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Renewable transport fuels and energy independence

Renewable transport fuels and energy independence

A meeting next week will receive a progress report from the waste-to-energy trial done at the Christchurch City Council's wastewater treatment plant at Bromley. Chris Bathurst, Engineer of the algal-biofuel feedstock project, will speak on the prospects for sustainable fuel self-sufficiency in Canterbury and New Zealand.

Damaged in the recent earthquakes, the Bromley trial pond will be repaired under insurance cover once only, though the date of recomission is unknown. However the Ssuper Critical Water Reactor system has been proven ready to go into increased production through an expanded site and plant.

The algae project received much media attention as a sustainable positive for the council, before earthquake damage to all the ponds shut it down.

“We need to know what will happen next with the City's wastewater system, as a range of more sustainable outcomes are possible in the rebuild,” says Sustainable Canterbury spokesman Rik Tindall. “Chris is a top local expert in the renewable energy field, so we are keen to hear an update from him in light of Christchurch's recent natural disaster. The public – especially those in Christchurch East – have a huge stake in the infrastructure renewal we now must go though.”

The meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 August, at 7.30 pm at the WEA, 59 Gloucester Street, with hot drinks provided. It follows on from the Water Forum series that began in the winter of 2009 in New Brighton, that was run by the Save Our Water campaign group. The Sustainable Canterbury monthly meeting is the following Saturday, 14 August at 3pm, also at WEA.

Tindall, a former regional councillor who had Civil Defence and Communities for Climate Protection responsibility, sees sustainable fuel as much more than a Christchurch City issue.

“We need to factor in the global need for change, towards carbon capture and innovation for new jobs that will be funded by the international carbon market,” Tindall says. “Sustainable use of natural resources is both possible and very desirable, bringing new industry and opportunity for unemployed youth in particular.”

“This means, primarily, doing an accurate balance sheet on all of society's waste,” Tindall concludes. “Organic waste and woody weeds can all be integrated into a renewable fuel plan.”

Tindall believes the meeting will provide a focus and a start for much neglected work in Canterbury. “Sustainable Canterbury invites the public to come along and hear more about what is possible, with a greener and rosier local employment future for all.”

[Ends]

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