Wild Energy Competition Opens

21 Oct 2010

Wild Energy – a green energy design competition intended to spark creativity, fun and imagination amongst environmentalists – is open for entries.

The competition was developed in response to the challenge that New Zealand is currently facing to increase power supplies as demand grows, by the team at the Kiwi good news website www.happyzine.co.nz

Co-organiser Charlotte Squire says Wild Energy came about in response to plans to flood some of New Zealand’s most pristine and wild rivers and valleys to create hydro-power dams.

“While hydro-power has its benefits, I would rather see our beautiful wild rivers and valleys (and the internationally significant species living within them) remain intact. Every day I see new sustainable design ideas online that amaze me on websites such as www.inhabit.com. This competition is an invitation to the designers and inventors of this world to share their ideas about green energy, so that we in New Zealand, and others facing similar energy demand issues world-wide, can face this challenge from a fresh, inspired perspective.

The Wild Energy judges panel includes: Jeanette Fitzsimons (former co-Leader of the NZ Green Party) Tim Wigmore (a Wellington based designer), Steve Goldthorpe (a Waipu based energy analyst) Chris Heaslip (an Invercargill based engineer) and Geoff Henderson (CEO of Windflow Technology Ltd and recognised global wind energy expert).

The winners of each section will receive:

  • A Winner’s Certificate of achievement from Happyzine, with glowing testimonials from the judges.
  • A record of the amount of people who voted for their entry online.
  • Mention and recognition in at least two press releases that will go out to hundreds of thousands of people world-wide.
  • Official acknowledgment that they have contributed positively to the nationwide movement to save the Mokihinui River and all other wild rivers that are currently under consideration for damming.
  • The overall winner will receive the inaugural Happyzine Wild Energy Trophy.
  • Spot prizes will also be randomly given out to people who enter Wild Energy (see the sponsors of these spot prizes below)

Wild Energy Guidelines

The Wild Energy competition was developed as Happyzine’s response to the challenge we face both as a global community, to produce more electricity in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Meridian Energy propose to develop a hydro generation scheme on the Mokihinui River (which is located on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand). This would involve the construction of a dam, and the consequent flooding of part of the valley, and the disruption of many species of wildlife in the area.

We believe that there must be other ways of generating or saving the energy that the proposed scheme would produce, and this competition has been designed to spark the nation’s creativity, and showcase the best ideas.

The New Zealand Electricity Commission reported in 2008 that the Mokihinui scheme would have a capacity of 60 to 85 MW, and produce an annual output of 310-360 GW/h of energy. It would be wonderful if the (scaled up) entries to this competition were able to demonstrate the potential of either saving or generating at least fifty per cent of this figure. Of course, any alternatives have to be practical too. The same 2008 report estimated the generating cost at 9.82 cents / kWh (with an initial capital cost of some $304 million). The competition judges will be using this information as part of their evaluation criteria for practicality of implementation.


We want you to enter your ideas for either saving or generating electricity that would either be directly equivalent too, or could be scaled to the equivalent of half the output of the proposed Mokihinui project (see above).

Entries can be either:
• Designs that generate stationery energy (that is, not transport fuel)
• Designs that reduce energy usage
You must (as part of the entry) include the likely energy generated (or saved) by your design, and the cost (both to implement, and to operate).

Your entry must include a description of the design (500 words maximum), plus relevant pictures (minimum three, maximum five) or video. An entry can be either conceptual (an idea), or an actual implementation – something you’ve tried, or are using.

All entries must be submitted by 11:59pm on 31st January, 2011 order to be considered. For more information see here