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Offers you the chance to invest and helps us fund solar panels on local community buildings. See Pg 1.

You can switch to the Our Power tariff that helps tackle energy poverty locally. See Pg 7.




THE FUTURE OF ENERGY “A total phase out of coal, oil and gas will mean a global energy transition to renewables. This is not just feasible, it is happening before our eyes.” Jeremy Leggett, Hastings born climate campaigner and solar entrepreneur

A community benefit co-op building a community-led low carbon future.

Hastings independent Press CIC A volunteer-run, not-for-profit community paper.





his supplement is a call to action for our 1066 Local Energy Campaign that aims to inspire. A new energy future is emerging where we can all be participants. Great things are happening, some of them in our town. How do we reach the targets set in Paris? Divest from fossil fuels and transition to renewables, but keep energy affordable? To help us find answers we’ve selected articles from local, national and international energy pioneers who present their insights and explore the latest research and innovations. Plus we’re sharing some amazing solar and battery offers as prices continue to fall. We’re launching the 1066 Local Energy

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast

Share offer and a community tariff that tackles energy poverty. As one of the sunniest places in the UK, Hastings is ideally placed to become a national role model for energy efficiency and transition. Please share the offers in this supplement with your family, friends, neighbours and your local networks! Some of these offers are open to anyone across the South East. Energise Sussex Coast (ESC) is a St Leonards based community benefit co-operative that initiates practical and pioneering solutions to move us to a community-led low carbon future, free of energy poverty.

Visit and for more.

1066 Local Energy Share Offer Energise Sussex Coast and Brighton Energy Co-op will go public with our 1066 Local Energy Share offer later this summer. Brighton Energy Co-op have raised over £ 1.5 million and installed roughly 1.5 Megawatts of solar in the last 6 years. (See To receive a share prospectus and register your interest please complete the form at As an investor you are likely to receive a dividend of 5% for a minimum shareholding of around £300.

Portslade Academy, completed in 2016

Winning the UK’s renewable game Will Cottrell, co-founder and director of Brighton Energy Co-operative


or the last seven years, getting renewable energy built in the UK renewable energy market has meant playing a certain sort of game. Energise Sussex Coast’s partner in developing new renewable projects in Hastings and Rother is Brighton Energy Co-op (BEC) who have built (and now own) 25 big solar systems in our area. For those (like BEC) who

are involved in getting renewable energy off the ground, it’s always an epic challenge, and that’s because the game is susceptible to a certain type of weather. The government runs various support schemes for renewable energy but fluctuations in these financial weather patterns means renewable energy can be highly unpredictable. Despite the squalls, there

have been impressive victories. Since 2011, for example, private individuals, communities and commercial developers have installed solar on more than 900,000 buildings. Yet a sudden governmental pressure gust can mean everyone ups sticks and goes to the pub. In 2014, for example, during a period of clear game weather, hundreds

of thousands of homes were being solarised. Then subsidies were changed. Installation companies contracted 24-hour lighting systems, and roof men worked in shifts round the clock right up to the deadline - at which point everything stopped. The reason for this bizarre behaviour is that the costs of renewable energy regularly fall with dramatic momentum. The cost of solar panels has fallen, by some estimates, by 80% since 2012. On the other hand, subsidies have fallen too. In 2012, a solar system could get a subsidy of 44p per kilowatt hour; today that kilowatt hour gets a subsidy of just over 3p. Sometimes, therefore, renewables are viable

(depending on the price vs subsidy calculation); at other times not. We are currently in a phase of relative calm. We have a period within which we can get things done. And yet weather is on the horizon: the Feed-in Tariff scheme for new solar systems, for example, ends in April 2019. It’s therefore fundamental that renewable initiatives build momentum over the time we have left. Initiatives like Energise Sussex Coast’s 1066 Local Energy campaign are essential in getting new renewables up and running; after next year’s deadline, we have no idea how things will pan out. As so often in this game, there are times in which to act – and that time is once again upon us.

