Posts Tagged ‘community energy’


11
DEC

Vince Adams says:
The final hurdle please help and support Mapperton Farm Solar Project


Category: Community Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


I received the following report from Good Energy this weekend and it appears that the final planning decisions will be made concerning Mapperton Farm’s Solar project in the near future.

Its been a long haul but with a final push this project is going to happen.

So if you feel strongly about the need for more renewable energy projects please show your support as per the details below.

Thankyou

vince adams

Dear Vince,

As someone who kindly helped rally local support for the project in the past, I am writing to ask for your help one more time in securing planning permission for our proposed solar farm at Mapperton near Sturminster Marshall.

Good Energy’s planning application for a proposed 24.2MW solar project at Mapperton Farm is being reconsidered by the local authority after a previous approval was overturned following a legal challenge.

Councillors on East Dorset District Council’s planning committee are due to consider this proposal for a second time at a meeting on 17th January 2017. The application is unchanged from that approved in June 2015 but, in reaching their decision, councillors will take into account any new submissions from members of the public. So we’re asking everyone who backed the previous application to confirm their support by writing to the planning officer one more time.

Please feel free simply to repeat the comments you made on the previous application. If you don’t have these to hand, some key facts about the project are shown at the bottom of this email.

The easiest way to show support is by letter or email directly to the local planning officer, James Brightman, using the details below. Please make sure you quote planning application number 3/13/0681/FUL and submit your comment by the deadline of 19th December 2016.

Email: JBrightman@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk

Postal address:
FAO James Brightman
Planning Applications (East Dorset)
Council Offices
Furzehill
Wimborne
BH21 4HN

Key points to consider in your submission:
· Once built at the proposed capacity of 24.2MW, the solar farm would generate renewable electricity energy to power around 6,000 average homes, equivalent to around 70% of the new homes planned for Christchurch and East Dorset over the Local Plan period;

· The solar farm would deliver investment in local community initiatives worth at least £35,000 per year for the lifetime of the project, together with funding for rooftop solar PV systems for a local primary school and village hall;

· The solar farm would protect the land for current and future agricultural use, providing opportunities for sheep grazing along the avenues of solar panels, a practice endorsed by the National Farmers’ Union;

· The proposals include wildlife habitat enhancements such as wildflower meadows throughout the site, hedgerow improvements, planting around field margins and installation of birds and bat boxes in a nearby woodland.

· When last considered by the planning committee in June 2015, the application attracted considerable public support, with over 80 letters being submitted from the local community and the wider Dorset area in favour of the project.

If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With best wishes and many thanks for your continued support

James
Good Energy



21
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Have Carnival Fun and also help to save carbon emissions


Category: Community Energy, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


PRESS RELEASE

Count On Me – Community Campaign at Winton Carnival

Everyone is welcome to help us collectively save 50,000 kgs of our personal carbon emissions by the weekend of 25th June 2016 for the Winton Carnival Parade and ongoing. This is like filling the Bournemouth Balloon five times over!

It would be great if Bournemouth could lead the behavioural shift needed in dealing with our changing climate. Cleaner vehicles and renewable energy, in addition to our conscious personal choices will help preserve our beautiful town, country and world!

Count On Me is a local community campaign and more details can be found on our website www.countonme.today (with Twitter and Facebook links). We are inviting the people of Bournemouth to choose one or more sustainable activities like riding a bike, taking public transport, or growing your own fruit and vegetables.  Any activity where you reduce your carbon emissions is helpful.  Please tell us about it #CountOnMe to be counted!

We will be having some fun and parading in Winton Carnival with our live human counter, and you can come and chat to us after the parade on the Winton Recreation ground and find out about the simple ways we can all make a difference.

More info at www.countonme.today Email countonmebmth@gmail.com

Or please contact Angela Fendley 07719 093530



20
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Latest news on community renewable energy share offer


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


Bath & West Community Energy
Generating local energy
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Invest
Our latest community share and bond offers are now open for investment. We are offering you the chance to invest in shares in BWCE and/or a two year fixed interest bond.

You can download the Bond Offer Document here and the Share Offer Document here. You will be downloading large files so they may take a little time.

We will be holding a series of launch events for this offer – follow the link for more details.

The next events:

There are very limited places available for a chance to meet Directors of the project informally in Bath: Informal meeting (14 June) and Informal meeting (20 June). Both dates start at 7:30.

BOND – The bond is for 2 years with a fixed interest rate of 5.5% a year for members of BWCE and South Somerset Community Energy Society (5% for non-members).

SHARES – We are also offering you the chance to become a member of BWCE by buying shares. The target rate of return on investment in BWCE is 7%. We have paid our our members a 7% a year for the last 4 years.

The money raised will go towards allowing us to take into community ownership a solar array sited a few miles from Crewkerne in Somerset. The array will be capable of generating 5MW of clean energy. The total projected cost of purchasing the Crewkerne solar array will be £5.96 million. The bond and share offer combined will be for £2.63 million with the balance coming from a loan from a commercial lender for £3.33 million.

Advantages to early investors

As the project is fully underwritten we will issue shares and bonds to investors whose applications we have received by 7 June 2016. You start earning interest from the date shares or bonds are issued, within a week of this date. This will give early investors the chance to start earning interest earlier. For information on early investment please see full details in the Offer Document. The full offer will finally close on 12 July 2016 and interest will accrue for all those investing between 7 June and 12 July within a week of the final close date.

And here are 9 good reasons to invest in next offer

How your interest is calculated for the Bond offer

Interest is calculated from the date your bond is issued. There will be 2 issue dates, one for applications received before 7 June, the other at the end of the offer on 12 July. The bond is a 2 year investment with the 5.0/5.5 % interest a year with interest paid annually for 2 years and the capital, or amount invested, repaid at the end of the second year. If you decide to redeem your bond after 2 years you will be repaid your capital and interest earned during the period. You may also have the option to renew your bond for a further period.

How to apply

Before you apply it is important you have read and understood the Offer Document which can be downloaded from this page above. Then, should you decide to continue, go to the Ethex website and apply electronically or complete a paper application which can be found at the end of the Offer Document.

Risk Warning

Investment decisions must only be made on the basis of the offer document and not on information provided in this summary. Your original investment capital may be at risk and any return on your investment depends on the success of BWCE’s business as a whole. You should read the offer document in full, including the risk factors set out in the offer document, and the terms and conditions regarding this offer at Ethex before investing. You should consider taking appropriate financial and other advice before making any investment decision.

