Positive News Radio broadcasts Monday at 18:30 GMT on Resonance 104.4fm and also on the Internet at www.resonancefm.com. In programme 32, Jackie Carpenter, Director of the Energy 21 Network, the UK branch of Eurosolar, told presenter, Jane Taylor, how people all around the country are working locally to speed up the renewable energy revolution.
Jackie Carpenter and friends installing her solar roof
Energy 21 is based in Castle Coombe where they have an energy shop and tearoom and organize training as part of their remit of uniting action for renewable energy’.
Jackie Carpenter: Energy 21 is the national network of renewable energy grass roots associations. It links up all the community groups and the people who are working on renewable energy at grass roots level.
Jane Taylor: How many groups are there in the country?
Jackie: We have 42 groups who are members of Energy 21 but that doesn’t represent all of them. We actually produced a directory of groups and centres last year and there are about 200 groups there and a big range of people ñ all kinds. There are visitor’s centres. There are things like the Centre for Alternative Technology. There are local forums where people meet and discuss a positive future. For example, Bedfordshire Renewable Energy Forum and Guildford Environmental Forum. There are lots of groups all around the country who consist of people who are inspired about renewable energy and are working for a positive future.
Jane: What’s the vision of Energy 21?
Jackie: Well, we definitely believe that we will be on 100 per cent renewable energy before the end of the century. I think the real thing is that the world has always run on renewable energy and that the fossil fuel and the nuclear fuel that we use at the moment are short-term solutions. Fossil fuel has only been going for a few hundred years and nuclear only a few decades but renewable energy has been going for millions of years and hopefully will go for millions more.
Jane: You’ve taken practical steps in your own home haven’t you?
Jackie: Oh yes. I have got a little Cotswold stone cottage. It’s quite old; I think it’s about 300 years old. So, what I have done shows that you do not need a new whizzo’ modern house to do it. And, I have got the whole house now running on renewable energy including a log fire and central heating. I try to use logs that are from fallen trees from the local wood factory waste so it’s not specially cut down timber. The log store in the garden has a photovoltaic roof, which provides my electricity. I have a passive solar conservatory and I have solar hot water and the whole thing adds up to a very nice, cosy little cottage. Rather good fun!
Jane: What would you say to all the people who are interested in renewable energy but think that perhaps it’s something that’s a bit beyond them?
Jackie: Well, there are groups of us around the country where you can meet like-minded people and that’s good fun. I think having fun with renewable energy is part of feeling empowered so you feel positive about the future. But even if you don’t have that much money there are always some measures you can do to your own house and I think if you are making efforts to make the future feel better, you tend to feel better yourself.
FURTHER INFORMATION : For membership details of Energy 21 and their new Energywise Cook Book, which costs £10 contact:
Energy 21, The Energy Store, Estate Yard, Castle Coombe, Wiltshire, SN14 7HU.
Tel: 01249 783415
WEB SITE : http://www.resonancefm.com