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast




A smarter, fairer future in Ore valley Richard Watson, director of Energise Sussex Coast


re Valley is the perfect place to demonstrate what a clean energy future would look like. South facing and isolated for 200 years, this area could be the catalyst for how communities take back the power. Sussex Coast College, a potential site for 250 kW of community funded solar panels, is situated next to an unusual high voltage electricity substation: a prime location for community owned battery storage units. The college is neighbour to the former power station - hence the big sub-station - where Heart of Hastings plan to build 76 zero carbon community homes. This neighbourhood, the 11th poorest in Britain, could be one of the pioneers in solving the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. Scientists are calling 2020 the Climate Crunch, the point when man-made CO2 emissions need to level off and start their downward trajectory to get near zero by 2050. The climate talks in Paris in 2015 saw 195 countries agree to stay within a limited carbon budget to keep the rise in global average temperature below 1.5 degrees. Hastings MP, Amber Rudd, was instrumental in getting key signatories to sign off on this agreement. However, we are spending our budget too fast, giving us only 20 years to resolve the problem. Leave it any later and the costs and the risks will double. How we respond now is critical. The good news? The rapidly falling costs of solar and battery power combined with a dramatic shift to electric cars which improve air quality as well as reducing emissions, mean the target is feasible. 

project, designed to deliver low carbon neighbourhoods in deprived areas, is ideally suited for making Ore Valley the focus and catalyst for the low carbon transition in Hastings. In the UK, the grid is becoming increasingly de-centralised, fairer and cleaner. A market that was once dominated by the ‘Big Six’, who had 98% of the energy supply market 15 years ago, now sees a new energy supplier every week. Some of these, like Our Power, were set up as not-for-profit organisations, making energy more affordable and tackling fuel poverty. By partnering with Our Power in Hastings, we can start to build energy communities where we generate, own and share our power locally - and decide what to do with the profits. 

An energy revolution

Rapid transition

The Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN)

The biggest social challenge we face with a rapidly

Solar charger workshop at the Bridge Centre for CAN project

We generate, own and share our own power locally - and decide what to do with the profits.

transitioning energy market is ensuring that the people who are already marginalised do not find themselves even more excluded. Prepayment meters are a barrier to the new innovations, but this issue is being addressed.  UK homes are still among the least energy efficient in Europe. Much of our heat energy is wasted by poor insulation, draughts or inefficient heating systems; gas remains the cheapest heating fuel, but is alas a fossil fuel and therefore we urgently need a retrofit programme to make our homes more energy efficient, particularly for those trapped in fuel poverty. We’ve recently signed up as a member of Retrofit Works, a co-operative platform using local contractors set up to achieve exactly this.   In Denmark, community energy groups are settingup renewable heat networks across the country; another community business initiative that could create jobs locally and help eradicate fuel poverty.  If the UK, and Hastings, want to demonstrate our commitment to the Paris goals, solve fuel poverty and blaze a trail to a low carbon future, Ore Valley is an excellent place to start.

Imagining the future Julia Hilton Hastings Green Party


astings Green Party welcomes Energise Sussex Coast’s vision for a low carbon future for Hastings. Changing the way we generate and supply our energy in this sunny town offers huge potential benefits for local people. Local ownership of renewable energy distributed through local networks means we have the power to decide where profits are spent, reducing fuel poverty and initiating local insulation schemes, which can also provide jobs for local people. These local economy networks are the way forward for truly sustainable communities. We hope that Hastings Borough council will see the benefit of working in partnership with local not-for-profit community energy organisations like Energise Sussex Coast, who are initiating schemes that directly benefit residents. Let’s look at different ways of empowering local people to be part of this energy revolution.

A model for low carbon living Ore Valley could now be the test bed for a truly community based model for low carbon living. Imagine the future: 76 zero energy community-owned homes built by local people as part of Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust, next to Sussex Coast College with its roof covered in 250kW of solar panels, all feeding into a local community owned battery storage system connected up to a smart grid providing locally owned energy; local people learning new skills in building low-energy homes and commuting to the college using communityowned electric bikes powered from the batteries, using a network of greenway routes connecting the valley to the rest of the town; a new building co-op that could then be insulating our old housing stock and constructing low energy houses across the rest of Hastings and the south east.




The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast

Heart of Hastings plan for 76 zero carbon homes Sam Kinch Community Organiser, Heart of Hastings CLT


lans are afoot to transform the 40-year derelict site of an old power station in the Ore Valley into the beating heart of a thriving communityowned and built, locally affordable, solar village. The plans are the brainchild of a group of committed residents and activists, passionate that any future regeneration plans for the town put local people at the forefront. With that in mind, the Ore Valley DIY Regen project being proposed by Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust will create up to 100 long-term jobs for people with barriers to employment and construct 76 eco-homes, which will then be rented or sold on a leasehold basis to local people at rates which reflect the average local income. The team believe this can also be the catalyst to long-stalled regeneration efforts in the area, providing housing, jobs, skills and ongoing benefits to the wider area by acting

as a large scale generator of sustainable, clean energy for years to come.

