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Energy technologies a focus at desertSMART EcoFair 2017

Renewable energy and waste to energy technologies will be a feature at desertSMART Ecofair 2017, with special guests journalist and science communicator Giles Parkinson from Renew Economy and Associate Professor Bernadette McCabe from the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture, University of Southern Queensland.

Giles Parkinson is the founder and editor of Australia’s most widely read and more influential website on renewable energy and climate policy, Established 5 years ago, renewEconomy focuses on new technologies and the dramatic energy transition, and has reached a broad audience of more than 250,000 a month, as well as having a core readership of more than 20,000 within the industry and engage members of the public. 

At the Sustainable Energy presentation as part of the Sustainable Living Festival on Sunday 13th August at Snow Kenna Park, Giles will be sharing his knowledge and the rapidly changing energy market, renewable energy technologies and how Alice Springs could potentially move towards a target of 100% renewable energy by 2030. 

Associate Professor Bernadette McCabe is a principal scientist with the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture at the University of Southern Queensland. Bernadette’s specific research interest is in energy capture and resource recovery of waste and has attracted over $1.5M in nationally competitive grants and research contracts since 2010. 

Bernadette will be discussing waste to energy technologies as part of the Garden to Plate event at the Alice Springs Community Garden at 4pm on Saturday 12th August. A particular focus will be on how regional communities in Australia are developing waste to energy projects and also composting options in a bid to close the loop on farm and food waste. 

desertSMART Ecofair Ambassador, Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia) will be back for his sixth year at the event and will be present at most EcoFair activities over the 3 days. Costa will be featuring at the 783 ABC Outside Broadcast at 4pm Friday 11th August at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens and will leading a bike ride to the Alice Springs Bicycle Film Festival that evening, leaving the town council lawns at 5.45pm. He will also be running a ‘Green Thumbs” workshop at 2pm Saturday 13th August at the Alice Springs Community Garden which is $20 (to be paid on the day). 

“Energy and renewable energy have been a hot topic in Alice Springs over the last year, so we are really excited to have Giles Parkinson attend desertSMART EcoFair and be sharing his expertise in this area,” said Nicole Pietsch, desertSMART EcoFair organiser.

“More than 4 million tonnes of food waste reaches landfill in Australia each year so we are looking forward to hearing from the latest research on biogas and waste to energy technologies with Associate Professor Bernadette McCabe,” said Nicole Pietsch. 

“Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia is a gardening and sustainability dynamo and always brings great energy and enthusiasm to the EcoFair. This year he is pumped up for the Eco-Science Schools Day and Great Science Quiz as part of the 783 ABC Outside Broadcast on Friday 11th August, and his annual gardneing workshop on the Saturday.” 

desertSMART EcoFair is in its ninth year and is organised by the Arid Lands Environment Centre, as part of National Science Week. desertSMART EcoFair aims to educate, inspire and activate the community around science and sustainability issues. For more information go to

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government as part of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme.

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