South Somerset Community Energy Society

BWCE is working with South Somerset Community Energy Society to help promote the share and bond offers and develop the opportunity for them to buy into the project after year 2. Shareholder members of South Somerset Community Energy Society will also receive the 0.5% bonus.

See the offer documents for more details.

 

http://www.bwce.coop

Click here to see BWCE’s Annual Reports and past Business Plans.



18
DEC

Vince Adams says:
Government tries to kill off renewable energy projects….


Category: Community Energy, Energy News for UK, Uncategorized
Tags:


Community Energy England spell out the crisis facing Community Renewable Energy Projects in future and details of Decc’s response.

Less than a week after the historic climate agreement was agreed in Paris, DECC has today published its response to the Feed-in Tariff consultation, the content of which highlights again the UK government’s lack of commitment to the green economy. The results of the Feed in Tariff consultation provide little support or encouragement for communities attempting to install rooftop solar on community buildings including schools and community scale hydro schemes.

The re-introduction of pre-accreditation for rooftop solar schemes over 50kW is welcome but overall we are very disappointed by the outcome of this consultation. Initial feedback from our members indicates that at the rates proposed for most schemes over 10kW are currently not viable for community schemes which are accustomed to offering additional benefits such as reduced price electricity to schools and creating local funds for alleviation of fuel poverty. We are also very concerned that operation of the caps will have a disproportionate impact on the community solar sector which has very limited resources to develop projects compared to the commercial solar sector.

Our press release on DECC’s response which includes comments from Sharenergy and the Low Carbon Hub is available here. Please share with your contacts and local MPs.
A summary of DECC’s response is available below.

Community Energy England will be working hard with the support of its members to develop business models to enable to the community energy sector to adapt and grow. In order to do this more effectively we will be recruiting additional staff in the new year (more details to follow). I would also like to welcome Alex Germanis, from Pure Leapfrog, as a new board member and Chris Rowland, from Community Energy South, as a board advisor. At our AGM, Alex and Chris put themselves forward as Directors and only very narrowly missed out being voted in. The board agreed that due to their wealth of knowledge and expertise they would be very valuable additions to CEE and so were asked to become involved in board activities.

Finally, I would like to thank Gemma Cater, who has been interning with us over the last 3 months and whose last day it is tomorrow. Gemma has been a huge help in leading on our social media and gathering intelligence from our members and a range of MPs.

Emma Bridge

Chief Executive
Community Energy England

Summary of DECC’s FiT consultation response

DECC has released its response to the consultation on a review of the Feed-in Tariff.

Key decisions include:
· The budget for FITs to April 2019 is up to £100m of new spend from January 2016

· There is no separate tariff for community energy but this is to be kept under review

· New tariffs will come into force on 8 February 2016 (table of new tariffs below)

· Under new tariffs, Government is targeting a 4.8% rate of return for solar, 5.9% for wind, and 9.2% for hydro

· The export tariff has been maintained at 4.85p/kWh

· DECC has sustained the link with Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation link for export and generation tariffs (rather than Consumer Price Index as proposed)

· A quarterly deployment cap system will be introduced, with a queuing system for applicants who miss out on a quarterly cap. Some of the deployment caps are very low i.e. only an estimated 70 rooftops over 50kW per quarter will be allowed in 2016

· Only one degression threshold will be implemented at the level of each quarterly cap. The new rate will be a flat 10% if the cap is hit

· The first cap period will run from 8 February to 31 March 2016

· Pre-accreditation will be re-introduced for solar and wind over 50kW and all AD and hydro projects with an additional 6 months for community energy projects from 8 February

· Pre-registration will not be re-introduced at this stage. It may be re-introduced if an implementable system can be devised which delivers cost control and reduces gaming. DECC will issue an update early next year

· FiT will be removed on extensions for all installations commissioned on or after 15 January

Table of new tariffs:

Tariffs (p/kWh)
Installed capacity
New tariffs

PV
1000kW
0.87
Stand alone
0.87

Wind
1500kW
0.86
Hydro
2000kW
4.43

A pause to the FiTs scheme will be implemented from 15 January 2016 to 8 February 2016 when the new tariff and deployment caps will be put in place. During the pause, no new installations will be accredited for FITs except for those with pre-accreditation granted before 1 October 2015 who are applying for accreditation within the period of validity of the pre accreditation. Installations which commission and apply for FITs during the pause will be in the queue when the new deployment caps and tariffs come into force on 8 February 2016.

DECC will launch a separate consultation in early 2016 to consider tariffs and degression for anaerobic digestion (AD) and micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) technologies. DECC also intends to revisit the topic of sustainability criteria for AD plant, setting out more detailed proposals than those outlined in this consultation.

Consultation on the levels of banded support for new solar PV under the Renewables Obligation

Also published today, this consultation sets out the Government’s proposals for reduced support under the Renewables Obligation for solar PV up to 5MW, to apply from 1 June 2016. The proposals will affect solar PV generating stations with an accreditation date from 23 July 2015 onwards (and additional capacity added to existing accredited stations that does not take it above 5MW in total installed capacity), unless they are eligible for the specified grandfathering exception, the significant financial commitment grace period or the banding reduction exception.

The consultation also sets out the proposed eligibility criteria for the banding reduction exception that was announced in the December 2015 Government response to the consultation on changes to financial support for solar PV. This exception will apply to projects which can demonstrate that a significant financial commitment had been made on or before 22 July 2015. It will give those projects protection against the reduction in support proposed under the banding review.

Deadline for comments to DECC is 27 January. Full details at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-level-of-banded-support-for-new-solar-pv-under-the-renewables-obligation

Update on pre-action letter to Treasury

In our last newsletter we informed members that CEE had served on HM Treasury a ‘Letter before Action’ in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review challenging the implementation of proposed changes to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) for community energy enterprises.

We have received a response from the government lawyers, but they omitted to include the relevant evidence. This is due before the end of the week, so we will provide an update after that.

Community share offers

An amazing £12.8m was raised in November for community energy schemes across the country in the run up to the deadline for EIS. This really demonstrates the public support that there is for community energy. I know a lot of work and very long hours went into this success so congratulations to all those involved.

Membership

Welcome to our newest member:
· Joju solar – one of the longest-standing MCS-accredited solar installers in the country. They have carried out hundreds of solar installations for home owners, businesses, public authorities and community organisations.

Other News

EBR action: write to National Infrastructure Commission
The Chancellor announced at the Conservative Party Conference the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), led by Lord Adonis. The aim of the Commission is to make independent judgements about the future infrastructure needs of the UK and advise the Government accordingly. The creation of this Commission is an important opportunity for us to finally get home energy efficiency recognised as a huge infrastructure opportunity for the UK.