Life-changing “It’s inspirational, it’s noble, it’s a chance to change people’s lives… It already has changed mine,” says Dan O’Connor, 37, who joined the team in September 2016 as a part-time volunteer. Struggling with poor mental health and unable to take on paid employment, he found the ability to get stuck in on site, and importantly, to learn by doing, has helped him face down a number of challenges. In the past 12 months, Dan has managed to secure a paid position with the Land Trust, as Lead Site Steward. Working with a team of volunteers and other staff, Dan is now responsible for ensuring the site is safe and welcoming for visitors and has learned new skills to help him achieve these aims. Through a community selfbuild approach, the project hopes to offer the same

ZEDFactory “Zero Bills Homes” in Hastings

“it’s a chance to change people’s lives… It already has changed mine” ‘hands-on’ transformative opportunity to other local people experiencing obstacles in finding suitable employment, and the opportunity for some of them to learn Modern Methods of Construction such as heat insulation, heat exchange systems and solar installation and maintenance, which are to become the staple of the construction industry over the course of the next five to ten years. All of this is made possible thanks to a simple modular building system, based on the Walter Segal method, which has been perfected over the

A sunny outlook for Hastings Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye


am delighted to support the 1066 Local Energy campaign. It is very exciting to see Energise Sussex Coast working with Nissan and Solar Century to launch their new solar energy offer here in Hastings and to hear that local companies like

Moixa and Osborne have their own solar and battery storage offer for residents. The impact of the Paris agreement and the unstoppable global shift towards low carbon technologies gives us an unparalleled opportunity to focus on clean growth

- and we are leading the other G7 countries in growing the economy while cutting carbon emissions. It is so encouraging to see Hastings companies and community organisations leading the way.

Clean Growth The Government’s Clean

course of 20 years by Bill Dunster of ZED Factory (the ZED standing for ‘Zerocarbon Energy Design’). The homes combine a traditional timber frame construction, coupled with innovative steel braces, solar roofs, internal heat-pumps and super insulated cladding, which sees these houses perform to the highest possible standard for sustainable homes (as defined by Code Level 6 ENE1 standard of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the new BRE Home Quality Mark, for those in the know). The simple construction method makes it possible for a team of six people to construct a new home from start to finish in six weeks using nothing more than conventional hand

tools. The homes are so efficient, they generate more electricity than they use, meaning this once dormant power station can in the future become a supplier to the area of cheap, clean, community-owned energy.

Communityownership Eventually this affordable eco-village will provide homes for people on a range of incomes and the team behind the project hope it will set the standard for modern communitybuilding, at the same time placing communityownership of both assets and energy generation at the heart of their work.

Heart of Hastings CLT Limited is a community benefit society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority: FRB7604 and a charity registered with the HMRC: EW82493.

For more information on the project and to register your support, visit

Growth Strategy has committed to invest £2.5 billion to support low-carbon innovation from 2015 to 2021 and I would love to see Hastings grasp this opportunity with the same passion that the community has shown over the Pier. The traction project where Network Rail, Imperial College and Community Energy South are exploring solar and battery power to bring more trains to Hastings and Rother is a perfect example of how low carbon innovation can work to benefit everyone.

Hastings Council has always excelled at bringing European funding to the town and I’m also very encouraged to see the Climate Active Neighbourhood (CAN) project make real progress in Ore Valley, where Energise Sussex Coast, Optivo and the Council are piloting new local energy schemes that use our abundant sunshine and community tariffs to tackle energy poverty. This is an exciting and much needed initiative and I look forward to the follow up in October, when we will be celebrating Green Great Britain Week.

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast



Osborne Energy and Moixa trial solar and battery homes in Ore Simon Evans, Director of Energy Services at Osborne Energy


ocal partnerships are vital for the energy transition and Osborne Energy is working with Optivo in the Ore Valley, Hastings, delivering a 100 home energy retrofit programme for Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN). The project provides £300,000 to improve the energy efficiency of Optivo homes, including roof, wall and loft insulation, new boilers, windows and heating controls. Additionally there will be some installations of solar panels with battery storage for testing benefits for residents who will use the energy generated. Separately, we’ve teamed up with Moixa, a battery manufacturer with production facilities in Hastings to prepare our

private sector offer for battery and PV storage. This local link will make product support easier so we can give customers a better service. Moixa is the UK’s leading manufacturer of the domestic Smart Battery which they have installed in over 1500 homes. Their Gridshare software creates additional benefits with a minimum £50 saving guaranteed each year and product maintenance included. The combination of renewable energy with machine learning technology means the Moixa Smart Battery and its Gridshare platform can offer residents realtime data on energy use, PV generation and battery status and saving tips based on understanding the household’s energy use.

