed lignite mining in the South, and its potential conversion to briquettes for boiler fuel appearing set to remain a highly contentious option, the alternative wood chip fuel source is attracting more attention.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Tue, 24 May 2011
    Polytechnic opts for cleaner heating
    By Allison Rudd
    The Otago Polytechnic has decided to replace the coal-fired heating system for its Dunedin campus with wood chip and lpg boilers, despite the alternative fuels being almost a third more expensive than coal.

    Some of the additional cost would be offset by lower repairs and maintenance costs once the new boilers were installed. But the main reason for going with wood chips and lpg was because of the polytechnic’s pledge to environmental sustainability.

    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      New Zealand had a reasonably strong high-value manufacturing sector, but the public lacked awareness of the sector and it needed to be much bigger. -Paul Callaghan

      ### ODT Online Wed, 25 May 2011
      Otago best base for his Utopia
      By Eileen Goodwin
      Dunedin is the “perfect model” for developing the knowledge-based environmentally conscious society to which New Zealand should aspire, Prof Sir Paul Callaghan says. Sir Paul, physicist, entrepreneur, and New Zealander of the Year, who was in Dunedin yesterday, said that with its “great university”, world-class businesses like NHNZ, and the best natural environment surrounding a New Zealand city, Dunedin presented a starting point for the society he wants developed.

      Sir Paul’s vision for New Zealand is a knowledge-based economy producing high-quality exports that do not strain the environment. Looking after the environment created the kind of society in which highly skilled people wanted to live. It helped reverse the brain drain, and attracted people from overseas.

      Read more


      Thank god he says it: “Tourism had its place, but was low-value and not the answer to the country’s problems.”

      • Elizabeth

        26.5.11 ODT Online (Editorial): A success story at a price

      • Elizabeth

        surprise surprise choke

        ### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jun 2011
        Dunedin lagging behind other parts of New Zealand
        By David Loughrey
        Dunedin is planning its next decade of economic development – at the same time as facing its failure in the past decade to keep up with the rate of economic growth the rest of the country has achieved.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### June 8, 2011 – 7:17pm
        Dunedin City Council working on new Economic Development Strategy
        The Dunedin City Council are currently working on a new Economic Development Strategy, to determine how Dunedin can best create jobs and boost the incomes of residents in the next ten years. Consultation with a number of local groups and organisations are marking a change in approach from one that used to be Council-led, but is now collaborative.

        • Elizabeth

          Entrepreneurship and design!

          ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Jun 2011
          Queenstown movie cameras taking off
          Queenstown company Shotover Camera Systems has designed and produced a new gyro-stabilised, “high end” digital video camera suitable for use on movie projects in New Zealand and TV and film hot spots around the world.

          “The Shotover camera system is made from components mainly produced in New Zealand and can cost between $400,000 and $1 million, depending on the choice of camera, lens and other system features… Our system provides the highest quality image production available and has been designed specifically for the movie industry for shooting aerial footage from moving platforms – primarily helicopters – with no limitation on manoeuvrability and camera-pointing.”

          Read more

      • Elizabeth

        No surprises here.

        ### ODT Online Sat, 11 Jun 2011
        Waitati finds winds of change can be fickle
        By Allison Rudd
        It was a great idea: erect a wind turbine or two and generate enough energyto power the entire Waitati-Blueskin community. The plan is still firmly on the agenda, but project manager Scott Willis has discovered putting up the turbines might be the easy bit. The real challenge will be creating a workable community ownership model and securing suitable electricity sales and distribution deals in New Zealand’s “incredibly complex” electricity market, he says.
        Read more


        Previously, the blue sky…

        ### ODT Online Wed, 23 Sep 2009
        Waitati on way to generating own power
        By Sarah Harvey
        The Blueskin Bay community north of Dunedin is well on the way to owning and managing its own renewable source of power generation.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Mon, 4 Jul 2011
        Polytechnic hails knowledge transfer partnership
        A partnership between Otago Polytechnic and the Ministry of Science and Innovation will help enhance knowledge transfer from institutions to the industry. The polytechnic is one of eight new research and development partners to join the Technology Transfer Voucher Programme, which was established by the ministry last year.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Some well made points that are true for New Zealand

        ### 30 Oct 2009 at 12:19
        Mandelson: Enterprise-led Recovery
        Download Audio File
        Lord Peter Mandelson gave a key-note speech following an invitation by the Oxford Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Said Business School. (24:23)

        Series: Entrepreneurship
        People: Lord Peter Mandelson
        Oxford Unit: Said Business School

        The Oxford Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is the focal point for entrepreneurship research, teaching and networking at Oxford University.