The NIC is conducting a consultation to investigate three initial infrastructure areas, transport in the north of England, transport in London and balancing electricity supply and demand. Home energy efficiency does not fit neatly into the consultation questions although it is important for this consultation to recognise that if most, or even a sizeable proportion of our future heat is delivered by electricity (as expected), then this could have enormous implications for electricity supply. To mitigate this risk means making all UK homes energy efficient.

The Energy Bill Revolution is encouraging as many people as possible to write to the NIC before their consultation closes on 8th January, calling for home energy efficiency to be made an infrastructure priority and asking them to conduct a full consultation as soon as possible to investigate this huge infrastructure opportunity.

More details about the Energy Bill Revolution at: http://www.energybillrevolution.org/
National Infrastructure Commission consultation at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/infrastructure-commission-invites-submissions-on-critical-infrastructure-challenges

Ofgem: Update to Sustainable Development Indicators
Ofgem’s Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) assess the sustainability of the gas and electricity markets in Great Britain, and are structured along three core themes: 1) environmental impact; 2) social outcomes, bills and quality of service; and 3) reliability and safety.
The updated indicators include:
· Electricity intensity

· Power station emissions: nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide

· Proportion of total domestic customer accounts in debt by fuel type

· Energy spend as a percentage of total household expenditure

· Large suppliers: Complaints received per 100,000 customer accounts as a weighted average.

Please let us know if other people in your organisation want to receive our newsletter, or if you wish to unsubscribe from future newsletters.

What do you think, tell your local MP what you would like to see happen, we can all make a difference !



13
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Community Energy can it survive ??


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


BROKEN PROMISES
HOW THE GOVERNMENT BROKE ITS WORD TO THE COMMUNITY ENERGY MOVEMENT
In Spring 2015, after a campaign which had clearly demonstrated the many social and environmental benefits that community energy brings to local communities, the Government (i.e. the Treasury) gave repeated written assurances as part of the final stages of the Finance Act that it would give the community energy sector 6 months notice of the removal of Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief, which is vital to the success of many community energy projects.
Since the spring of 2015 the community energy sector has been developing their business plans in the belief that the Government would honour this promise to give a minimum of 6 months notice of any significant tax changes. Community groups across the country, many of them run by volunteers, have been making plans to launch share offers and raise the funds for dozens of clean, renewable community energy projects in reliance on these assurances.
Government statements in March 2016 included:-
 The Budget Statement of March 2015:-
“2.77 Venture capital schemes: renewable energy – As announced at Autumn Statement 2014, companies benefiting substantially from subsidies for the generation of renewable energy will be excluded from also benefiting from EIS, SEIS and VCTs with effect from 6 April 2015, with the exception of community energy generation undertaken by qualifying organisations which will in future become eligible for the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). The government will allow a transition period of 6 months following state aid clearance for the expansion of SITR before eligibility for EIS, SEIS and VCT is withdrawn. (Finance Bill 2015) (y)” (paragraph 2.77)
 To coincide with the Budget Statement the Treasury published a background document1 with more details of the changes which confirmed that
“Budget 2015 announced the transitional provisions for community energy organisations moving from the tax-advantaged venture capital schemes to SITR. Provisions to exclude all community energy organisations from EIS, SEIS and VCT will take effect 6 months after the confirmation of state aid approval for the expansion of SITR. Qualifying community energy organisations will be able to use SITR from that date. Co-operatives and other non-qualifying organisations that benefit substantially from subsidies for the generation of renewable energy will no longer be eligible for tax-advantaged investment under the schemes once the transition period has elapsed.”
1 Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates HM Treasury and HM Customs and Excise March 2015 e
 Leading members of the CE sector also received email assurances from a Treasury Official 2 on 18 March stating that
“To provide a smooth transition from the venture capital schemes to SITR, the Government announced in Budget 2015 that all community energy organisations will continue to qualify for the venture capital schemes for 6 months following EU state aid clearance of a larger SITR scheme. This provides a reasonable period for adjustment and more certainty to affected groups.”
 A statement to the same effect that there would be 6 months notice was also made by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in response to a written parliamentary question submitted by Roger Godsiff MP in March 20153.
The Government also announced during the same debate that community energy organisations will not be eligible for Social Investment Tax Relief when state aid approval is received. This represents a second broken promise. No proper explanation has been given for this abrupt change of policy.
The changes have come as a seismic shock to community groups, large and small, up and down the UK. They are causing particular turmoil with existing community share offers which were open and due to run beyond 29 November. The Government seems to have completely disregarded the fact that many community energy projects are social enterprises and just like any other business they need financial and regulatory certainty and stability. This U-turn by the Government has already caused the failure of a number of share offers and projects5. Many community groups are now launching share offers at short notice in an attempt to complete excellent projects which will not only contribute to reductions in carbon emissions but also generate generous community benefits.
CEE also believes that these tax relief changes will have a potentially devastating impact on the pipeline of projects due to be launched in the next six months. Tens of thousands of pounds has already been spent at the development stage of these projects on items such as feasibility studies, planning, structural surveys, legal fees and EPC certificates. Projects affected include a large number to install rooftop solar on schools and other community buildings which are the type of installations which once upon a time the Government actively supported6. Financial margins are tight and without the benefit of tax relief the organisers of many projects are feeling very apprehensive and think they will struggle to raise the capital required.
Community Energy England November 2015

WHAT DO YOU THINK >>>>>have your say on our comments



26
AUG

Vince Adams says:
Spread the word, community energy is Hot !!


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


Would your organisation benefit from installing renewable energy ? 3 steps that could make it possible.

Step One, find a suitable funding partner

We believe across Dorset and neighbouring Counties there are numerous sites suitable for installation of wood heat boilers, photovoltaics or other renewables were the site owner would like an installation but can’t afford it or doesn’t have the capacity to arrange. Many of these can loosely be described as community sites. Village Halls, schools, British Legions, scout huts, churches etc.

So we set up a Community Energy Society to help. We registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as Energize Stur Valley Industrial and Provident Society Ltd. We can plan, project manage and raise a local share issue to fund projects. The project host gets reduced energy costs and the investors get more than 5% interest and their original investment returned over 20 years with a 30% tax rebate in the first year on their investment.

The IPS is not for profit but because we believe passionately that renewable energy should be installed to replace fossil fuels wherever possible and benefit the community.

