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Happyzine Announces the Launch of ‘Wild Energy’ the Green Energy Design Competition

Submitted by on October 18, 2010 – 7:58 pm One Comment

Wild Energy – a green energy design competition intended to spark more 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

Follow Wild Energy on Twitter. Like Wild Energy on Facebook.

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.

“I want to issue a heart-felt invitation to inventors and green dreamers world-wide. I don’t care how qualified, or experienced you are, what matters here is creativity and viability of ideas. We’re challenging participants to come up with an idea that can be upscaled or replicated small-scale to generate fifty percent or more of the power that the proposed Mokihinui hydro dam (on the West Coast of New Zealand) would create.”

The all Kiwi Wild Energy judges panel includes: Jeanette Fitzsimons (who has recently retired from her long held position as co-Leader of the NZ

Geoff Henderson CEO and Director of Windflow Technology - one of our highly esteemed judges

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.

A panel of NZ Politicians have also agreed to choose and comment upon their favorite three designs. They are: National MP Nicky Wagner, Labour MP Charles Chauvel and Green Party MP Kevin Hague.

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)

Mokihinui River - image by Craig Potton

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.

1. All entries must be submitted by 11:59pm on 31st January, 2011 order to be considered.

2. To enter, email the team (wildenergy@happyzine.co.nz), with description and up to five photos (as jpegs) (and where relevant, link(s) to video (hosted on either Youtube or Vimeo)) of your clever, creative ideas about how to generate power in Aotearoa/New Zealand in a sustainable, intelligent, small-scale fashion.

3. You can not infringe on anyone’s copyright or intellectual property with your design, and by entering the competition, you agree that your work is your own.

4. By sending us your entry you agree that you are allowing us to freely publish your material online.

5. Judging will be carried out by the Happyzine community (who can rate your entry out of five stars before 31st January, 11.59 pm) and by a panel of judges. The judges will score your design out of five. The winners will be announced on the 14th of February, 2011.

6. The judging criteria will be:

Feasibility – How practical is the idea? Include consideration of costs and energy generation or conservation.

Sustainability – How will the idea impact upon the planet? The potential to create positive change for the planet?

Creativity – How lateral thinking, and ‘out-side the square’ has the designer been with the entry?

Imagination – Does the entry reuse old ideas in a new way? What is new about this concept?

Design – Properly designed objects fit their context so well that they are easy to use and beneficial to the user.

7. The Wild Energy categories will be: 0 – 11 year olds, 12 – 18 year olds and Adult. When you email us your entry, tell us which category you’d like to enter it into. Entry is free. You can enter as many times as you like (providing your entry was designed with integrity), provided that each entry includes a different design or concept.

8. For each category there will be a Viewers’ Choice, a Judges’ Choice and an Overall Winner. We will also be giving away spot-prizes to participants.

9. The winning entries will be decided upon and announced by14th February (Monday). They will be announced in the Happyzine ezine initially. The Overall Winner will be the entry with the highest Viewers’ and Judges’ ratings (which will both be rated out of five).

10. Happyzine withholds the right to decide not to enter any submitted design into the Wild Energy competition if we deem that it’s not quite up to the quality or integrity of design we’re seeking to promote or otherwise contravenes these rules.

11. In entering the competition the winners agree to work with us on up to two press releases to promote their designs via the world-wide media web, once their entries have been chosen. They also agree to refer to www.happyzine.co.nz during all publicity and interviews beyond Happyzine’s scope for the next twelve months when discussing their winning entry.

Thanks to Our Sponsors


Lucid Design – Beautiful, elegant design for web and print.

myVA – Online virtual support from Gabrielle Syben

The Sandcastle Chalet Accommodation Golden Bay

Mariposa – Retail Colour Therapy – Seriously funky clothing and footwear for men, women and children

Sustained Consulting – for organisations that are serious about sustainability

Ecostore – Healthier Products for you and the environment

For more details about the competition or any other aspect of Wild Energy, please feel free to contact:

Charlotte Squire


David Laing


Happyzine – inspiring positive environmental and social change via good news online www.happyzine.co.nz

Cartoon kindly supplied by Robbie Neilson

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