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Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015

As the Environment and Community Services Apprentice for North Dorset District Council. The Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015 provided me with an excellent opportunity to find out more about local companies as well those further afield who shared my general philosophy and interest in renewables with a view to identifying possible future employment opportunities. I was grateful to Vince Adams, co-founder of Energise Stur Valley who very kindly sponsored my attendance as well as providing transport to the event in his electric car, so minimising our impact on the environment. I was extremely fortunate that following an initial discussion, a local renewable energy company offered me a post as administrator. Although extremely flattered I indicated that I wish to complete my apprenticeship at North Dorset prior to securing further employment within the industry.

The event hosted a good range of companies including installers, facilitators and informers. At the start there was a stimulating debate between the local (to Exeter) leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and The Green Party. They took questions from attendees and there were clearly many differences in opinion. Diana Moore representing The Green Party made clear her disagreement with the views put forward by Neil Parish representing the Conservatives. The debate has not affected who I plan to vote for in the upcoming elections, although it has encouraged me to undertake further research into the finer details of each party’s policies.

The stalls were well grouped in terms of subject matter and the stall holders were all very approachable, knowledgeable and keen to promote their organisations. The arts and communities section was of particular interest and through discussion I met a fellow attendee who is considering putting on an Eco Fashion Show in Dorchester, so I may get involved in this as I enjoy textiles and fashion. There were various seminars including one on arts and energy which discussed Whitby the Musical, a performance which uses the opportunity of using musical theatre to portray a positive image of the renewable energy industry. It would be the first of its kind and a brilliant way of getting local communities on board with a renewable energy scheme and raising awareness amongst young people.

Outside the exhibition area there were several electric and hybrid cars, which in addition to my conversation with Vince travelling to and from the event, persuaded me that they offered a viable future mode of transport, particularly now that charging points are more widely available including at service stations. The choice of cars available on the current market is varied ranging from a little run-around such as the Toyota Yaris Hybrid to the larger BMW i8. Some of the cars could be test driven which was a great way to attract future customers and raising interest in them.

The Renewable Energy Bake Off was quite a success and there were some very decorative cupcakes with wind turbines, solar panels and other renewables iced on which someone had carefully crafted. The cakes were delicious and particularly welcome given there was little else on offer in terms of food at the event. Next time, I would suggest having a greater range of stalls providing local produce.

In terms of attendees it appeared only to attract those already involved in the renewables market in some way, rather than wider members of the public. I feel it would have been beneficial and more attractive to wider audiences if admission had been free rather than £18 entry plus £54 if wishing to attend a conference.

Overall the event was a success with Westpoint in Exeter buzzing with environmental enthusiasts and companies. There were many interesting organisations and individuals available and it was an ideal opportunity to network. I hope to attend again in the future.

This is a first posting to our site by Kathryn Flint



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