Step Two

With the help of a local installer we discuss and outline the potential project and together cost and create a potential revenue stream.

Step 3

This then allows us to create a share offer that offers a fair rate of return over 20 years, money back on the initial investment, tax incentives for the shareholders. Substancial energy cost saving for the project host and in some cases even a share of the revenue stream.

Let us have your comments even requests on how to get started:
stur.transitiontown1@gmail.com



17
JUL

Vince Adams says:
Ovo the name for change


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


There is much talk about Community Energy and the opportunities that will open up this way of bringing local communities together with energy creation.

The results can be startling, as an example Balcombe in Sussex. This quiet sleepy village became a conflict zone when locals and activists decided to fight test drills being made for Fracking. No one nationally really wants anything to do with fracking but Balcombe stood firm.

After days of blockade, arrests of good people and true the drillers finally went away and guess what, out of the battle came a new energy, Community Energy.

The local people formed into a group to develop their own energy schemes and almost overnight had their first project, fully funded, installed and creating clean energy and reasonable returns for the investors.

Its this sort of lead that will ultimately inspite people everywhere to create their own schemes. I Chair ESVIPS.com and we have installed our first solar project at Springhead Trust, Fontmell Magna and hope to have others up and running later this year.

Getting a fair price for the energy being created is important and I wanted to share a link with you to Ovo an innovative renewable energy supplier.

Its: http://www.ovoenergy.com/energy-plans/communities/

Ovo are the first Company to offer to offer the local people near a project the chance to but their own local energy at really advantageous prices far below the market norms.

The result will be that community energy can use a majority of its generation to the advantage of the local people bringing down their overall energy costs and giving them a real stake in whats happening in their own locality.

Go to the site and see what you think.



01
JUL

Vince Adams says:
M&S grants for Community Energy Projects


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


We have some great community energy newsenergyshare are partnering with M&S Energy to run their first ever Community Energy Fund, a competition to distribute £400,000 in grants to renewable energy projects that benefit the community.
If you’re a not for profit organisation that wants to use renewable energy to provide community benefits, this is your chance to secure funding! Whether you’re a community energy group, a sports club or simply an organisation that wants to have a positive impact on the environment, we want to hear from you.There are three types of capital funding available to apply for:

  1.     A national funding pot for a project that require a maximum of £40,000.
  2.     A national funding pot for a project that require a maximum of £20,000.
  3.     Regional funding pots for projects that require a maximum of £12,500.

We also have a minimum funding of £15,000 which will be split between the most inspiring and innovative projects.

Applications close on 29th July 2015 so to take part, simply complete the M&S Energy online application.

It’s easier to take part than you might think, so have a look at some projects from energyfund Cornwall, a similar project we ran last year, and see how easy it is.
We look forward to receiving your application.

Good luck!

 

http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?u=e6e9a90ecb6b91dd5cbe82f4d&id=370cba09f7&e=ca745227ad


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "What an opportunity for small projects created by local group to get involved, for help, support etc visit espies.com "
    July 1, 2015 a 2:41 pm


12
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Wonderful Balcombe


Category: Community Energy, Uncategorized
Tags:


The Village that stood up against Fracking is now forging ahead with its own Community Energy Projects. How can we all help its simple talk to your local Community Energy Groups they are nationwide and wanting you support and help on all fronts. We really can make these projects happen with your help its a win for you, its a win for the Local and its a win for the Planet, doesn’t that feel good.



12
JUN

Paul McIntosh says:
Dorset Community Energy share offer launch


Category: Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Dorset Community Energy launched the first community investment share offer in Dorset at the Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester on Friday 5th June. The offer will be open for 1 month between June 5th and July 4th, and provides local communities with the opportunity to collectively own high-tech PV solar panels. The development of the Dorset Community Energy solar panels scheme has been supported by the Big Lottery Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset programme.

The aim of the share offer is to raise £135,000 to fund 6 solar panel installations on 3 schools and 3 village halls in the Dorchester and Bridport area. The 3 village halls (Martinstown, Osmington and Salway Ash) have recently been installed with solar panels using a short-term bridging loan, while the 3 proposed school installations are scheduled in August. It is hoped that all 6 installations will be fully operational by Autumn 2015.

Local community members are invited to invest in shares, each at a value of £1. The minimum investment is £100 and the maximum £10,000. All shareholders will become members of the Community Benefit Society, which will oversee the 6 installations and ensure their long-term sustainability.

It was noted on Friday that membership makes both environmental and financial sense. The solar panels will produce low-carbon, free-of-charge electricity to each of the 6 buildings, with any surplus going to the national grid. It is estimated the energy created from these panels will displace the equivalent of 42 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and provide approximately £200,000 of free electricity to the combined 6 sites over a period of 20 years.

Dorset Community Energy has applied for Advanced Assurance for the Government’s ‘Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme’ (SEIS) tax relief, meaning that taxpaying members have potential to claim back 50% of their investment as tax relief. Upon considering interest and capital repayment, the internal rate of return (IRR) is projected to be 6.3% over a 20-year period, and 13.8% with SEIS.

However prospective members should consider membership a long-term investment and are advised to read the Share Offer document available on the website www.dorsetcommunityenergy.org.uk in full and take independent financial advice before making an investment.

Directors Derek Moss and Tom Burnett

Directors Derek Moss and Tom Burnett

 


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Hi, I hope you all get behind this offer to create real community energy projects in South and West Dorset. For those of you based in North Dorset and the Stur Valley we have our own community energy team ESVIPS.com come on lets get going and follow the lead of Dorset Community Energy. "
    June 12, 2015 a 8:16 pm


02
FEB

Lets Get Energized says:
February Prize Draw: Win a place at the STIR Into Action Workshop on Renewable Energy Co-ops worth £75


Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


Last month in our prize draw we were offering 1 year subscription to the fantastic inspirational living magazine STIR so…

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAWN CANNING who has just been picked as our latest winner! Dawn can enjoy 4 copies of STIR delivered in print, straight to her door, for FREE!

This month we’ve got another great prize for all our subscribers…

STIRWorkshopslogo

STIR Into Action Workshop on Renewable Energy Co-ops

6th & 7th June 2015, 10am – 5pm
Chapel in the Garden, Bridport, Dorset

Stir To Action presents a six-month programme of training workshops in Bridport, Dorset to build the co-operative capacity of local communities. These workshops introduce participants to new tools, innovative strategies and the practices that can enable us to face up to climate change, financial crises and the other social problems we currently experience.