      • Elizabeth

        Broadcast Notice

        Radio New Zealand National – Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw
        Listen on 101 FM or online at

        28 August 2011

        10:06 Ian Boisvert – Marine Rights (34′51″)
        Ian Boisvert, a renewable energy attorney from San Francisco, has been based at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), researching policy for the management of NZ’s ocean renewable energy resources – wave power, tidal currents and offshore wind. He’s advocating a new system he calls Tradable Occupation Rights for all users of the marine environment, to reduce conflict and allow New Zealand to more easily realise its offshore energy potential. Ian Boisvert is one of four 2011 Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellows in Public Policy. Their reports can be downloaded from the Fulbright New Zealand website
        Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        11.05 Ideas: Entrepreneurism (50′07″)
        If there’s one thing that most economists agree on it’s that entrepreneurs are a key ingredient of economic growth. But how do you grow entrepreneurism? Ideas asks: Serial entrepreneur and spokesperson for the Productive Economy Council Selwyn Pellett; Grow Wellington’s chief executive Nigel Kirkpatrick; and Ken Erskine of Auckland business incubator, Icehouse.
        Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

        Productive Economy Council:
        Bright Ideas Challenge:

      • Elizabeth

        @mmoorejones Awesome summary of Sir Paul Callaghan’s talk in London last night on making NZ prosperous.

        • Elizabeth

          Ministry of Economic Development (MED) – New Zealand’s Energy Strategies

          ### ODT Online Sat, 15 Oct 2011
          Showing some solar flair
          By Mark Price
          Kissing goodbye to your power bill is one of the dreams of the modern age – and it might not be as far off as we think. New energy technology using the sun to run the dishwasher and the big-screen TV is coming down in price so quickly it could be producing electricity at the same price as that available from the national grid in as little as five years.

          Photovoltaics. It’s a mouthful of a word often simply referred to as pv. Not to be confused with solar water heating, pv is the system that turns sunlight into electricity via panels of solar cells usually made of silicon.

          And it is a system that is spreading like wildfire across the rooftops of the world. In just one month this year, German homeowners bolted on to their roofs pv solar panels with a total capacity of one and a-half Clyde dams. So, why, you might ask, is it so rare in New Zealand and virtually non-existent in Otago?
          Read more

          Calder Stewart’s roofing general manager John D’Arcy says Calder Stewart is installing the latest laminated pv panels on the roofs of some Milford Track huts and a small number of homes and buildings in remote locations…at this stage the panels are a better fit economically for those buildings where a grid connection would be expensive or for commercial buildings where depreciation could be claimed – rather than for small-scale residential purposes.

          Photovoltaics (pv) in the South (via ODT)
          It will come as no surprise that Dunedin – unlike Central Otago – is not one of the better places for a pv solar system. However, as a vendor of pv systems pointed out, in places like Dunedin it is just a matter of installing more panels. And, even if pv panels are not yet a good enough economic choice, those building new houses can keep the option open. When asked for the best orientation and pitch for roofs where solar panels might be fitted, Tansley Electrical contracts manager Steve Donaldson provided the following information:

          • Orientation
          Facing true north is best. Between NE and NW is acceptable. No shading between 9am and 3pm.

          • Pitch
          Latitude -10deg is best for grid-tie [grid-connected] systems.
          Latitude +10deg is best for off-grid systems.
          Note: The flatter position makes better use of summer sunshine so more electricity can be sold into the grid. The more upright position makes better use of winter sunshine to help keep the batteries of off-grid systems charged.

          • Dunedin’s latitude is 45deg 52min, Alexandra’s 45deg 14min, Gore’s 46deg 2min and Omarama’s 44deg 28min.

  2. Peter

    But won’t the new stadium – build it and they will come – bring us salvation? I thought people were going to be pouring into Dunedin because ‘we do it better in the south’.

  3. Peter

    Elizabeth. You are not a member of a select club on that score! Sorry.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Speakers for the opposition, Dunedin’s leading – what’s the word – contrapreneurs??? The cunning few who are in the forefront then skip aside and watch their followers fall down the offal pit then scamper away with all the gold.

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    {Your comment has been moved to another thread (link) -Eds}

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