Imagine a community like Victoria who builds a chain of renewable energy products for the energy market that includes electricity, heat and biofuels all generated from local renewable biomass feedstock and other renewable inputs. This is now possible and has been accomplished by the City of Gussing in south east Austria. The primary generator is a sophisticated gasification reactor that generates Producer gas, heat and electricity and with these outputs has taken the City of Gussing right off the grid. In Gussing the gasification technology is supported by wind, solar and other biological systems to generate a mixed supply of renewable energy sources that now enables the town to export energy into the regional electricity distribution grid. The cost of energy in Gussing has remained stable since 2000 while fossil energies have risen by more than 500% in the same period. In addition to the renewable energy generation more than 150 research projects have been developed, over 1250 jobs created and Gussing is now the Center for Renewable Energy in Europe.
This presentation will follow the renewal of Gussing commencing in 1995 through to today, share the benefits and explore the opportunities that this technology offers for North American communities. It will outline an integrated utility model that addresses the local demand for energy and relies on local renewable resources, skills and talent and community aspirations that are key components to success.
Graeme Bethell, CEO – Gussing Renewable Energy America
With 30 years of experience in the environmental consultancy and utility industries, Graeme is both a Technical Specialist with a wealth of experience in environmental management, sustainability, water and renewable energy and he is an Executive Manager in integrated utility services. Graeme holds a Masters Degree in Pollution Control from Leeds University, England and he is an Environmental Auditor and Qualified Environmental Professional.
He advocates quality of service, excellence in performance and personal empowerment in colleagues and staff alike to meet and exceed business targets and goals. He holds a philosophical view that the power of business can solve social and environmental problems. He has a long history of supporting his profession and community through volunteering in technical and community associations, children’s sports, construction of community facilities and donations to community causes.