Renewable energy co-operatives have taken off in the UK over the last few years as people work together to take power generation back into their own hands. Sharenergy is a co-operative helping people around the UK set up renewable energy projects funded by community share offers – from solar roofs to £1m wind turbines, from community heating to hydro projects. In these workshops, facilitated by Jon Hallé, you’ll learn all about the renewable energy technologies and what it takes to make them happen. Bring your ideas, learn from what is working elsewhere, and take the next big steps to getting power to the people set up in your area.

Jon Hallé has been working with renewable energy co-ops since 2003 and has been involved with many successful new models (and some instructive failures). He is a cofounder (with Eithne George) of Sharenergy, which has supported over 100 community renewable energy projects, including the UK’s first heat co-op, Scotland’s first 100% co-op owned wind turbine, and plenty of other interesting projects across the technologies and scales. Before that he was a programmer, waste oil biodiesel maker and environmental activist.

Lunch is included sourced from local co-operative food producers and members of the Landworkers Alliance, and it will all be cooked in a Wonderbag non-electric slow cooker.

This workshop place is worth £75 and we hope will inspire our lucky winner to take some of these alternatives back to your own community or organisation!

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 28th February 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 2nd March.

Simply sign up to our e-newsletter, if you haven’t already, for the chance to win!

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

10% off all STIR Into Action Workshops

Lets Get Energized e-newsletter subscribers can also enjoy 10% off all STIR Into Action workshops! Once you’ve signed up to enter the prize draw and join our mailing list (if you haven’t already) simply quote ‘Energized’ before booking. View their full range of workshops from Ethical Tea Blending, to Citizen Journalism to ‘Craftivism’ at: http://stirtoaction.com/workshop



10
SEP

Lets Get Energized says:
Pymore, Bridport – Community Hydro Power Event


Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Water Power
Tags: , , , ,


Pymore, Bridport – Community Hydro Power Event

Three weeks ago we described (here) how members of Dorset Energized had been invited to investigate the possibility of installing a small Hydro Power electricity generating station on the river Brit in Pymore near Bridport.

Well things are moving along and to build momentum on the 22nd September at 7.00 pm a Tea & Cakes event is being held at the Weir itself, in Pymore, where you can find out more about what is being proposed. It will also be an opportunity to pledge money toward the development, an investment in a better, greener, cleaner, future.

So if you have the slightest interest in hydro power, community energy, or are just curious, please come along and meet the people involved – a mixture of local residents and people with experience of developing community energy projects.

Would you like your community to generate its own electricity from the river

Would you like your community to generate its own electricity from the river?


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "Thanks for your questions Monty. If the management committee agree use of the river bank for a meeting next Monday, I hope you can join us and would appreciate it if you can ask further questions that I will answer as best I can. I want to emphasize that in my view, this has to be a community project and should not proceed further unless there is a clear will from the management company and residents to do so.
    The drawing is representational only and the turbine house has to fit in with the visual aesthetic of the site. It would need to be placed above flood level, as would the generator.An abstraction license, flood risk consent and possibly impoundment license would be required from the Environment Agency. The project design and negotiations with the EA would be lengthy. The site owner (the management company?) has right of access and must give their permission. A resident of Pymore (Jonny) has publicised the Monday meeting to all in Pymore and Management company directors will – I presume – carry above average weight at the event. The power could go three ways from the 3 phase generator to three different properties where the grid connections would be made. There are numerous design choices. I believe the project should be community owned. Again, there are choices as to the structure.`There are lots of discussions that could be had. I believe Vince and I have the answers to most questions that can be thrown at us but we want to hear the views of the company and residents. "

    September 15, 2014 a 11:13 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "Dear Monty, thanks for your comments which are really what we are exploring on Monday. We want to hear from everyone locally about their feelings, is it good idea , should we go forward together and explore all the problems. requirements and possibilities. I am sure Keith will be able to answer many of the technical questions and I am there to talk about community share schemes. But its your project and local desires that count. "
    September 15, 2014 a 9:54 am

  • Monty Crook comments:
    "Interesting and fine in theory. No account seems to have been taken of what happens to a wooden top structure that it subject to major flooding at that point maybe 2-3 times a yeard. Also, what permissions are needed and from whom. Who ‘owns’ the existing structures in the river at that point? The Environment Agency? Have they given any permission? What access rights would be needed and from whom? Has Pymore Villoage Management Company been approached? Where would the power produced ‘go’? Where would it be connected to the grid – on whose property? Who would own/manage the installation – and administer the finances? What track record do they have? Monty Crook, Pymore "
    September 14, 2014 a 10:47 am


19
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Community Hydro Energy Proposal – Pymore, Bridport


Category: Community Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized, Water Power
Tags: , , ,


Community Hydro Energy Proposal – Pymore, Bridport

Energize Stur Valley (a group comprising several people from Dorset Energized) – were asked by members of the local community to investigate the viability of installing a small hydropower electricity generation set-up on the river Brit, which runs through the village of Pymore near Bridport.

We at Dorset Energized are enthusiastic supporters of community led renewable energy schemes – and a great way to provide support is by giving practical assistance:

A site survey was carried out and a proposal has been created – you can see it below.

Would you like your community to generate its own electricity from the river



13
JUN

Guest Energizer says:
Samsoe – An Energy Island


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , ,


Samsoe – An Energy Island

INTRO: Here is an article by Arthur Blue, a new contributor to our Blog, about an island in Denmark. Arthur is based in Argyll, but the article is highly relevant to Dorset which is also of course rural, with remote areas, and the potential to produce much of its own energy.

So to the article:

An Energy Island

I was in Denmark recently, enjoying herring on rye bread, blethering with old friends, and brushing up my rusty Danish.

Economists of the Anglo-American persuasion are convinced that the Danish economy is far too heavily loaded with taxes and welfare systems to take off and fly, but fly it does and the evidence is in front of your eyes in Copenhagen, where the amount of new investment, both public and private, is impressive, as are the famous open sandwiches.

Yes … a decent one costs about Dkr 100 ( £12.50 ) , but it’s enough for a good meal on its own. But to avoid both cultural and culinary overload we decided to have a long weekend on the island of Samsoe, famous for its early potatoes … in late May these were selling for very high prices in the capital … and for being self-sufficient in electrical power and domestic heating. It’s an island slightly larger than Bute, with around 4,00 permanent inhabitants, with large numbers of visitors during the season, mostly staying in summer houses well hidden amongst the trees.

