Welcome to the 82nd LCCN newsletter! These come to you regularly with updates on what the Network is doing, other developments and, if you tell us, what you’re doing. We’re keen to find contributors who could send us an update (monthly?) on whats happening in their region that may be of interest elsewhere. And please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at: www.lowcarboncommunities.net
Community Energy – there’s a lot of it about!
The full set of 242 community energy projects funded by DECC to the tune of £10M through the LEAF programme is now out – check out http://ceo.decc.gov.uk/ and they are all on an interactive map at http://www.communitymaps.org.uk/Departmentofenergyandclimatechange.
Even if you were not involved it’s worth a look and a quick browse – click on any icon to get a summary of the project and in most cases a weblink. You may need to zoom in to see all the activity in your area. There’s a huge variety of approaches and ideas, and it’s worth remembering that there were many more projects (200 +) that didn’t get funded and that many of those were almost as good. This is more than just a map of energy projects – it’s a snapshot of the sustainability revolution….
Many of these will also play a key secondary role – getting people aware, engaged and then actively involved. At a time when public interest in climate change is lower than we’d like, this kind of innovative practical action can play a key part in reminding people that the issues are still with us, that local people are active and that there are solutions.
If you’re on the map you can also create your own profile to update the summary information attached (and add photos etc.) – several groups have done this already in the hours that the map has been online.
Renewable energy – a lot of that too…
More renewable energy was installed in the EU in 2011 than ever before but coal-sourced power increased at a faster rate than was decommissioned, according to a new report.
In 2011, 9,616 MW of wind capacity was installed in the EU, making a total of 93,957 MW – enough to supply 6.3% of the EU’s electricity. The wind industry has had an average annual growth of 15.6% over the last 17 years (1995-2011). Since 2008 renewable capacity installations have represented more than half of all new installed capacity.
Meanwhile back in the dark ages… Nuclear Power? EDF out on their own
At the LCCN conference Jonathon Porritt described the idea of proceeding with new nuclear stations as ‘unbelievably stupid’ and every passing month appears to make the economic case less realistic (but some might say that that has never worried the industry….) while renewables continue to get cheaper.
How many gigawatts of solar will have been installed around the UK by the time any new nuclear power comes on line? (Germany installed c. 3 GW of PV in December!) However EDF are pushing ahead with the proposed Hinkley C reactor in Somerset (despite decreasing support in France) and a demonstration has been called at the site on March 10th. See http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk for details.
Meanwhile heavily promoted plans for to build a plutonium-burning reactor at Sellafield in Cumbria has been rejected by the UK government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). They appear (through leaked
materials) to see the reactor technology as ‘immature and commercially unproven’.
New support for community energy
The Centre for Sustainable Energy and The Co-operative launched a new programme on February 1st. It’s called the Co-operative Community Energy Challenge and forms an integral new element of The Co-operative’s Clean Energy Revolution campaign. The Community Energy Challenge will provide 12-18 months of enterprise development, mentoring, technical advice and community facilitation for six to eight communities, enabling them to initiate co-operative renewable energy projects at a significant scale (e.g. valued at £1m to £3m and/or rated in excess of 500kW).
See www.cse.org.uk/coopenergychallenge for more details.
Meanwhile back in the dark ages… (2)
The Guardian has mapped all the UK windfarms (including proposed ones) along with the constituencies of the 100 MPs (guess which party?) who lobbied the prime minister to cut investment in on-shore wind.
So congratulations to our new Secretary of State for coming out strongly pro-wind on his first day in office!
Damian Carrington’s blog at the Guardian shows just how foolish those MPs are in terms of what the subsidies and investment mean for the UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog
UK faces solar panel shortage as stock heads to Germany and US
Just as all those new community projects get going, so UK PV installers could soon face a shortage of solar panels as manufacturers divert stock to other countries “following DECC’s disastrous handling of the Feed-in Tariff scheme” as ClickGreen describe it…
If you don’t get the Defra SD newsletter, you can read it online at:
This issue includes an interesting report on how “ Green is increasingly seen as normal, suggesting that less effort should be spent on convincing people to be green and more expended on helping them to be green”.
Carbon leapfrog’s newsletter is also worth reading: http://carbonleapfrog.org/news/
Rio + 20 and A Future Worth Choosing
Slowly, very slowly, international and national action around the Rio +20 summit is gathering pace. The UN Secretary General’s report ‘A Future Worth Choosing’ is now online at http://www.un.org/gsp/.
In London the London NSustainable Development commission will consider what a ‘green economy’ – one of the key issues for Rio +20 – means for London at a city-wide event on Feb. 23rd. Stop Climate Chaos are also focusing (see last week’s news) on Rio.
Do you want to be a featured group on the LCCN website?
We have started a new featured groups page on the LCCN website here. RURENER is the current group featured, check the page out if you want to find out more about them.
If you’d like to be featured on the website, send us some text now. This should be broadly structured like this:
- Who we are
- What we’re doing
- How we involve our community
- The results we’ve achieved
250 words max, and please include a photo and logo.
Please email your details to – firstname.lastname@example.org
Building LCCN – your help needed
This newsletter now goes out weekly to more than 600 people and groups, but we’d like to get it to many more. You can help!
If you find the newsletter useful, why not forward it to other people you know, either in your group or within your network. Let them know it comes out weekly, it’s free and all they have to do to get it is to join the network…by sending an email requesting a membership form to – email@example.com
Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.
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Website: lowcarboncommunities.net 07/02/2012