Together Osborne Energy and Moixa are helping families reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint. Here at Osborne Energy we have been in the energy business for 21 years and can provide heating, insulation, LED lighting, solar and both electric and heat batteries to customers who want to be part of the energy transition to a fossil free future. As local companies, both Osborne Energy and Moixa are very happy to be supporting the 1066 Local Energy Campaign initiated by Energise Sussex Coast. It is so important to get the message out that we have more sunshine than almost anywhere else in Britain and we really should be installing solar now before the subsidy ends in 2019.

To pre-register your interest in a survey for solar and battery storage please call 01424 436793 or email

Bold plans for the future of Hastings Peter Chowney, Leader of the Council and Finance and Property Portfolio Holder


t Hastings Council, we’ve been keen to latch on to funding programmes to increase energy efficiency. We’ve used EU funding to improve some of our factory units and Muriel Matters House has also now been refurbished using safe external cladding and other enhancements to make it more energy efficient. But the big programme for the future will be sustainable energy generation. The

first phase of this involves installing PV arrays on all council-owned buildings. But for the future, we have more ambitious plans. We’re aiming to generate electricity through solar, wind, and potentially tidal power, to distribute electricity through a local supply network. It’s estimated that we could supply up to 30% of the town’s electricity needs. Locally generated energy would be significantly

Locally generated energy would be significantly cheaper cheaper than from national suppliers, and would provide significant income for the council to replace grant cuts. As well as being the sunniest

town on the UK mainland, Hastings is also one of the windiest, and has waves and tides, so it’s an ideal place for local sustainable energy generation. All this would be some way off. Before we even start, we have to revise our local plan to identify sites for energy generation – and that takes about two years. But during that time, we’ll be able to plan what kind of energy generation

equipment we’ll need, what sort of wind turbines, and where they’ll be. Over the next few years, local sustainable energy generation seems set to bring about a revolution in domestic and business power supply. We want to make sure Hastings is at the forefront of that revolution, coupling cheaper energy for local households to sustainable funding for the council.





The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast Climate Active Neighbourhoods partners meeting in Arnhem, 2017

Project facts Duration: February 2016 to October 2019 € 7.8 million total project budget € 4.7 million funded via ERDF

New ways to reduce energy consumption

Lead partner organisation: Climate Alliance – European municipalities in partnership with indigenous peoples

Svenja Enke, communication manager at Climate Alliance for the Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN) project


here are many ways to reduce our energy consumption and thus actively protect our climate. Our housing situation plays a decisive role here: in fact, in Europe, buildings are responsible for 36% of the continent’s CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, the renovation rate is currently stagnating at around 1%. One solution to this dilemma lies in what Jeff Hardy points out in this supplement (pg 14): that energy transition is, above all, a social

transition, demanding active citizens rather than passive consumers. As Climate Alliance, we would add that it also needs strong cooperation between European municipalities. With the Interreg North-West Europe project of CAN, ten partners from five European countries are leading the way. Together we are developing new strategies for how the commitment to energy savings in neighbourhoods can be strengthened.

Different approaches The results? Energy advisors visit hundreds of people at home. Campaigns turn energy poverty into a talk of the town and thus counteract social exclusion. Neighbourhood initiatives present their innovative concepts for transforming the existing building stock to energy neutral buildings to their local authority – and the latter supports them, both ideologically and financially.

The central issue is therefore one of participation. Our European countries have different approaches here and thus we can learn a lot from each other. Naturally, we will share our results with all interested parties towards the end of our project in 2019. For a more detailed insight into CAN’s project activities, have a look at the article by Raffaele Viaggi from Brest.

CAN project fights energy poverty in Brest, Brittany Raffaele Viaggi, Interreg youth volunteer at Brest Métropole


ecouvrance is one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Brest. Spared from WW2 bombing, it is the only district still with several pre-war buildings. Very little retrofitting work has been undertaken to keep this ancient housing stock in proper condition by its owners and poverty indicators of its 5,000 dwellers are a major source

of concern. Despite many renovation interventions in the area by Brest Metropolitan Council, negative trends perpetuate in housing and social conditions, especially when taking into account energy poverty indicators due to poor thermal insulation.

