Blueskin Energy Ltd (BEL) is a charitable company wholly owned by the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust.
BEL is involved in a range of energy initiatives (energy hardship alleviation and low carbon housing) in Otago and worked to develop New Zealand’s first community led wind farm.
The community wind power project was motivated by a community desire to address the impacts of climate change and natural disasters and develop community capacity and resilience.
After a seven year feasibility and planning process, resource consent was denied in 2016 on the premise of local opposition to the project.
An appeal on the decision was rejected in the Environment court in 2017, demonstrating the significant regulatory hurdles facing communities seeking to decarbonise and build resilience.
The project lead suggests a lack of resourcing, regulatory challenges, and ‘the complacency or invisibility of the [CE sector] in New Zealand’ complicated the project.