Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre


Will NZ’s future energy be clean? – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 16th, 2017.

Approximately 80 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources. But is this the full picture behind NZ’s clean and green reputation?  This week the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability releases ten policy briefs from its Energy Cultures research. The SMC asked experts how New Zealand’s energy usage compares to the […]

Tesla Powerwall battery – gamechanger or gimmick? Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 22nd, 2015.

Electric car company Tesla recently launched a battery to power homes, Powerwall, and the firm has made some bold claims about its potential ahead of going to market, but is the hype justified? According to Tesla, the Powerwall battery will allow solar panel-equipped homes to go ‘off grid’, or consumers to save money by charging […]

Kiwi research opposes ‘opposites attract’ rule

John Kerr posted in on May 24th, 2012.

“Everything you thought you knew about electrostatics is probably wrong”  declares the first line of a Nature News article examining recent research from MacDiarmid Physics Professor John Lekner. Prof Lekner’s research appears on the international science news site by virtue of it’s findings – which seem to go against the classic physics adage, ‘opposites attract’. […]

Smart grid would be a smart move – academic

Peter Griffin posted in on December 1st, 2011.

New Zealand’s electricity industry and regulators could usefully collaborate with academic researchers on randomised testing to provide insights into household impacts of the new technologies such as smart meters, says an American researcher. “New technologies that comprise the so-called ‘Smart Grid’ offer several opportunities to leverage these insights into behavioral change,”  the researcher, Professor David […]

‘Hotter and deeper’ – geothermal energy exploration

Dacia Herbulock posted in on May 24th, 2011.

Geothermal energy now generates around 13 percent of New Zealand’s electricity, but scientists gathering this week in Taupo will explore options for vastly expanding the resource’s potential. A two-day workshop (25 – 26 May) “HADES: Hotter and Deeper Exploration Science” will bring together engineers and geothermal specialists from 10 countries to discuss the international context […]

NZ Herald: ‘Magic’ process turns kiwifruit into gold

Peter Griffin posted in on September 3rd, 2010.

Michael Dickison writes in the New Zealand Herald about work by NZ scientists which has allowed kiwifruit to be turned into plastic, and sewage into electricity. The work, carried out by CRI Scion, has meant the development of a chemical process which makes kiwifruit melt like plastic in normal factory equipment.  Another process allows the […]

Dargaville News: Energy plans jeopardise snapper population

Peter Griffin posted in on February 10th, 2010.

Rose Stirling of the Dargaville News reports that Crest Energy’s plan to build a tidal power station in the Kaipara Harbour puts at risk much of New Zealand’s snapper population, according to Maori Party MP Hone Harawira. Most of New Zealand’s snapper nursery comes from the Harbour, meaning that should plans go ahead, the fish […]

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