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Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network's picture

WREN News September 2011

Newsletter of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network

Last Reminder
Warmer Wadebridge, Sept 10th
There’s a chill in the air of an evening, and with the back-to-school date passed we’re into autumn. Thoughts turn to winter fuel … and winter fuel bills.

September 10th is fast approaching, when at Wadebridge Town Hall, between 2-5 pm, WREN will be launching WARMER WADEBRIDGE, the first event in an ongoing energy demand reduction programme.

On offer are free energy-saving light-bulbs, and information about free or discounted insulation for lofts and cavity walls through Community Energy Plus. Plus loads of practical help on ways to save money and energy.

Sign up for free energy monitors to help you work out when and why you’re using the most electrical energy. Help will be on hand to install and get the most out these monitors, provided by the generosity of Cornwall Council's Green Cornwall programme.

For farmers who want to increase their energy efficiency, there is help and advice from Duchy College.

The Eden Project will demonstrate their Carbon Calculator.

WREN is working with all the Cornwall Universities on ways that the demand reduction can be rolled out more widely. On the afternoon itself we also hope to be show-casing some of the energy saving products that are already available locally in Wadebridge.

Best of all, it’s a chance to sit down with a cup of tea and a piece of homemade cake (cups and plates are compostable and donated by ), and catch up with what WREN has been up to over the last couple of months.

Demand Reduction Gets First Intern
We’re delighted to welcome WREN's first full-time intern.

Jack Brinn joins us as Project Manager for the Demand Reduction programme. You will meet him if you are interested in hosting one of WREN's free electricity monitors.

Jack has an Honours Degree in Human Geography and Anthropology from Oxford Brookes University. He has worked in management positions in the hospitality industry, but now wants to develop his career in the renewable energy sector, and is enrolled in the Newcastle University MSc in Renewable Energy.

He is a prodigious sportsman, including rowing at University level, so look out for him on the Camel.

Incidentally he is looking for somewhere to live, so if you know of suitable rented accommodation please let him know (

Not Only Solar
To meet our energy generation targets we must look to other technologies. We are making progress with wind -- more next time -- but also have encouraging responses to our plans to turn Wadebridge's waste into energy through anaerobic digestion.

We’ve also had good early discussions with one of the most suitable sources of tidal stream generation.

One interesting technology is the Spectral Marine Energy Converter (SMEC) machine (go to YouTube and search for “VerdErg Renewable”).

This takes large flows of water at low pressure and turns them into lower flows at high pressure, which can then run a turbine with no adverse environmental consequences. Clever technology based on Bernoulli's principle, published in 1738!

We will keep you posted on the outcome of early feasibility studies. It is a founding principle of WREN that we will never progress any developments without the full knowledge and agreement of our members.

We Tube!
Wadebridge’s shift to solar power is being documented in a series of four short films, viewable on YouTube.

Produced by Third Channel Productions in conjunction with Solarcentury, the third episode shows the town’s first solar farm up and running, generating power for over thirty homes, and an income for the community.

Jeremy Leggett, author of “The Solar Century”, visits Wadebridge to encourage us to maintain our momentum and stresses the importance of our determination to carve a path for others to follow across the world.

To see the videos, go to YouTube and search on “Britain’s First Solar Powered Town”.

Published by: Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) Limited Registered in England, registration number 31236R. Registered address : 10 Meadow Head, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7PW.

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network