The Eco Technology Show 2012 at the AMEX Stadium Brighton - 15th to 16th June
Author: Ed Beardsell
Published: Wednesday, 20 June 2012
This year’s Eco Technology Show saw the environmentally conscious from across the UK descend on the AMEX stadium in Brighton and Hove for a two day showcase of the latest technologies, and services designed to make everyday life a little more environmentally friendly.
In its inaugural year the Eco Technology Show ran from Friday the 15th of June till the 16th and crammed in everything from seminars delivered by some of the top players within the world of renewables, to oddities and curiosities such as Hubcap squids and the fastest electric motorbike in the UK.
So on an overcast but pleasant Friday in June The Eco Experts sent me down on a short train ride from Kentish Town in North London, to soak up some of the atmosphere at the AMEX, and have a nose about in search of the next big technological innovation.
After a quick coffee and pep talk from our senior sales guru Freddie I popped down to the slightly modest seminar stage to catch the for the Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker conducting a Q&A on the Green Deal. The Green Deal has been a hot topic of conversation in both the Ecobuild and Greenbuild conferences which The Eco Experts attended earlier in the year. Usually any MP-lead discussion surrounding the deal left us with more questions than answers.
The intimate setting of this Q&A looked promising as it gave Greg a platform to dispel some of the myths surrounding the Deal whilst answering questions that looked at the finer details that will affect many of the small businesses in attendance.
Fielding questions on topics ranging from fuel poverty to the role of community groups in the Green Deal’s roll out, Mr Barker answered with relative ease and confident, clearly defined answers before being shuffled away to muted applause. Keep tuned to the Eco Expert blog for my full report and video coverage of the Green Deal Q&A over the coming few weeks!
Bolstered by this kick-start to the morning, spirits were high with a vast array of locally based environmental projects on show, such as the quite lovely Renewable World and Brighton and Hove 10:10. On my rounds I made connections and mixed myself into this melting pot of environmental goodness swapping favours and a heck load of business cards (made from recycled paper of course).
The Eco Technology show looked to inspire home and business owners by providing a wide range of offerings from innovative forms of insulation and environmentally conscious products from bathroom tiles made from compacted straw (I was assured it was fire-proof) to ground-breaking developments in solar technology.
The show also gave a platform for organisations and co-operatives to highlight ways in which society could make wholesale changes to the way it conducts itself. One such movement was the Boho Green project which showcased its PortZED project for environmentally sustainable housing and commercial developments in nearby Hove, as well as some nifty solar powered shelters that looked to revolutionise the way Brighton was regenerating its seafront.
After a hearty lunch in blustery conditions, the Eco Experts team regrouped and, after a quick spin in the quite zippy MIA electric which was being enthusiastically plugged (no pun intended) by Kinghams car dealership, we decided to take a look at Patrick Allcorn’s presentation on Low Carbon Heat Alternatives in the UK. In this short but tightly orchestrated presentation, the Head of Scheme Design at the DECC highlighted the need for a changing attitude to insulation and heat management, with a focus on kick-starting a social change in habits being the key to reducing the strain on the grid and our pockets in the future.
The Eco Technology show allowed us to touch base with some of our clients, such as the always lovely South Downs Solar. We were finally able put a face to names and catch up on the latest developments in their business.
With an array of local treats and even an organic ale tent to wet my whistle outside the stadium, spirits were high as the newest developments in environmentally conscious vehicles were put through their paces by drivers keen to test out the latest cars and electric bikes.
And so I settled down for what turned out to be a rousing rallying cry from Dr Christian Jardine from Joju Solar on the state of the Solar Industry entitled “Solar PV – Not Quite Dead Yet”. Dr Christian echoed what the installers have being trying to shout through the mass of media hype surrounding the “demise” of the UK solar market. He ended the days seminars on a high by noting the enticing returns that homeowners and businesses can still enjoy due to the ever-rising cost of traditional energy sources, mixed with the increasing efficiency of the industry and the falling costs of raw materials.
A final mooch around the stalls on the North stand brought a personal highlight when I met the astoundingly talented Ptolemy Elrington whose Hub Cap Creatures were delightfully peppered around the conference including a 8ft geisha and numerous aquatic creatures which gave a fantastical chaos to the otherwise quite straight-laced conference floor.
Based on the genuinely passionate, dedicated and quite lovely people I met at the Eco Technology show, although some initiatives like the Green Deal can help incentivise people to take the environment into account, it’s clearly communicating the long term benefits and building communities to tackle these problems that will help to build a sustainable future. With some of the people I’ve met on Friday at the helm, I’m feeling quite positive about it.
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