Are you batty about Bats?

Are you batty about Bats?

Did you know that bats make up nearly 20% of all mammal species in the world? Add to that their amazing flying, navigation and sensory skills and you’ve got a truly fascinating little creature on your hands. Bats are also essential to our ecosystem keeping insect populations under control and (for fruit eating species), helping to pollinate plants and disperse seeds.

If you’d like to find out more about this brilliant mammal come along to the Town Shop to speak to one of our bat experts. You can even borrow a bat detector to track down your own batty bat.

£20,000 RCEF grant secured to help capture solar energy for our community

£20,000 RCEF grant secured to help capture solar energy for our community

Tamar Energy Community (TEC) is thrilled to have secured a £20,000 RCEF grant which will enable us to pay for the detailed feasibility work for our ‘Solar Roofs Project’.

RCEF is a £15 million programme, delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community. For more information on RCEF, visit www.wrap.org.uk/renewables

Our ‘Solar Roofs Project’ is TECs first community scale project to generate energy locally, funded and owned by the community. The project will install solar panels on a number of roofs across the area from Callington to Buckland Monachorum, including four local schools and colleges and three community facilities. If successful, the project will have a capacity of just under half a megawatt hour of power – sufficient for over 130 homes (equivalent).

The project will benefit our community in several ways, providing:

  • local people with an investment opportunity with a competitive rate of return
  • reduced cost electricity to the organisations who have the solar panels installed on their roofs
  • a community benefit fund to support local projects
  • part time employment for a TEC administrator
  • support for learning about local energy generation as part of the school curriculum
  • a reduction in the amount of energy that needs to be imported from outside the community, and a contribution to our local and national electricity generation needs
  • work for local businesses who will do the installations and ongoing maintenance.

Transition Tavistock’s study on the local energy economy (Tavistock and District Local Economic Blueprint) estimated that £40m per annum is spent across Tavistock and its southern linked parishes on heat and power. With much of this being spent with national and international companies, the more we can generate locally, (as well as reducing how much we use), the more money we keep within our local economy (http://www.transitiontavistock.org.uk/working-groups/tavistock-and-district-local-economic-blueprint/).

TEC’s professional partners to deliver the detailed feasibility work are Communities for Renewables (www.cfrcic.co.uk/) led by Jake Burnyeat and Rosie Gillam and Plymouth Energy Community (www.plymouthenergycommunity.com/) led by Jon Selman. Our TEC team is led by the two Kates (Royston and Dibble).

Kate Royston, TEC’s coordinator said “A lot of people have invested a lot of time to help make this project happen, and we’re excited to see it getting off the ground. We’d like to thank Devon County Council and RegenSW for their help from the Devon Accelerator Fund which helped pay for our initial work in the autumn and, importantly, to WRAP and the RCEF fund which will help pay for the next steps. We hope that as many people as possible, locally, are able to benefit from this community project.”

We’ll keep everyone informed of progress through the project, particularly via facebook (Tamar Energy Community) and twitter (@TamarTec). Please like and follow us! Or come along to the Transition Tavistock Food and Growing event at Tavistock College on Sat. 5th March (afternoon) and have a chat.

For further information please contact Kate Royton (kate.royston@transitiontavistock.org.uk; 07969-569-444).

Tool share at the Town Shop – would you like to be involved?

Tool share at the Town Shop – would you like to be involved?

With the imminent launch of the Tavistock Town Shop we’re keen to hear your ideas for what the shop should contain. One of the latest proposals is to create a tool sharing facility where local people could borrow tools they otherwise may not have access to, to complete home improvements and DIY. We could also make the most of local expertise and share the knowledge of local people who have ‘been there and built it’.

If you think this sounds like a great idea or have tools or expertise you’d be willing to contribute we’d love to hear from you.

And if you have any other ideas for the shop please let us know that too!

Wadebridge electricity prices slashed

Wadebridge electricity prices slashed

The South West Grid is struggling to cope with ‘growth in renewables’  and hundreds of householders in Wadebridge are being offered cheaper electricity when the sun is out – the Wadebridge Sunshine Tariff.

Kevin Smith from community group Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (Wren), which is running the scheme, said: “We want to shift electricity usage to when solar generation is at its greatest.

“And it’s likely that this shifted use of electricity during the day will be offset by corresponding reduced use of electricity in the evenings.”

The rate in Wadebridge in Cornwall will be slashed from 18p a unit to 5p a unit between 10:00 and 16:00 during the pilot scheme from April to September.

Find out more about the Sunshine Tariff in Wren’s booklet, here.

Read the full report here.

When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow…

When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow…

Researchers from Harvard University in the US have developed a battery that uses a common food additive to enable abundant solar and wind power to be stored cheaply and safely in homes and offices.

Such batteries could be used to save and store surplus wind and solar power, which could then be used at times when neither form of renewable energy can deliver.

Read the full report here

Beyond wind, solar and hydro: A look at the less talked about forms of renewable energy.

Beyond wind, solar and hydro: A look at the less talked about forms of renewable energy.

Most electricity in the world is produced using steam to push turbines, which generate power by transforming kinetic energy into electricity within a generator. Electricity is thus inextricably linked to movement and to heat, and  there are many resources on our planet with which we can produce renewable energy beyond the near-ubiquitous solar, wind, and hydro.

Read the full report here

New geothermal energy fund warmly welcomed by Eden and EGS Energy Ltd

New geothermal energy fund warmly welcomed by Eden and EGS Energy Ltd

The news that funding is to be made available for the development of geothermal energy in Cornwall has been hailed as a major breakthrough by the Eden Project and its partner EGS Energy Ltd.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has just released a call for proposals for £10.6m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Alongside Cornwall-based EGS Energy, the Eden Project has been actively campaigning for funding for its planned geothermal power plant on its site, a former China Clay quarry at Bodelva near St Austell. It would be the first of its kind in the UK.

Read the full report here.

About Us

About Us

We’re all spending a lot of money on heating and powering our homes (around £16m per year, or £44,000 a day across the Tavistock area). With much of this spend going to the big power companies the majority of the benefit leaves our local economy like a leaking bucket.

By working together we can start to stem this flow in a number of ways. We can make our homes and businesses more energy efficient and reduce the amount we need to spend. We can also generate more locally, investing in micro-renewables at home or work. We can also look at opportunities to get together as a community and invest collectively in schemes which will deliver local benefit.

Importantly, we can also work together to tackle fuel poverty across the area, aiming for everyone to be able to enjoy a warmer and more comfortable home.

Find out more about the local opportunities by checking out the Tavistock and District Local Economic Blueprint Energy report. Download here or check out information about the LEB here.

If you’re interested in getting involved please let us know.

To see what others are achieving elsewhere check out Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (www.wren.uk.com).

Newsletter – February/March 2016

Newsletter – February/March 2016

In this months newsletter get the latest update on our community share offer, find out how the Moroccan’s are supplying renewable electricity to a million people and read all about the upcoming celebration of local food, growing and cooking at Tavistock College.

Click here to see the newsletter.

 

 

Moroccan solar plant to bring electricity to a million people

Moroccan solar plant to bring electricity to a million people

The solar thermal plant at Ouarzazate will harness the Sun’s warmth to melt salt, which will hold its heat to power a steam turbine in the evening.

The first phase will generate for three hours after dark; the last stage aims to supply power 20 hours a day.

It is part of Morocco’s pledge to get 42% of its electricity generation from renewables by 2020.

Read the full report here