The background to this is that in the latter half of the last century Samsoe, together with other small islands and remoter areas, was falling behind in development, what with high transport costs, falling population, difficulties for small concerns trying to compete in the larger market, and loss of young people, once they had qualified, to the mainland. It’s all very familiar. Denmark has the usual assistance programmes, but the trends continued. However in 1997 the Ministry of Energy announced a competition …. which local area or island could present the most realistic plan for a transition to 100% self-sufficiency in renewable energy. Small easily-defined communities were chosen since the social effects could thus be more readily monitored. Four islands and a peninsula entered the competition, and Samsoe won, with the objective being to highlight renewable energy and study how high a percentage could be achieved using available technology and ( almost ) without extraordinary grants.

Bearing in mind that most of Samsoe’s electricity comes from wind, the first thing to strike me was that the views are not dominated by turbines, for though you can usually see one or two in the distance if you look really hard, you do have to look for them. There is a large offshore array which exports power to the mainland and which offsets the island’s CO2 emissions from vehicle fuel, this isn’t particularly visible from inland, though the ferry passes close by, and in any case no-one complains about it since it also provides an income for the local energy company. As with other things who owns them affects the way you see them.

Local electrical demand is mostly covered by 11 1-MW ( medium-sized ) turbines across 3 clusters, plus a number of small privately-owned units, and there is an interconnector with Jutland through which power can go both ways, if required.

Demand management … smoothing the peaks …. has been the subject of much thought and consultation, and it’s considered that there is still a great deal to be won in that direction, both on Samsoe and elsewhere. Domestic heating on the island, like many places in Denmark, is based on district heating plants, since its only with industrial-type technology that you can achieve satisfactory combustion when burning waste or biomass. Planners can require the use of district heating for new buildings in urban areas, but in the case of older existing buildings the owners have to be persuaded to convert and there are various grants for this, including special arrangements for pensioners. District heating is not suitable for isolated houses either, and on Samsoe these have their own heating. Around 50% of the isolated year-round houses on the island have now converted to some form of RE, using straw or biomass and solar water panels. On the summer-house front RE is low, though a number have installed air-to-air heat pumps A programme of thorough insulation was of course carried out as an essential first step in all this, for which there was a very good take-up. One old lady in Nordby could only afford to replace her windows one at a time, but she managed it, over about ten years.

There are 5 village-based district heating systems on the island, mostly fuelled by biomass ( waste straw and wood chips ). One of the plants has a substantial input from solar water panels, and since the heat is transmitted by water surplus electrical power can easily go into the systems if necessary. Another plant also takes waste heat from a jam factory, and a proposal to use waste heat from the ferry, which could have supplied about 30% of demand at the port, fell through not because it was technically difficult … it wasn’t … but because the ferry service being tendered out there is no guarantee that a future operator would be interested in co-operating. To get everything going it was decided by NRGi ( the island energy company ) that a very low registration fee of Dkr 80 ( £10 ) would be charged for those who signed up before the plants were built. This model is an exception to normal practice since in Denmark those who wish to join an existing district heating scheme can find themselves paying around Dkr 36.000 ( £ 4,000 ). A consequence of the cheap registration is of course slightly higher heating prices, since the payments also have to cover repayment of the initial investment, however if you’re starting from scratch a high take-up significantly reduces distribution costs. In addition some of the larger farmers make their own tractor fuel from rape, the oilseed cake being a useful cattle feed, and the straw going into their heating plant, these, like most Samsinger, are highly practical people, who wear overalls rather than rainbow-coloured jumpers, and who think that it makes economic as well as environmental sense to go renewable. However plans to go further and use more local oil cake to replace imported fodder, and sell the oil, have faltered on account of the government’s fuel taxation policy And an Energy Academy has been set up on the island, using the expertise acquired with the local project. The Academy is the headquarters of Samsoe’s energy and development organisations, with 11 full-time jobs in energy education and world-wide consultancy, one of their current projects being on Mull.

The above is where Samsoe has got to after about fifteen years, but it wasn’t all easy. Mikael Larsen, who heads the Energy Academy, says that the technology is the easy bit, and the bigger the easier, since all you have to do is sell a feasible scheme to one or other of the big players who then bring everything in ( and take most of the profits out again, though a small local share can still be very useful ) And big schemes are usually very high-tech, and well beyond local capabilities. Thus with the Samsoe offshore array. The local projects, on the other hand, are much more low-tech, can use local firms for more of the work, and have a much better social pay-off. The hardest part of the project is not the design and building, or the financing, but persuading people that it is indeed feasible, and obtaining workable consensus on it. There are always those who for various reasons don’t wish to be involved, or are too old or too crabbed to be bothered. Many of the holiday visitors, though they contribute very usefully to the island economy, aren’t particularly interested in going over to electric cars, and the summer houses, being spread out, don’t lend themselves to district heating. So the political side … though not party-political … was by far the biggest challenge. It always is. An ocean of coffee and a mountain of cake was needed to get the plan rolling, and doubtless a fair quantity of the golden brew which comes in green bottles.

So did anything go wrong during all this ? Yes indeed. The ferry heat project fell through, as did another which proposed to use waste heat from the island slaughterhouse, when the latter closed a few years into the project. A methane project is still on the back burner.

And the three electric cars which were given to the district nurses were an absolute disaster owing to unexpected call-outs, unpredictable driving patterns, and the nurses forgetting to recharge the things after a busy day. But the electric car used by the Energy Academy apparently can get to Copenhagen, over 100 miles away, quite easily given a quick top-up at some intermediate coffee stop. In several years use that vehicle has had only one failure … a broken wire. But you learn from the failures, sometimes more than from the successes. So the project rolls on, with one aim being to fuel the ferry with locally-produced biogas ( a ferry has room for quite a big tank ), and possibly the production of hydrogen for vehicular use, as vehicle fuel is now the largest energy import to the island. Local electric car use could also be greatly expanded. It’s all well worth a closer look. You can have a very good cycling holiday on Samsoe, too, while you’re looking.

( Further information is available on the web, in English, at www.energiakademiet.dk also, since Samsoe is by no means the only island to have gone down the renewable road, at www.europenreislands.net which is one of the EU’s development arms. )



01
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Community Energy Vs Fracking


Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Renewable Energy
Tags: ,


Post by Will Cottrell of Brighton Co-operative Energy Group.

Balcombe hit the headlines again this week: not because of the Sauron-like threat of evil Cuadrilla, but because plucky locals in the village have started their own community energy scheme: REPOWERBalcombe.

