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TwentyOne Encouraging sustainable communities in Dorset

What happens when the oil runs out? A talk on a critical topic hosted at the Thomas Hardye School attracted over 400 people of all ages and backgrounds and left them both informed and inspired. In an event in which tickets disappeared as quickly as oil seems to be, Professor Chris Rhodes (pictured right), who has published over 200 scientific papers, gave his views on the topic. He said that our whole transport network relies on oil, of which the rate of production is falling in 70% of the world. As the supply side is falling, it means the demand side (aka us) has to adapt. Professor Rhodes stated that time is running out for new technologies to ‘grow’ fuel (for example, biodiesel from algae) and solutions will come from a local level, decreasing the demand for oil. A vision of communities who grow food locally, generate sustainable energy and who educate the next generation, needs to become a reality – where the younger generation play a large role. It’s intuitive if you think about it: what do you do with a large problem? Break it

The Arctic is under threat from climate change and oil drilling. As climate change melts the ice, oil companies are moving in to extract more of the fossil fuels that caused the ice to melt in the first place. There have been eight protests at the Dorchester Shell Garage. Similar protests are happening across the UK and in the 40 countries in which Greenpeace is active. Photo: Greenpeace into smaller pieces. Within a smaller community, everything is more manageable. Small scale renewable energy could be used for electricity, permaculture to grow food and less oil would be used in transportation. Crucially, more time would be created to find a solution to fill the oil void. In order to avoid both sudden and radical change, threatening social cohesion when oil dries up, Professor Rhodes argued that we need take action now. He mentioned the ‘Transition Town’ movement as a possible happy ending. In towns all over the UK (including many in Dorset) the Transition movement

realises our vulnerable dependence on oil and seeks for community lead action to ensure an enjoyable future (see Transition Totnes for a fantastic example). Professor Rhodes finished his talk with a quote from Charles Kingsley: ‘We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about’. Let’s be enthusiastic about change. Learn more:

Photo: View from Dorchester

Issue Number 42 Autumn/Winter 2012 Produced in association with Dorset Energized Page 2 Around Dorset Page 3 [Focus on] Page 4 Future events Page 5 Get involved Page 6 Your newsletter


Digesting Dorset’s waste From large scale projects at Martinstown and Piddlehinton to smaller projects at Ourganics Farm, the belief, passion and results were clear. Anerobic digestion is a process where plant and animal matter, usually wasted, is converted in products used as fuel in our homes.

A trio of Anerobic Digester (AD) demonstrations held through this autumn showcased the determination of local people to generate sustainable energy.

Greendor ‘s open in Dorchester

At Rainbarrow farm, Martinstown, J V Energen have built an AD system using maize, grass and food waste which is currently producing enough electricity for around 300 homes. With an update in the pipeline they will be aiming to provide 4,000 home by mid-winter and 56,000 homes by mid-summer with gas. There is an added bonus of income for local farmers who are growing crops for the system.

In September Piddlehinton opened its new AD to generate electricity and gas for Dorchester Feed Mill, the first in the UK powered by renewable energy. In the scheme, which has generated two new jobs and is supported with a photovoltaic plant, the AD will take up to 15,000 tonnes of (mostly local) organic waste from which it will produce 498 kWh of electricity. To put this into context, an average UK resident uses 15-20kWh of electricity per day – justifying its description as a ‘win-win’ for everyone. Finally, at Ourganics, a domestic AD system installed by Bridport Renewable Energy Group (BREG) is being trialled using plant products from the farm to produce gas for the owner. It is hoped this can be used as an example of self-sufficiency and as a model for future developments.

Learn more: |

A number of Dorchester’s eco homes opened their doors to the public as part of Architectural Heritage Week on the sunny weekend of 8 and 9 September. The event was organised by Greendor, a local community project. Attendance levels hit 260 over both days and provided a unique insight into energy efficiency measures within homes. The aim was to show that ordinary homeowners can save energy, and money, whilst still being comfortable. Judging by the positive feedback from visitors they were impressed and inspired. The open homes ranged from individual low-carbon builds to retrofitted Listed Buildings. They utilised a range of techniques

