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Inaugural clean energy expo dates announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Taupo - The inaugural NZ Clean Energy Expo is slated for October 13-16 at the NZ Clean Energy Centre in Taupo. However an additional NZ Geothermal Association Seminar on October 12 is extending the event to span 5 days.

Is there really that much to talk about and demonstrate in the way of clean energy ideas, innovations and solutions? Rob McEwen, CEO of the NZ Clean Energy Centre, says "absolutely!"

For starters, the geothermal industry is undergoing a huge renaissance and NZ Geothermal Inc. - an initiative designed to leverage NZ's strengths in this field into global market opportunities - is ready to launch. Chris Mulcare of NZ Trade & Enterprise - one of the drivers of this initiative - will tell all during the "Energising Geothermal" workshop on Oct 13.

Then there's the "Energising Biomaterials" workshop on Oct 14. Lanzatech is a rising star in this field, having recently won the Frost & Sullivan 2011 Global Green Excellence Award for technology innovation in Green Chemistry. Another presenter at this workshop, Vertichem - a tenant of the NZ Clean Energy Centre - is also a rising star in green chemistry, with a process to separate the lignin from cellulose in hardwoods and from there, using the lignin to replace petrochemical derived polymers in a wide range of products, while converting the cellulose into ethanol for transport fuel.

The Public Expo on Oct 15 & 16 promises some exciting exhibits and workshops. At least three companies will be demonstrating electric vehicles, and there will also be a free workshop titled "The car of the future: Is it Electric?" The NZ Clean Energy Centre is home to NZ's only networked electric vehicle charging station, so attendees will be able to see what the "petrol station of the future" might look like. Another workshop will look at micro hydro, micro wind and solar options, while another will examine progress towards building homes that generate their own electricity and actually supply energy to the grid. More than 20 clean energy exhibitors will showcase their wares, and tours of the Centre to see three small wind turbines, three solar hot water systems, two solar electric systems and a geothermal heating solution in action will be offered.

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