Posts Tagged ‘Transition Town Sturminster Newton’


19
JUL

Wendy Pillar says:
Empowering Dorset with Renewable Energy


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


What would a Dorset that was self-sufficient in electricity from renewables look like? Some would have you believe that it would be a forest of giant wind turbines, its historic landscapes spoiled, but that image is a long way from the truth.

An energy-independent, low-carbon-footprint Dorset would look much like it does today, with the occasional wind turbine turning on the horizon. However, you would notice that industrial estates had photovoltaic (PV) cells on the roofs of the buildings, and canopies over the car parks carrying additional panels. Since industrial units use most power during daylight hours when the PV cells are generating, this is an efficient way to generate power.

Farms would also have PV cells on the roofs of outbuildings, and possibly a sun park on an unproductive field, reducing their energy costs and gaining a new income stream. A small-scale wind turbine might also be turning near the farm yard. Farms producing animal waste may have a circular tank among the outbuildings – an anaerobic digester producing electricity from methane generated by the composting waste.

Public buildings such as schools would have PV cells on the roof, also generating income for the community. The many mills along the Stour and its tributaries may have found a new lease of life generating electricity using modern turbines, while looking the same from the outside as they have done for centuries.

On a domestic scale, many more people would be using wood to power their heating, and many more sunny roofs of houses, garages and outbuildings would wear PV and solar hot water panels.

Ideally, each town would have decided for itself how it wanted its electricity to be generated, by sun park, biogas generated from its food waste or large wind turbine. It would select the site and install and run the equipment itself – unlike conventional power generation, the technology and costs of installing renewable generation are well within the capabilities of a local community. This means that the income generated stays within the community and is not siphoned off to multinational corporations and their shareholders.

The village of Wildpoldsried in Germany has not only become self-sufficient in renewable energy, but generates a substantial income for community projects from selling the excess energy – enough so far to build a new school, gym and community hall. A similar vision of renewable prosperity is very achievable for Dorset, not at some point in the future, but starting now, with existing resources and technology.

Everyone can get involved in this exciting energy revolution. If you have premises in North Dorset suitable for installing renewables, Energize Stur Valley, part of Transition Town Sturminster Newton, can give you independent expert advice. If you don’t have the roof, the field or the capital to install your own system, you can switch suppliers to Good Energy, and your home will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

For more information please contact Energize Stur Valley by emailing stur.transitiontown1@gmail.com.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Wendy Pillar comments:
    "Quite so, Simon. As well as tidal power – I read about a very neat kind of water mill on a tidal river that uses the tide coming in and going out for power. "
    October 1, 2012 a 2:06 pm

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "Don`t forget waterpower – all those water mills that once turned to mill flour could be restored and be turning to produce electricity or even Archimedes Screws doing that same thing. And then there`s the coast – wave energy harnessed for electricity, someone`s going to come up with an effective way of doing that one of these days "
    July 19, 2012 a 9:49 pm


19
JUL

Vince Adams says:
For the good of all the Community


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


I hope that you are all coping with our English Summer, I know that I have been colder some days and nights than in Winter, oh and the rain , wow and we still don’t have enough water to go around.

Recently I entered the scary world of North Dorset Planning Committee hearings and it was a real eye opener.

How are we ever going to marry the needs of the many to those of well meaning dissenting groups who oppose so many renewable projects. ? I just do not know! Whilst respecting everyone’s right to have their say, at some stage there has to be a notion “For the good of all the Community” brought back into play.

Dorset’s approach to Sustainability and renewable energy in particular have left us languishing far behind other Counties in Britiain. In many cases the planners have stood in the way of good projects because of the need to keep small pockets of voters happy. Equally the projects themselves have failed to inspire local interest, participation and excitement. Good communication has been woefully lacking and its time to make a real effort to sort this out.

Its time we in Dorset stood up and opened our eyes to the responsibility we all share and the need for greater emphasis on renewable energy.

To do this we need groups, communities to work with planners, project installers, funders so that together they can create their own local sustainable projects that all add towards the collective good of our Countries commitments.

We in Sturminster connected to Transition Town Sturminster Newton and SQ have formed a small group called Energize Stur Valley who will are strongly supportive of community lead activity. Support for renewables on farm buildings, industrial sites and schools along with solar energy on households, and of course wind turbines where the icing is right, is all part of our brief.

We hope to be able to announce an overall strategy going forward in due course after talks and consultation with local Parish and Town Councils.

The time is now, get involved take a look at our Dorset Energized website, support your local Energy Groups but above all do something!

Please ‘share’ this blog post to spread the word about this website to light up our County, and make us top of the UK league and not bottom!


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Great comments, our thanks so please tell your friends all about us and Spread The Word!!
    vince "

    August 24, 2012 a 6:45 pm

  • Solar Panels comments:
    "This is really true. I think it is time for us to know our responsibilities. Renewable energy is something that we must all understand. This kind of source of energy is not just cheaper but also healthier for our environment. "
    August 24, 2012 a 4:16 pm


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