This talk was held at Crowcombe Village Hall on Friday, 6th May.
The speaker was Hugo Chandler, Director and co-founder of New Resource Partners.
Hugo Chandler has worked with renewable energy technology and amongst others the International Energy Agency for over 25 years. His talk set out how locally generated and used electricity can help us transition away from our absolute reliance on centrally produced and distributed power via the national grid. He now leads the team developing the Liverpool Energy Exchange (LEX), a government-funded project to create the first city-wide marketplace for renewable energy. The benefits to both producers and consumers are apparent, and the smart technology is now available.
In the past our energy use was limited to just what could be harvested from very local wind or water. In contrast we now use vast amounts of energy from across the globe without even knowing where it comes from, even though awareness of the geopolitical issues and vulnerability to price fluctuations are now very apparent. And of course, the impacts of climate change and the need to massively reduce emissions at pace are now extremely urgent.
A Local Energy Exchange utilises smart metering to harmonise local solar, wind power and battery storage to complement what can be provided via the grid. As such a local ‘power pool’ is created that exchange members can add to or take from depending on their needs and resources. An exchange won’t replace the grid but it will save money for users and incentivise investment for those with the capacity to generate – “think of all those city roofs that could be put to good use!”.
As a society we have to change our way of providing power and utilise the new opportunities available to us. Energy exchanges have the potential to generate power, community benefits, and in the same way that water mills were in the past – they are local!
Summary by Ian Myers – Co-chairman of Quantock Eco