Frack Free Dudleston are keen to promote all of the safe, clean, green energy that is available to meet our energy needs in Shropshire (as well as reduce our energy consumption).
Everyone can help reduce their energy consumption and installing renewable energy technology (even in a small way) in your own home is not so difficult to achieve and has the potential to be economically rewarding. The government are offering incentives in both helping you with the initial cost of installation, in the form of their Green Deal Scheme, and in paying you for producing the energy, in the from of Renewable Heat Incentive payments. Here is a beginners guide to what the Renewable Heat Incentives could mean for you.
On a larger scale, below is an article written by Helen Moore from Frome Anti Fracking about a vision of Somerset powered by positive energy:
POSITIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS: A VISION OF SOMERSET POWERED BY CLEAN, GREEN ENERGY
by Helen Moore
Water to wire
Tellisford Mill, which lies on the River Frome just outside the town, is a Saxon mill site, featured in the Domesday Book (1086). It was in a ruinous state when its current owners acquired it – but after much work, it was restored to power in 2007. Employing a double regulated kaplan turbine, this ‘water-to-wire’ system now generates sufficient electricity to supply their needs and to feed surplus electricity back to the grid.
Part of the Mendip Power Group, Tellisford is one of a number of hydroelectric mills on the Frome and Mells Rivers. Along the 13-mile stretch to Freshford, where it joins the Avon, the Frome falls 50m, allowing for 26 mills, one every 0.5 miles, and several other mills have now installed turbines. Beautifully, of course, when water is discharged at the end of a tailrace, it’s as clean as when it entered, and can then simply continue downstream to generate more power.
It’s been calculated that harnessing the power from all the streams and rivers in the UK could produce 10,000 GWh per year, enough to supply 3% of national generating capacity. It doesn’t sound like much, but if we combined energy conservation with a spectrum of positive energy solutions, such as micro-hydroelectric, could Somerset (& the UK) really avoid extreme energy production such as ‘fracking’ for shale gas, which creates toxic, radioactive water pollution and earthquakes, and even the nightmare nuclear legacy we’re leaving future generations, its highly toxic waste?
New nuclear would be funded by higher fuel bills
With the British government supporting the production of extreme energy, estimates suggest that the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point would provide around 6% of the nation’s electricity needs. ‘Hinkley C’ has now been approved for construction by French-owned EDF, one of the world’s largest energy companies. Significantly, 99% of the UK’s electricity is generated by just six companies, which effectively dominate the market and, of course, have strong lobbying influence on government policy.
Buyer beware – although new nuclear power stations being built here will not be financed through public money (i.e. taxes), unless you buy your electricity from a green energy company, consumers will pay through future increases in their fuel bills. Perhaps this is one of many good reasons to consider switching to green providers, for example Green Energy, Good Energy, or Ecotricity? These companies encourage the generation of electricity from renewable sources such as the elements – water, wind, sun and sea – and from green gas, often made from food waste.
Cleaner, greener energy is possible
Figures from the No Need for Nuclear campaign show that in 2010, 80% of the UK’s demand for electricity was generated from burning fossil fuels – one of the major causes of global warming – while 13% was from nuclear, with 6% from large-scale renewable energy production (such as wind-farms), and a remaining 1% saving from efficiency. However, using highly detailed research data, No Need for Nuclear has projected that by 2020 it could be possible to have 77% generated by large-scale renewables, 6% by small-scale renewables, 12% by micro-generation, 5% saving from efficiency, which, with neither fossil fuels nor extreme energy in the mix, adds up to 100% of demand in 2010.
On 14th April 2012, Frome’s popular venue, the Cheese and Grain, reached an extraordinary milestone, which was proudly announced by the Town Council – within the two months since the solar panels were fitted to the Cheese and Grain’s roof, the value of electricity generated had reached £1,000.
Might this roof be another example of how the future will look? The answer is YES! It’s part of a growing wave of community-scale renewable energy schemes appearing all around the world.
According to Positive News, in Germany 51% of renewables are now owned by citizens, whilst here in the UK, a new coalition of groups, including The Co-operative, the National Trust, the WI, the Church of England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is calling for this new, localized approach to generating energy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere.
And there are jobs in green energy
The Campaign Against Climate Change, supported by several trades unions, has calculated that up to one million new jobs could be created by meeting targets to reduce carbon emissions. These ‘climate jobs’ would be in factories that make the infrastructure for generating renewables – such as wind and marine turbines, and solar panels – and then in installation and maintenance; new jobs would also be created in areas such as manufacturing and installing home insulation; improved public transport; manufacturing electric cars and buses; and training and education in all these sectors.
GREEN ENERGY=GREEN JOBS=GREEN COMMUNITIES=THE FUTURE –
SAY ‘NO’ TO EXTREME ENERGY!
Plus it’s not too late to stop Hinkley C: www.stophinkley.org
 River Energy Networks supports people to explore micro-hydroelectric. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org