PUBLIC MEETING – LOCALISING RENEWABLE ENERGY - GRAND PAVILION, (STAGE DOOR), Porthcawl, 7.30pm, Thurs APRIL 6TH.
The event, organised by Sustainable Wales, includes guest speakers from Community Energy Wales, RENEW Wales, Cardiff University, IWA-Institute Welsh Affairs and Bridgend Council.
Bridgend Council Leader, Huw David, has also agreed to welcome the guests.
The meeting is being organised to discuss how some communities are taking back control of their energy systems and thus the potential of Porthcawl and Bridgend establishing community owned local renewable energy companies. A step towards economic renewal.
Wales and the UK lag far behind our European neighbours and some states in the USA regarding local energy production.
The scene will be set by a viewing of the film ‘Shine a Light’ which suggest that more support should be forthcoming. The Porthcawl film was premiered in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff and was produced and directed by Sustainable Wales and supported by Community Energy Wales.
Sustainable Wales suggests that all UK political parties commit themselves to locally owned renewable energy schemes. Politicians should acknowledge that such schemes are becoming significant in combating climate change. Importantly, these schemes also build more resilient communities, creating local jobs and new opportunities.
These ideas and others will be discussed by our guest speakers.
Speaking of the event, Director Margaret Minhinnick said:
“It is difficult to think of more important issues, tackling climate change and economic regeneration locally. ‘Shine a Light?’ is a beautifully made film, with a wonderful soundtrack. The speakers are experienced and committed to supporting local initiatives I hope local people attend.”
Producer, Margaret Minhinnick, Director Sustainable Wales says: “Shine a Light? supports the idea of democratising our energy supply, bringing ownership and profit back into communities whilst reducing climate change“.
It contains images of the Cenin ‘renewable energy cluster’ at Stormy Down and Porthcawl’s iconic breakwater, rapidly becoming world famous because of its breaking waves.
Music is supplied by Twm Morys, singing traditional Glamorgan ‘tribannau’ to his own tune. It was recorded in the Minhinnicks’ bathroom and is yet another integral Porthcawl feature.
A key contributor includes former MP Alan Simpson, who describes himself as a ‘recovering politician’;. He has been an advisor to the Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee, and commented:
“I think the UK debate has been wrongly focused on windfarms, fracking, etc. It is a question whether localities have: a) ownership of what is being proposed, and b): whether they are direct beneficiaries of the gains that come out of it.”
The film and also profiles practitioners who are amongst the real local heroes of renewable energy production in Wales.
It illustrates the difficulties that communities have in developing such initiatives, and urges the next Welsh government and local authorities to rectify this. “
WLGA climate change projections**
** Welsh Local Government Association climate change projections suggest that if we don’t plan ahead extreme weather events will become more prevalent. The conditions outlined below are likely:
- essential infrastructure (transport, IT energy, waste) may be compromised;
- water and food supply may be disrupted;
- risks to communities increase, especially among the elderly and other vulnerable groups;
- economic productivity may be reduced due to flooding, high temperatures and transport impacts;
- agriculture may suffer due to loss of soils, lack of water;
- ecosystems services (flood retention, food production) may be degraded.