Balcombe-sign-website

Indeed, REPOWERBalcombe is one of 15 energy coops launched recently across Sussex. Under the mentoring of Community Energy South, these community groups are now being up-skilled by the team at OVESCO in Lewes, ready for launches in the next 12 months or so.

It’s surely supremely ironic that the threat of fracking in East and West Sussex – where thousands of wells are required to fulfill frack companies’ promises to shareholders – is causing a surge in interest in its alternative. And while the anti-fracking movement grows in strength, community energy also grows as a positive alternative.

Being involved in both camps, it’s interesting to see how anti-fracking is seeding this potential:

Resistance to fracking has boosted community spirit in areas affected. It’s an old maxim that people tend to unite in the face of a threat; in the towns and village where frackers are intent on drilling, anti-fracking groups are some of the largest (and most active) organisations in each place. This provides fertile ground for similarly aligned groups, such as those supporting renewable energy.

Anti-fracking requires an attention to detail that that – for many of us – would simply be too dull to contemplate a few years back. Comprehending the miasma of technical, regulatory, legal, and financial mechanisms involved in the oil and gas industry have all been fundamental to the fight against fracking – and blocking frackers uses much of this type of this industry-specific knowledge. The devil really is in the detail.

These finely – honed skills are transferable onto something more positive. Community energy schemes require learning about organisational structures (usually Coops), working out how to raise money, dealing with lease agreements as well as the technical bits and pieces to do with generation equipment and grid connection. This kind of attention to detail reaps rewards when applied to this new form of renewable energy development.

The new resistance to government-led programme of unconventional fossil fuels has revealed people power as an effective weapon. And grassroots action cuts both ways: it can resist, but it can also grow. A bottom up movement is rising: with models such as OVESCO in Lewes and Brighton Energy Coop, communities around Sussex (and beyond) can see that their their long-held frustrations over the lack of renewable energy might be sorted out via DIY. If you want something doing, you gotta do it yourself.

In Germany, nearly 50% of renewable energy is owned by individuals and community groups. More than 1000 coops help power the nations renewable energy transition. Many fossil fuel power stations have been shut down; renewable energy has simply out-competed them.

For the UK’s oil and gas industry, this is a worrying trend: have their fracking activities kicked over a hornets nest that threatens them with their own extinction?

This article originaly appeared on the Brighton Energy Co-operative Blog on: http://www.brightonenergy.org.uk/

RePower BalCombe

Members of the repower Balcombe team



06
NOV

Vince Adams says:
Energize Stur Valley meets Bob Walter MP to discuss renewable energy in Dorset


Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , ,


Over 40 years ago I launched ‘Vegeburgers’ to an unsuspecting bunch of consumers and although the product didn’t suit everyone it was crucial in the fact that today over 40% of the population actively avoid eating meat 2 to 3 times per week and the popularity of vegetarian food has increased dramatically.

Some 20 years later I also spearheaded the first Supermarket launches of authentic chilled Indian meals and whoosh the market took off and today represents upwards of one billion poundsworth of sales per year.

My new passion is renewable energy and I consider that today’s consumers are just as keen to get involved as earlier generations getting Vegetarian or Indian foods rolling. How you sell food is pretty much the same as renewables. You put great quality out there and through packaging, marketing and lots of hard work you get people to buy their first pack. If they like it they buy another pack a week later, tell their friends about it and whoosh the market will flourish.

So it should be with renewables…

There are some great stories out there how ordinary people are saving a heck of a lot of money off their energy bills and at the same time contributing greatly to reducing our carbon emmissions. Lets stop all the senseless in-fighting that creates nothing but negativity. If someone has a hang-up about Wind Turbines then get them focussed on Solar. If they don’t like fields of solar then think anerobic digestion or Biomass – whatever it is join the need to get involved in some way. Spread good news not bad.

Don’t be put off by costs or salesman promising the earth. Research using www.letsgetenergized.co.uk and link to people who know what they are talking about and can help you to become part of the revolution.

Small Change = Big Difference

Start small and change to a green energy supplier – its so easy!!! Talk to Companies like Good Energy with their simple tariffs, longer term pricing and the fact that you get to talk to people who really care. All the energy that they sell is generated by renewable projects many of which are here in the South West.

Think about your community, where could they create energy projects and with organisations like Energize Stur Valley’s Industrial Provident Society they can create their own funding and share the profits equally between the local people.

I was encouraged yesterday in meeting our local MP Bob Walter. Starting at 8.30am we had an hour with the ESV team to discuss and see where its possible for Bob to support the drive for renewable energy. I think its fair to say that he is fully aware and supportive of the potential of renewable energy. The opportunities for increased local employment and investment is crucial to any MP. His key concern is to protect the countryside whilst finding solutions to getting Dorset on the renewable roadmap. We all stressed the need for good honest discussion and finding ways to breakdown the objections and barriers.

Currently we are frankly not pulling our weight, so wake up now Dorset its time to stand up and be counted! To many people this is life or death. To others its just keeping ourselves warm and dry during this coming Winter.

Whatever it is, let us debate, explore and find ways of coming together for future generations of people both in Dorset, the UK and Worldwide.

Thank you Bob for listening- we look forward to the next stage!



19
DEC

Paul McIntosh says:
Community Energy Group Newsletter for South West – December 2012


Category: Community Energy, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , ,


A new Community Energy Group Newsletter has been released for December 2012, supported by RegenSW, as the  first community energy bulletin for the South West region.

The newsletter aims to provide you with updates from the Community Energy Group Network and information about their Communities for Renewables Support Programme. It includes information about plans, progress so far, policy changes, upcoming events and useful case studies from across the network.

Click here to download a PDF of the Community Energy Group Newsletter December 2012 >>



12
NOV

Theresa McManus says:
FREE Fuel poverty awareness training in West Dorset 21st & 27th November 2012


Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Dorset Energy Advice Centre are offering FREE fuel poverty awareness training for Community, Volunteer, Health and other home-visiting professionals and volunteers.

The training will cover:
• Definition of Fuel Poverty
• The Causes
• Health implications
• The help available

You will also receive resources, including a “fuel poverty checklist” to assist you in spotting those in fuel poverty. Each session lasts two hours and you only need to attend one session:

Session 1
Wednesday 21st November 9.30 – 11.30am, Room 1, the Bournemouth Learning Centre, Ensbury Avenue, BH10 4HG

Session 2
Tuesday 27th November 9.30 – 11.30am, Committee Room 3, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ

Places are limited to a total of 25 on a first come first served basis, so please contact me, Theresa McManus, at DEAC to book your place now: info@deac.co.uk / 0800 975 0166.

