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Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network's picture

WREN Launch Event Attracts Over 600 People

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network Launch Event Attracts Over 600 People

THE LAUNCH of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) attracted more than 600 people hoping to make the town a leader in renewable energy.

The event was held in the town hall with a variety of exhibition stands and there was standing room only for the afternoon's speeches.

WREN's aim is to produce 30 per cent of Wadebridge's electricity from renewable sources by 2015. The group says with such a high level of support the project now looks feasible.

Householders discussed with experts whether they could benefit from free solar photovoltaic panels and many were interested in the Solar Club, a bulk-buying initiative to bring down prices.

Other exhibitors dealt with ways of reducing consumption, saying it was pointless to generate electricity which was then wasted. Several landowners expressed interest in hosting WREN solar parks or wind turbines, and WREN is keen to contact others who may wish to collaborate in such projects.

There were exhibitions from Wadebridge's schools giving their green ideas and suggestions for how to spend the £300,000-plus a year it is estimated could come from renewable generation.

The scheme was strongly endorsed in speeches from North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson, town mayor Stephen Knightley, Wadebridge Chamber of Commerce vice-chairman Dominic Walford and town and Cornwall councillor Scott Mann, but the loudest applause was reserved for Florence Jones and Maisie Fawcett, pupils at Wadebridge School, who strongly supported WREN and said: "Because we are young it can be hard to get our point across, even though we are the ones who will have to suffer from the adults' mistakes, but we can't carry on this way. "Change the world because you can."

Stephen Frankel, current convener of the WREN steering group, said: "One of the first recommendations I will make to the members is that there should be no lower age limit to membership.

"There may be formal legal issues concerning voting rights, but that should not prevent us from listening to the well-informed, good judgment of our younger people."

You can see a film of the event on the WREN website by clicking this link:

Jerry Clark, leading technical aspects of WREN, said: "The weekend served to strengthen our links with potential commercial partners considerably, and because of that, it won't be long before the first WREN solar panels start to appear on the roofs of Wadebridge."

WREN now has 120 people who have signed up as life members for a fee of £1.

This entitles them to vote on the membership of the board, policy direction and how income from power generation should be invested.

Tony Faragher, also a member of the steering group, said: "It's very important that as many Wadebridge people join as possible.

"All members have equal voting rights, and so everything that is done will reflect the consensus view."

During the day more than £260 was also collected for ShelterBox.

Full article here:

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network