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OERC Seminar Series

Recordings of OERC seminars can be viewed on YouTube:

See our seminar recordings 

All seminars are free and open to the public.

For further information:

OERC Seminar Series 2022

9 March OERC Summer Scholarship students:
Rina Watt, Danielle Lomas, Yasmin Howell, William Hadley, Pablo Paulsen, Hannah Konings
OERC Seminar – Summer Scholarship student presentations
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13 April Craig Cliff
Net Carbon Zero Programme Manager, Sustainability Office, University of Otago
Towards net zero: an update on the University of Otago's greenhouse gas emissions
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10 May Dean Spicer
Sustainable finance ANZ
Sustainable Finance – supporting the transition of the energy sector: Opportunities and challanges
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15 June Shama Islam
Deakin University Victoria Fellow
Data analytics for intelligent energy systems
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12 July Jeff Smit and Elliot Jones
Deta NZ and Ministry of Education
School energy efficiency opportunities
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OERC Seminar Series 2021

17 March Aleida Powell
University of Otago
Impact of financial incentives on electricity use and the consequences for electricity networks: Case study of "Hour of Power" in Dunedin
19 May Craig Cliff
Net Carbon Zero Programme Manager, Sustainability Office, University of Otago
Net Carbon Zero: challenges and opportunities
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16 June Kiti Suomalainen
University of Auckland
Climate change and hydro in New Zealand: Impacts on long-term energy system planning
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15 September Craig Rodger
Beverly Professor of Physics, Department of Physics
The Darkside of Aurora: Space weather risks to New Zealand energy infrastructure?
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29 September Grant Telfar
Modelling and Portfolio Manager, Meridian Energy
Power without the carbon? OERC Seminar
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20 October Alan Caughley Power Transition of energy systems: the move to electric aviation
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OERC Seminar Series 2020

COVID-19, disruption and new energy futures

COVID-19 has turned all aspects of our world upside down.  Our ‘normal’ lives in lockdown would not have been imaginable just months earlier.  Energy systems have been significantly affected by COVID-19. Industrial and commercial electricity demand has been significantly reduced and the demand for transport fuel has shrunk dramatically.

As we emerge from lockdown, it is critical to question what our experiences during the lockdown might mean for how we reimagine and reconstruct our future ‘new normal’.

In this OERC seminar series we invite a range of speakers from across the energy system – from industry, academics, community groups and government to reflect on what lessons we can draw from the COVID-19 pandemic that might help to accelerate a transition to a zero-carbon energy future in NZ.  This series will consist of a 20 minute talk by speakers followed by 30 minutes of discussion.

3 April Janet Stephenson
Director, Centre for Sustainability
COVID-19: Implications for NZ’s energy future
Janet outlines how COVID-19 and its aftermath has changed the playing-field for getting to a low-carbon energy future, and some of the problems and opportunities that this will create for New Zealand.
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17 June Eric Pyle
Director Public Affairs, Solarcity
Distributed energy resources and energy innovation post COVID-19
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5 August Professor James Higham
Department of Tourism, School of Business
An analysis of ways to decarbonize conference travel after COVID-19
COVID-19 offers insights into radically reducing the carbon footprint of academic conferences, but what might the post-COVID future of conferences look like, and how do we advance a new conference convention for a climate-safe future?
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9 September Greg Sise
Managing Director
Energy Link Limited
Towards 100% Renewable Electricity
Greg talks about current and future developments in the electricity sector including the closure of the Tiwai aluminium smelter, the proposal for pumped hydro at Lake Onslow, and how we might get to 100% renewable electricity.
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30 September Jinty MacTavish
Principal Policy Advisor (Sustainability)
Dunedin City Council
Zero Carbon 2030 EMAN Seminar
Jinty gives a high level overview of work currently underway at the DCC in response to the Council’s adoption of a Zero Carbon 2030 target, in June 2019.
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21 October

Karen Silk
GM Experience Hub
Westpac NZ

COVID-19 Impacts on the economy and energy demand.
Karen provides her thoughts on opportunities and challenges that have arisen due to COVID-19 and its aftermath and the role that Sustainable Finance can play to help mitigate future environmental and social crises.
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OERC Seminar Series 2019

1 April Jennifer Mindell Driven to distraction or a move in the right direction?
1 May Oseweuba Valentine Okor Meat processing waste biorefinery for bioenergy and biochemical production
5 June  Janet Stephenson and Michael Jack GREEN Grid Project: Research Findings and Policy Implications on Electricity Demand
7 August Ivan Diaz-Rainey An Energy Policy for ASEAN? Lessons from the EU Experience on Energy Integration, Security and Decarbonisation
4 September Jens Groeger Measures to support energy-efficient products and services: Ecodesign, eco-labels and green public procurement
2 October Boyang Ding Innovative nanophotonic platforms for highly efficient solar-hydrogen energy conversion

