22 Feb 2011

Community Energy solutions?

At our recent Green Party AGM in Stroud over 60 people gathered to hear a talk by Roger Uttley about the proposals for Community energy supplies in Bisley. You can see more about it on their website here.

Photos: from the evening

Roger started with a look at our energy supplies - and one slide had Ofgem's conclusions that "Britain faces unprecedented challenges to it's energy security." Ofgem are a notoriously 'conservative' organisation and so if they are saying this it must be serious. One of Roger's slides (see left) shows the investment time scales needed to meet the energy gap - well in some areas we are stuffed - not his words - and in others we have to pull all the stops out.

One approach by the government is Smart meters but the fear is that this could mean that as energy becomes more expensive to import the price goes up at key times - will some families even be able to afford to use it at key times like after work?

Anyway to cut this report on Roger's talk right down, he then looked at what might be possible and realistic for the Parish in terms of wind, PV, hydro etc. It was an inspiring talk that this taster does nothing to convey!

Roger also shared the consultation process that Bisley with Lypiatt Parish Council, in partnership with Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish Council, has started to research options for generating electricity locally to reduce the community's dependence on the National Grid.

I think what is most frustrating is that so few people seem to understand the urgency of this matter - the facts are there yet the government seems incapable of acting - Greens recently launched a new campaign on this - see here. It has had some coverage but not enough! See also my recent blog on the need to move away from oil here and rocketing food prices here.

Anyway locally it is great that there is interest in exploring some of these ideas - I'm optimistic that something will come from these discussions.

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