WCC Exploring Energy

One event you should not miss is the WCC exhibit “Exploring Energy” at the Hermanus Flower Festival from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th September.

The fabulous Fernkloof Nature Reserve is the setting for the Hermanus Flower Festival which this year pays tribute to botanical explorers, both past and present. These are the people who found and named the thousands of fynbos species.

But the magnificent fynbos on display will only be the start of the exploration possibilities on offer.

The Whale Coast Conservation exhibit will explore the topic of the energy of the sun which was captured in plants over millions of years. These prehistoric plants were converted by pressure, temperature and time into the fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) on which our civilisation now depends.

But reckless use of fossil fuels has contributed to climate change which is threatening the existence of life on the planet.

Climate change is real, is happening and is at least partly caused by humans and their use of fossil fuels. It has never been more important to generate electricity sustainably and to use energy wisely.

The Whale Coast Conservation Expo, Exploring Energy, will help us to explore ways of doing this:

  • Discover the energy-wise technologies available to help us save electricity; save money; and feel good about reducing our carbon footprint.



  • Explore how we have used different forms of energy in the past. For example, the development of the steam engine and its use of fossil fuels started the industrial revolution. Much of our technology today still depends on steam for generating electricity. The Expo will pay tribute to some of the famous steam energy explorers like James Watt.
  •  The invention of the electric motor led to our total reliance on electricity as a source of power. We pay tribute to men like Faraday who demonstrated electromagnetic induction which led to the development of the electric motor.
  • The challenge now is how we can become less reliant on electricity from the grid so that when it fails we are not left totally ‘in the dark’.
  • Relax in a typical domestic lounge that shows you how to keep the TV, decoder, WiFi, laptop and LED lights going during ‘load shedding’.
  • Get advice on how you can incrementally become more self-reliant in terms of energy, according to your individual needs.


  • Watch a model steam roller puff along and remind us of the huge role played by steam since the Industrial Revolution.   Learn how solar energy can be generated and stored in a battery to drive a model electric train.
  • Take the opportunity to make waves in a model of a wave energy converter and see how it will convert wave energy into electricity.   Hermanus has its own innovative project underway to generate sustainable energy from the waves in Walker Bay.  Mean Sea Level’s (company started by Abagold for this project) Wave Energy Converter is already under construction and is an exciting innovation in clean affordable energy.
  • Find out how a photovoltaic cell actually generates electricity from sunlight.


To learn more about these and many other energy-related issues, come to the Whale Coast Conservation Energy Expo. We will give you advice on available technology and the estimated costs of becoming more energy-wise.

During the Expo, on Saturday 27th September, the restored water mill on Beaumont Wine Estate at Botrivier will be milling flour, especially for visitors to the Energy Expo. Thank you Andy Selfe for the mill’s restoration and for demonstrating how it works. Explore the ancient use of running water as an energy source, buy some stone-milled flour and take the opportunity to taste the wine.


The Exploring Energy Expo is funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.