Turbine approved On 7 September Dorset County Councillors approved, with only one abstention, the proposal for a single 500kW wind turbine at Masters Quarry, East Stoke. The electricity generated will be used to power the operations within the site and decrease the site operator’s carbon footprint. Any excess electricity will be fed into the local supply and there is a community benefits fund associated with this project. Add to this Rogershill Farm wind turbine which has recently been installed and the approval of the Alaska Wind Farm, managed by Wimborne based company Infinergy, and Dorset is starting to contribute to renewable energy targets that were set in the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Renewable Energy Strategy in 2011. Learn more:

such as employing different materials (including external wall insulation from lime and wood fibre), a light tube to bring natural daylight into a dark area and a rainwater harvesting system. Many attendees expressed interest in following up their visit and Greendor is planning future events. Ideas include an opportunity to use a thermal imaging camera which can show where heat is leaking out of a building; home visits by local independent energy advisors; talks by energy and building experts; and small home based groups where people can learn together about greener living.

Learn more: email |

Dorset currently produces just 0.95% of its energy from renewable sources, a third of the national average

With debate about wind turbines sometimes fuelled by factually incorrect information, the Centre of Sustainable Energy (CSE) in Bristol hosted a free webinar on ‘Myths and Realities of Wind Turbines’. The webinar can be viewed again using the link below, along with the CSE’s publication Common Concerns about Wind Power. Learn more:


Electric cars

Where does Dorset rank?

The Department of Transport recently announced that the uptake of electric cars has doubled so far this year in comparison to last year. One reason of this will be due to a grant scheme for electric cars but there must also be an element of people deciding they will take the initiative in the fight to protect our environment. It’s clear that electric cars will play a large part in our future, especially when our supply of oil runs out, so here is the latest information you need to know: There are currently 28 models of electric cars on the British market and many of these vehicles can now travel over 70mph. Current developments in Lithium-Ion batteries and the layout of batteries within electric cars are allowing greater range; the Nissan Leaf, a popular vehicle, is increasing its maximum range to 155 miles in 2013. Partnerships involving Ecotricty and Nissan as well as British Gas and POLAR have started installing chargers between London and Birmingham and surrounding major cities. Some of these will allow an 80% recharge in 30 minutes. Closer to home, Dorset has had its fair share of positive press in the electric vehicle sector. The first fully electric public bus service in southern England was recently launched and is running between Poundbury and Dorchester.

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis ‘fills up’ his electric car

RegenSW, a leading centre for sustainable energy expertise, have released a report detailing renewable energy installations in the south west up to 31 March 2012. They have collected data throughout seven counties on installations which provide both electricity and heat. Here are some key results: Dorset ranks fourth on electricity produced renewably, with 60% being produced from solar PV and 30% from landfill gas. Interestingly, only 0.5% is produced by onshore wind turbines. Cornwall and Devon top the list, producing over three times the amount of electricity predominantly from onshore wind and solar PV. In terms of the heat produced, Dorset ranks sixth with only Wiltshire below them. Again, Devon and Cornwall top the pile with almost triple the capacity. This report highlights an ever-increasing gap between the south west counties when it comes to renewable energy projects. The anaerobic digester installations at Poundbury and Piddlehinton will be significant additions to the overall capacity, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Get the report:

Community energy heros

In another initiative from RegenSW, they are on the lookout for ‘Community Energy Champions’ who can work closely with them as a local spokesperson for community energy. Duties will include: being interviewed by the local media on sustainable energy issues, providing quotes for RegenSW press releases and attend community meetings to present information about their community group. In return, champions will receive training and provided with a monetary contribution for attendance to RegenSW events. If you are interested, or know someone who is passionate about spreading the message of community led renewable energy initiatives then please click on the ‘Learn more’ link below. This is a chance to have your say and to be a spearhead for leading change to a more sustainable way of life. Learn more:

What will the Energy Bill hold for Dorset? This week the government is due to release their much anticipated and much delayed Energy Bill. It will outline the UK’s energy policy for the next decade, as well as new policies designed to help the homeowner to become more informed on energy and save money when purchasing energy. To read an overview of the Energy Bill and how it might affect you, head over to the Dorset Energized blog at

In October 2012 fifty of the largest companies in the UK declared that a 2030 carbon target is needed to ensure continued investment


