We will help communities to measure current energy consumption, in order to plan a descent to low carbon living. In practice, the most cost-effective way of reducing our reliance on energy is to reduce our demand. We can do that by changing our habits, and by taking up technologies, such as low energy lighting, smart meters or electric cars.
Energy practitioners talk about a “hierarchy”, in which energy efficiency is top of the list of actions, followed by deploying renewable energy generation.
For Carmarthenshire Energy, the aim is to use profits from renewable energy schemes to support the work that needs to be done on measuring and planning reduced demand. This puts the cart before the horse, but we encourage communities to consider the priorities of demand versus supply when looking at the menu of projects here. In time, we hope to have active projects under all of these headings.
We are currently trying to rebuild the hydro scheme at the old woollen mill at Allt Cafan, Pentrecwrt. This is a project that we have been working on for the past 6 years. As existing members will now, we have all the permissions in place. However the Westminster onslaught on renewable energy, most recently via business rates, has rendered the scheme financially challenging. We have therefore applied for some grant funding. In the future we would love to develop the spinning shed as an information hub/art/gallery/ CEL HQ. Much more news of this exciting project to follow.
We are investigating an opportunity to build a 90kW wind turbine on a farm, thus preserving 4 jobs that may be under threat if electricity prices rise. Early days but we are grateful for the support of WG’s Ynni Lleol programme.
CEL have been working with an Anaerobic Digestion Plant and Brecon Beacons National Park to investigate Local Supply models. This would allow our generated electricity to be sold locally, saving consumers money and increasing income from these schemes. We are hosting an “Energy Local” advisor under “Renew Wales” and working closely with 10:10 to promote local action on Climate Change.