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Sustainable Energy Forum: Members' Views

The Sustainable Energy Forum Inc (SEF) provides this Members’ Views section of its website for the information and benefit of its members.

Information published in this section of the SEF website is the responsibility of the member contributing that information, and does not necessarily represent the views of SEF or of other SEF members.

While maintaining some editorial oversight over what is published in this section, SEF as an organisation cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of information, or opinions expressed.

SEF asks members contributing information to this section to be respectful of all opinions of others, and avoid any abuse of an individual and of their opinions or position.

Members wishing to have material uploaded to this page should email it to in Word or PDF format.

Submitted Papers


Available as:


Neil Mander, Crude Oil Prices from 20 September 2008 to 15 September 2018

Updated from 20 March 2018 version.



PDF (92KB)

Electricity Price Review uses fake facts to suppress lowest-cost energy options

The Electricity Price Review incorrectly states that electricity supplies 85% of household energy, referring to MBIE's energy balances spreadsheet (screenshot attached). In fact, the spreadsheet shows that electricity supplies 70% of household energy. Firewood is the second biggest source, at 12.9% of the total.

This error is not a simple mistake, it is at the heart of the Review's central question: 'Why are residential prices rising?'



PDF (186KB)

Energy vs. Climate - defining the problem From Steve Goldthorpe (15 August 2013)

Steve Goldthorpe, Convener of The Sustainable Energy Forum Inc, spoke to the Auckland Branch of Engineers for Sustainability on 15 August. He pays particular attention to methane emissions, particularly those arising from fracking.

Here is the PDF file of his PowerPoint presentation. Steve has included his Presenter notes which can be viewed by clicking on the pop-up icon where it appears in the top left corner of a slide, eg on Slide 1.



PDF (1.27MB)

Ken Piddington, Sustainable Energy: Are we tilting at windmills? (28 December 2012)

In 1994 Ken Piddington, Founding Convenor of SEF, in an address to a combined meeting of the Auckland Branches of Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) and IPENZ, discussed the significance of the word "sustainability" and the political and practical realities to be faced in implementing it. The points he raised are still very relevant now, some 8 years later.



PDF (59KB)

Peter Read, Biochar Defended (11 September 2008)

Peter Read says: "I wrote this article in response to an attack on the work of the International Biochar Initiative for which I serve on the advisory board. The attack is at and my response was first published on 11th Sept in, which is not open to the public. It is also posted on which is run by Ryan Hottle of Columbia University NY and which also contains Ryan's rebuttal. Both his piece and mine may be of interest to SEF members wanting to know a little more about the exciting biochar concept."



PDF (11KB)

Sean Millar and Adrienne Puckey, A Brief Introduction to Climate Change and Peak Oil for New Zealanders (updated 18 July 2008)

Sean Millar and Adrienne Puckey have prepared this introduction to climate change and peak oil for New Zealanders. Although they are not SEF members, the SEF Management Committee considers that this booklet is worth your attention. This publication may be copied and distributed freely, in whole or in part, in print and/or electronic media. Please cite the source when quoting in other publications.

Hard copies are available from

Sean Millar
18 Lloyd Avenue
Mt Albert
Auckland 1025

for $6 per copy including postage. Cheques to be made out to Sean Millar. Direct payment details available by email on request, please contact

The booklet is available as two separate PDFs - one with the front and back covers, and one with the interior text.



PDF (86KB)

PDF (1.04MB)

Molly Melhuish, Low-carbon household electricity through synergies with bioenergy (21 February 2008).



PDF (92KB)

Molly Melhuish, The technology defines the resource (17 December 2007).



PDF (62KB)

Peter Read et al, A Sustainable Biofuels Consensus (17 April 2008).

The Sustainable Biofuels Consensus is the outcome of a four day expert workshop hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation at its study centre at Bellagio on Lake Como, near Milan. It was held under Chatham House rules meaning that - to promote free and frank exchange of views - nothing said may be attributed to any participant. Consensus means that all participants agreed on its content, although it does not necessarily reflect the full views of anyone. In the circumstance of negative publicity for biofuels, with substantially misinformed media discussion, we devoted effort to providing a balanced assessment of the food versus fuel debate, of the question of indirect impacts of biofuels on land use worldwide, and of the question of carbon debt arising from poorly managed land conversion. In reality the currently observed negative effects arise mainly as the consequence of the barriers to trade erected by just those countries that are imposing biofuels mandates, all of which could be met by expanded exports of very positive carbon benefit, sugar-cane based, ethanol from developing countries, using land that is not currently in food production (and is not rain forest, where sugar cane cannot grow).



PDF (303KB)

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