The Green Deal

The Green Deal is a government initiative launched on 1 October to allow homeowners to install efficiency measures within their homes, normally with no up-front costs. A loan provided to the homeowner is paid off through the monthly savings that will occur from the installed measures, with the rule that you don’t pay more money back than you save; thus the homeowner will not be losing money each month. From 28 January 2013 Green Deal providers can offer Green Deal plans to consumers and deliver a wide range of efficiency products including wall and loft insulation, boilers, draught proofing,

renewable energy technology and double/ triple glazing of windows. The months leading up to this roll out will see suppliers, installers and assessors becoming authorised to provide green deal services, ensuring that the customer receives honest and unbiased information on how to cut energy bills. The Dorset Energy Advice Centre (DEAC) has long been preparing for the launch of the Green Deal and will provide a network of local installers and impartial advice to help homeowners get the most from this scheme. Learn more:

Car club expands Dorset Flexicars has received a grant through Dorset County Council to expand its service into Weymouth and Portland. The grant comes from a successful bid by the Council to the Government’s Sustainable Transport Fund. Nathan Thickett, fleet manager for Dorset Flexicars, said “This is great news for the club; we currently have two vehicles

in Dorchester with over 30 members. This money will enable us to purchase at least two additional vehicles and support the continued development of the enterprise”. Car Clubs work by enabling their members to have access to a vehicle, local to them, for short periods of time and at late notice. Learn more:

Support for groups engaging with young people da21 has received a small amount of funding to work alongside Dorset Youth Association (DYA) and Dorset Volunteer Bureau (DVB) to assist environmental groups and organisations to engage with young people. The project aims are to build on existing practice and help to remove some of the barriers around involving young people in environmental and sustainability projects. Green Groups are able to access support on managing and recruiting volunteers, first aid training, and CRB checks and advice. da21 will also work with the Youth Association on three evening sessions with young people to engage them with environmental groups. Learn more: | More funding news at

Energy prices rise – again

Towards a greener Dorset

October saw four of the ‘big six’ energy companies raise their prices. This pushes fuel bills up to £1,300 a year, a vicious cycle set to continue annually until electricity is produced from sources that are not running out.

Nearly £1 million in Lottery funding has been won by da21 and other organisations to help to build more sustainable communities in Dorset. The Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) project aims to support communities in dealing with the potential impacts of climate change. It has wide-ranging aims which include working with coastal communities and those in fuel poverty, where more than 10 per cent of household income is spent on keeping warm. CLS will also promote sustainable local food in Dorset. The project brings together groups from Dorset’s public, private, voluntary and community sectors, including Dorset Community Action (DCA).

One solution is electricity from renewable sources, which are unlikely to run out any time soon, and would be less prone to price hikes. Good Energy ( provides all of its electricity from renewable energy at competitive prices to the big six. What’s more, if you sign up via Dorset Energized, you’ll receive £25 off your first bill. Learn more:

Learn more:

Thousands of events and activities are being planned by individuals and organisations from every part of society for Climate Week 2013. Showcasing practical ways to combat climate change, the week aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future. How can you get involved? Check out our ideas bank and register your event at

A report published by the Green Alliance shows that 1/3 of economic growth in 2011/12 was through the green sector


Help us to Energize Stur Valley The growing concern, indeed need, within our community for a greater awareness and understanding of Renewable Energy has lead to the formation of Energize Stur Valley. This small group of, dare I say it, interesting people meet regularly to discuss the issues and find ways of popularising the growth of RE in our area. We are now at the stage where we have plans to create community-based projects, set up exhibitions and generally engage with all members of the local public.

Above all, it’s good advice and solutions for having lower carbon energy in homes, schools, farm and industrial buildings that we are keen to pursue. We now welcome help from anyone who would like to be involved in our projects and indeed help create new projects for the future. We need warriors, people who get on with things. We need anyone with experience of the legal profession and of being a Company Secretary. There is much to be done. Vince Adams | telephone 01258-473135

Self reliance courses

Draughtbusters workshop

Skills for Self Reliance (S4SR) began in 2011 to provide knowledge and skills in self reliance and sustainability for people working and looking for work in Bridport and the surrounding areas. This unique public, private and third sector partnership links together partners to provide training in a wide range of skills. As this is a funded project places are offered at a vastly subsidised rate and sometimes free. The project has already hosted courses such as ‘Renewable Technologies’ and ‘Herbal Remedies’ and has plans to cover a wide range of topics from now into next year. These include ‘Plastering’ and ‘How to Set Up a Low Impact Smallholding’.