This training is kindly funded by Bournemouth LINks.
A Local Involvement Network (LINk) is a network of local people and groups who have joined forces to improve health and social care services by listening to people like you. They’re independent of the local council and the NHS and exist throughout England. There’s a LINk local to where you live. Register with LINks today to have your say: http://www.makesachange.org.uk



04
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Greendor Eco-homes in Dorchester a great success


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Dorchester recently had its first weekend of free visits to eco-homes, on 8th and 9th September 2012. The weekend was part of Architectural Heritage Week and was organised by greendor, a local community project. The event was a great success, with over 260 visits to the seven homes that were open over the two days. Visitors commented that they found the visits “inspirational” and said it was “lovely to have such informed people to tell us about it”.

The open homes ranged from an individually designed low-carbon home built in 2010 to historic Listed Buildings that have been adapted for low-energy living.

The aim was to show in a practical way how people can save energy at home and still be comfortable. In fact by saving money on their fuel, water and electricity bills they can lighten the load on the household budget. At the same time it’s helping Dorchester to move towards lower-carbon living, which we all need to do as oil is getting more expensive and climate change is increasing.

Some of the things that visitors enjoyed seeing were unusual materials at different homes, such as external wall insulation made from lime and wood-fibre, a light tube to bring natural daylight into a dark area of the building, and a rainwater harvesting system which host Tobin Sykes said “has halved our water costs – and that was our highest utility bill.”

Many people expressed interest in following up their visit, and greendor is planning some further events. Ideas include : an opportunity to use a thermal imaging camera, which can show up where heat is leaking out of a building; home visits by local independent energy advisers; talks by energy and building experts; and small home-based groups where people can learn together about greener living.

Anyone who would like to know more about these events is welcome to contact Sally Cooke at greendor2012@gmail.com or 07794 432 297.

Details will also be posted on the website www.greendor.wordpress.com

Here’s some further reading:

1. greendor is a newly started community initiative. It works in association with Transition Town Dorchester, and is grateful for a small grant from Dorset County Council towards the costs of the weekend. It is also very grateful for practical help from Dorset Energy Advice Centre, and for the generosity of the eco-homes hosts in opening up their homes. We also appreciate the help of East Dorset Heritage Trust, who administer Architectural Heritage Week in Dorset.

2. Energy from buildings is a big contributor to the UK’s overall carbon footprint, providing 36% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. See the UK’s government-established Climate Change Committee website: http://downloads.theccc.org.uk.s3.amazonaws.com/4th%20Budget/4th-Budget_Chapter5.pdf

3. Dorset has a target of raising its contribution to clean energy generation by over ten-fold by 2020, and home generation has a part to play in that. See Dorset’s Renewable Energy Strategy: http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=171439&filetype=pdf

4. The building industry employs over 2 million people in the UK, and has great potential for transforming the country’s building stock. Providing an opportunity to see the skills that are involved in low-carbon building or re-fitting has been one of the aims of the open eco-homes weekend. Guests from the local planning and building sector attended a special event at the Chalk Wall House, Dorchester, on Sunday 9th September.



02
OCT

Wendy Pillar says:
90% of North Dorset want to generate renewable energy


Category: Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Water Power, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Energize Stur Valley recently carried out a survey of North Dorset residents on their views on renewable energy. Enthusiasts on the subject that we are, even we were surprised at just how positive they all are about renewable energy.

Some 90% of people questioned felt positive towards renewable energy projects, and 90% also felt that Dorset should generate more if its own electricity, since it currently generates a tiny 0.0001% of the electricity that it uses.

The most popular idea for generating renewable energy was photovoltaic panels on industrial and agricultural buildings, with 93% of those questioned in favour. These are frequently very suitable for PV owing to their large roof areas that are not overshadowed, as long as they face south.

Also extremely popular was the idea of putting PV panels on the roofs of public buildings, such as schools, with 90% in favour. Again, these buildings tend to have large, accessible roof areas. PV panels at ground level were far less popular, with only 52% in favour, it being often remarked that it is better to grow food in fields where possible.

The latest large wind turbines are by far the most efficient way to generate electricity in our climate. However, they do have a significant impact on the landscape, and not everyone considers them things of beauty. This was reflected in the survey, with 48% in favour of the large wind turbines and 59% in favour of the smaller 20-metre-high models.

Both hydropower and anaerobic digesters were highly popular, both with 86% in favour. Anaerobic digesters can be a good option on farms producing animal waste, such as indoor poultry and pig units. They can also use collected food waste from catering outlets and food processing businesses.

Finally, 65% of those questioned thought that it was a good idea to set up community investment funds, whereby local people can invest in local renewable energy projects with a relatively small investment, thereby keeping the income generated within the community. We have taken this on board, and are looking into how this can be done.

The survey gave a fascinating insight into what North Dorset people really think about renewable energy, and we plan to repeat it in the future to see how views change as renewable energy projects come into production. Watch this space!

There is still just about time to get new PV projects installed before the Feed in Tariff goes down in October 2012 – find out more on our webpage: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/solar-energy


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Caz comments:
    "Dont think the locals would complain if you put quiet, low PV panels in the Milborne area.
    What I want to know is if this is a survey of North Dorset residents where and how was it carried out because as a North Dorset resident no one has asked me to fill out a survey? And how many surveys were returned as unless you had a return rate of 75% of North Dorset residents it’s not a true reflection of the area! This site needs to clarify the data it uses! Otherwise its just a sales pitch. May be trading standards should look in to it! "

    October 13, 2012 a 11:19 am

  • Richard Howman comments:
    "Regarding the “Survey” of North Dorset Residents to which Ms Pillar refers, can she, in the interests of transparency, please advise:- a. The total sample size
    b. The sampling methodology (Nb ‘Internet’ is not a valid sampling technique)
    c. The sample demographic Thank you
    Richard Howman "

    October 12, 2012 a 6:39 pm

  • HJL comments:
    "There is no doubt that sources of renewable energy should be a primary consideration for all. But lessons should be learned about the impact of wind turbine sites from those areas with insight and knowledge. A review of the literature (and Court settlements) reveals that dwellings DO suffer noise disturbance (planning councils in Scotland are advised not to grant planning permission within 2 km of residential dwellings), ‘flicker’ causes distraction to drivers on nearby roads and tourism is detrimentally affected. These three issues convince me that the proposed Milborne Wind Farm (sited close to dwellings, adjacent to A35 and in an area where many residents run B&B businesses) must be strongly opposed. "
    October 2, 2012 a 9:05 pm


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