It was standing room only at a recent Kaitaia public meeting on complementary energy systems, chaired by Envision Associate, Warren Snow.
Hosted by Transition Town Kaitaia and the Far North Environment Centre, a panel of local Far North renewable energy manufacturers and retailers offered their insights into power generation opportunities - solar, water, and grid-interactive systems.
Warren welcomed the 100 plus attendees and pointed out that the numbers show Kaitaia can be a leader in energy as it was over 25 years ago with its pioneering recycling schemes.
The panel led a dynamic discussion on some of the everyday challenges of complementary energy systems, and future trends. Speakers and members of the audience shared their frustrations about the barriers faced by ordinary people wishing to make the energy switch. It was clear that there is an urgent need for energy policy reform at the local and central Government, levels.
The over 100 attendees were encouraged to hear that renewables were predicted to be the predominant energy supply within 20-30 years. Overall there was a strong call for families and whole communities to be more actively supported to switch to either a hybrid grid-tied system or fully independent renewable energy systems as soon as possible. A number of attendees discussed creating an energy consumer group to find ways togain more local control and self sufficiency, including ways to finance families wishing to switch to renewables.
The media loves to give Kaitaia a bad rap, because of housing and poverty related issues, but how many places are there, where over 100 people show up on a Friday evening to discuss an important issue for the future? It shows that Kaitaia and the Far North is a community with a big heart for change, said Warren.
(For more information contact: Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn, c/o email: firstname.lastname@example.org).