The world is gradually waking up to the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to develop sustainable energy sources. Progress is patchy, but a revolution is under way. This involves households, communities and our national infrastructure.
Two Somerset environmental groups are joining forces to highlight the urgency of this transition, to help demonstrate what is possible and what is actually happening in our area and further afield. The groups in question are Transition Athelney and Transition Langport; they are part of a wider movement to raise awareness and mobilise action towards resilient, energy efficient communities.
To this end, they are mounting a renewable energy fair, to take place at the Williams Hall, Stoke St Gregory, on the afternoon of Saturday 27th September. This will enable people to learn about what the domestic systems on the market can deliver – from solar electric and water heating to heat pumps and biomass boilers. There will also be a display showing how a well-known local enterprise, the Willow and Wetlands Centre, operates sustainably through a range of renewable energy systems. The event will be opened by Molly Scott-Cato, the South West’s new MEP.
A wealth of background information will also be available through a series of short talks. Professor Keith Barnham, a pioneer of solar energy, will make a presentation based on his recent book The Burning Answer. Eva Bishop from Tidal Lagoon Power will speak about plans for a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay and potential opportunities elsewhere in the Severn Estuary. Christopher Maltin of Organic Power will argue that a high percentage of our transport needs could be met through biomethane production. James Watt from the Centre for Renewable Energy in Bristol will outline renewable energy developments in our region. This will be backed up by representation from two community energy projects: Brendon Energy, based in the Wiveliscombe area and Wedmore Energy Co-operative. There will also be a slideshow on Zero Carbon Britain from the Centre for Alternative Energy.
If you have a sneaky feeling that this is all very worthy but not exciting enough for you, do check out Zero Carbon World's Kevin Sharpe with the all electric Tesla sports car and example of a Charging Station that will be on display, and the battery assisted bikes to help your pedal power on the hills!
The renewable energy fair begins at 1.15pm on 27th September and the talks start at 2pm. Refreshments will be available. Entry will be free, but donations towards the cost of staging the event will be very welcome. Contacts: Adrian Tait of Transition Athelney - firstname.lastname@example.org , 01823 490270 or Cara Naden of Transition Langport - email@example.com