OERC Seminar Series 2018

27 September Assoc Prof Sandra Mandic School of Physical Education, Sports & Exercise Sciences "Challenges and opportunities for promoting walking and cycling to school"
6 September Assoc. Prof Bob Lloyd Assoc. Professor, Department of Physics, Director Raynbird Consultants “The State of the Climate, with reference to the global situation and to NZ’s role.”
Watch the presentation 
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22 August Prof Ulrich Nissen & Assoc Prof Ivan Diaz-Rainey Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences,
Moechengladbach, Germany
Co-Director of OERC & Assoc. Prof in Finance,
University of Otago
" Bridging the energy efficiency gap on campus – Investment appraisal and organisational procedures"
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16 August Matthew McCarten Oxford University "Climate Change Risk Impact Opportunities Tool" 
31 July Prof James Higham Department of Tourism Te Tari Tapoi, Otago Business School Te Kura Pakihi, University of Otago Te Whare Wananga o Otago "Climate change and aviation: Collective action to reduce our own air travel emissions?"
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5 July Dr Ian Mason Co-Director MEngSt (Renewable Energy) Programme
Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury
“A Smart Energy System for New Zealand”
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19 June Assoc Prof MJ (Thinus) Booysen Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department at Stellenbosch University,
A founder of Bridgiot, and co-creator of Geasy & Count Dropula
“The Internet of electric water heaters”
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7 June Prof Henrik Moller Professor Emeritus, Centre for Sustainability, & co-founder of Flip the Fleet “Citizen science for sustainability transitions: lessons from Flip the Fleet’s efforts to accelerate uptake of electric vehicles”
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3 May Tor Haken Inderberg Senior Research Fellow, Director European Programme, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Oslo, Norway "Windpower licencing processes, actor influences and nature protection in Norway"
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19 April Robert Holt (CEng MIET MSc) Callaghan Innovation "The Internet of Things (IoT) and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN)"
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12 April Prof Ulrich Nissen Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Moechengladbach, Germany “Measuring the profitability of PV-Prosumage (Photovoltaic Production Consumption & Storage)”
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1 March Dr Ben Anderson Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow (2017-2019) SAVE: A large scale randomised control trial approach to testing domestic electricity consumption flexibility in the UK
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OERC Seminar Series 2017

5 October Dr Mansi Mansi & Dr Rakesh Pandey Accountancy and Finance "Accounting the costs and benefits of electric vehicles"
7 September Dr Anna Garden Chemistry "From fertilisers to fuels – a computational approach to heterogeneous catalysis."
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3 August Dr Kimberley O'Sullivan Public Health "Exploring classroom comfort with youth researchers."
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6 July Assoc Prof Jeremiah Deng & Sophie Zareei Information Science "Engaging machine learning in energy data modelling and system optimisation."
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1 June Malcolm Smeaton Physics, Ocean Physics "Tidal Energy: Present and Future"
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17 May (Weds) Dr Virginia Toy Geology "Teaching about sustainability of earth resources and societal resilience to geological hazards in Ecuador."
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4 May Dr Kiti Suomalainen Centre for Sustainability "Rooftop solar potential based on LiDAR data: an Auckland case study."
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15 April Dr Sandra Mandic School of Physical Education,

Sport and Exercise Sciences

"BEATS Study and the Active Living and Environment Symposium."
15 March Jeremy Pitt Imperial College London "Decentralised Community Energy Systems & The Active Participation of Consumers."
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24 February

Prof. Tadj Oreszczyn University College London

"Building Energy Efficiency and Reducing Energy Demand: Why?"
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OERC Seminar Series 2016

6 October Dr Douglas Hill & Dr Sean Connelly Goegraphy “Community Power? Exploring the process for change through the clean Energy for Eternity campaign in NSW, Australia”
1 September Dr Sam Lowrey Physics “Enhanced evaporator gearing for increased energy efficiency in domestic drying appliances”
4 August Helen Viggers Public Health "Policy settings, house structure and home warmth”
6–7 July Energy Cultures Conference 2016 – Live streaming from Wellington
2 June Dr Inga Smith Physics “What are the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the movement of goods and people into and out of New Zealand?”
5 May Dr Hilary Phipps Property Services “Universities as living labs: unlocking Otago's potential”
7 April Dr Virginia Toy Geology “The potential uses of a geothermal resource in South Westland”