A Draughtbusters workshop at the Unitarian Church in Bridport on December 1 will aim to help householders cut their heating bills by fighting draughts. The sessions, backed by the local transition town movement, will provide free training on how to stop draughts within the home. For more information call the course operator, Chit Chong on 123297 480825.

Project coordinator Sophie says ‘We encourage you to explore what’s on offer and see how the project can support you whether you are interested in simply adding to your own skill set or greening west Dorset’s economy at large. Further, I welcome suggestions for new courses as the project was designed to benefit you and fulfill your training needs. |

An array of pictures highlighting how renewable energy has a place in our countryside and our communities is the result of a Friends of the Earth competition. They show that there is way we can run our homes and cars without destroying the land we live on. If you have any photos describing renewable technology at work please send them in!

Looking for ecotainment? Tip of the Pops is an award winning eco-disco combining recycling and renewable energy. Behind this unique environmental activism is DJ Dynamo and Earwig, his solar powered wheelbarrow disco. All equipment and music is reclaimed from local recycling centres and used without electrical power. There is also a larger mobile disco using the same ‘Ecotainment’ philosophy, as well as demonstrations including pedal powered beat-box and recycled solar ovens. “I have a very small sound system as I am limited to what I can carry on my barrow. It’s very low volume compared to alternative mobile discos but maximum fun and completely environmental.” Tip of the Pops is not-for-profit and any private/ commercial bookings subsidise community work. To learn more visit or phone 07789865934.

Dorset currently produces just 0.95% of its energy from renewable sources, a third of the national average


A short story for a long future

Do you have a local news story?

Dorset Energized has launched a competition to give people aged under 16 the chance to write about their views of Dorset in the future.

Do you have a good story about your local

DE is looking for short stories set around a county powered by renewable energy, electric cars and local communities working together.

future in Dorset? If so, please drop us a line.

sustainability or energy initiative? Do you know someone who is playing a positive role in creating a more sustainable

Email Nathan at da21 works collaboratively with Dorset

First prize will be ÂŁ100 worth of Amazon vouchers, so start writing now to tell us how you would like to picture Dorset in the future!

Community Action (DCA) to further benefit

Learn more:

e: | t: 01305 213721

Change of format

da21 Staff and contacts

You can send post to da21, PO Box 5789,

da21 and Dorset Energized have worked in partnership to develop this fresh newsletter format with a focus on renewable energy.

Susan Anders Sustainability Officer

You can also get involved by visiting the Dorset Sustainable Events Calendar at

The TwentyOne team, from left to right: Daniel McCabe, Vince Adams, Nathan Shaw and Paul McIntosh

With no source of core income the charity is reliant on donations outside of its project work, to donate please go to charity/da21.

resources. To get in touch use the contact details below:

Dorchester DT2 8ZR.

Paul McIntosh Sustainability Officer

da21 has been working to support the development of grassroots action on sustainability and climate change since 1998, becoming a charity in 2003. The organisation runs training and networking sessions for green community groups, produces and maintains the website and this newsletter. It works with statutory organisations such as Dorset County Council to promote a sustainable future for the county.

sustainability in Dorset through sharing

Dorset Energized explores all the possiblities that renewable energy offers. We provide real advice from local people who have daily involvement and experience of this growing industry. Help us to help Dorset people to choose the best solutions, to save on costs, to lead healthier lives and to make Dorset a beacon for sustainable energy in the UK. Please visit and tell us how we can help you.

Every year the Sun produces 4,500 times more power than we consume

Andrew Barker Chair of Trustees Nathan Shaw Writer and editor Daniel McCabe Layout and design Vince Adams Dorset Energized

Blackmore is proud to sponsor da21. This newsletter has been produced on 100% de-inked consumer waste paper using only soya-based inks.

Published by Dorset Energized and Dorset Agenda 21 (Reg. charity no. 1102528)

da21 Autumn/Winter 2012  
da21 Autumn/Winter 2012  

Special edition newsletter on Renewable Energy projects in Dorset.