Behavioural change Through the funding of the Toit par toi (‘Roof by you’) event, the Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN) project has proved to be a vital tool to begin reversing these trends by supporting local associations in their

action to boost behavioural change. For three days, about 1800 people of all ages participated in the construction of a wooden frame covered with slates on which they could draw or write messages on housing difficulties. Participants were also invited to thematic workshops organised by the local Energy Agency: Ener’gence. For the local community, Toit par toi has represented a major highlight to discuss poor housing and to discover energy saving solutions.

“Toit par toi” (“Roof by yourself”) event © Brest Métropole

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast




New green energy tariff aims to tackle fuel poverty Dawn Muspratt on the UK’s most ethical energy tariff


Dawn has worked on Our Power from its earliest stages. Originally from a community development background, she has built strong credentials in social enterprise, energy and renewable generation.

t is estimated that 346,000 households* in the South East of England live in fuel poverty, with many regularly having to make the choice between eating a hot meal or heating their home. Our Power is a not-for-profit energy provider, working alongside Community Energy South, to help change this situation with our new green energy tariff, +IMPACT.

Working with the Our Power team, she is driven to find ways to use the energy sector to benefit customers who usually get left behind in the energy market. Dawn has previously worked on a number of renewable generation projects including developing a windfarm and solar assets.

About +IMPACT Our Power was established in 2016 to offer fairer, cleaner energy to the GB energy market. We’ve now launched a new ethical energy tariff to help support our fight against fuel poverty. The new tariff, called +IMPACT, is 100 per cent green and puts power in the hands of the consumer, helping to support us in our mission. The more customers to switch to this competitively priced tariff, the more Our Power and Community Energy South can maintain the lowest prices for customers experiencing – or at risk of - fuel poverty. Put into numbers: for every home that switches to the +IMPACT tariff, Our Power can offer an affordable tariff to a lower income or fuel-poor household, helping them heat their home for an average of 54 more days than they could for the same price on a Big Six standard variable tariff**. Community Energy South, which has been established to grow and stimulate local ownership of community energy in the South of England, will also benefit from a referral fee for every switch to the new tariff in the South East. Customers who switch to +IMPACT will, on average, see savings of around £80 per year***. +IMPACT’s electricity is supergreen. We know exactly which renewable energy sources are providing our power and, where possible, we buy from communityowned energy schemes and renewable sources in the UK. *National Energy Action 2017. **Based on the average saving in days that could be generated for direct debit and pre- pay customers currently paying for gas on a Big Six standard variable tariff (54 days). ***£80 estimated saving based on +IMPACT dual fuel rate with a consumption of 3100kwh electric and12000kwh gas

Energise Sussex Coast energy advice service

About Our Power Our Power is a not-for-profit energy supplier, owned by social housing providers, community organisations and local authorities. Its aim is to make energy fairer and cleaner for all members of society. Our Power aims to reduce heat and fuel costs by passing benefits from the energy sector to our communities. We do this by not paying dividends to shareholders, by finding the most efficient ways to operate, by generating our own power and by reinvesting any profits to benefit customers and our communities. You can switch to +IMPACT now to support our mission and have a competitively priced, fairer and environmentally-friendly energy at

New +IMPACT Local Energy Tariff Have a positive impact on your local community and benefit from 100% green electricity. Switch to competitively priced, fairer and environmentally-friendly energy today To get a quote visit today Or call free on 0808 189 3085 Need help with switching? Email




The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast

Welcome Home to Nissan Energy Solar Save up to £500 off your Nissan Energy Solar installation* Nissan Energy Solar combines world-class solar panels with our intelligent energy battery storage system, to create an everyday energy solution that can help you and your family save up to 66%** off your electricity bill. Whether you’re looking for a solar and battery storage solution, or want to add storage to your existing solar panels, we can help design the right system for you. Take advantage of our special offer in association with Solarcentury and

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast



Visit: Call: 0800 054 6253 And Reference:

*The offer is open to residential property only. Properties must have a TN and BN postcode address to qualify. This offer is not available in conjunction with any other Nissan Energy Solar offer. All offers subject to technical survey. Acceptance of quote and installation deposit must be paid on or before 30.09.2018. Promoter: SOLARCENTURY MICROGEN (UK) LIMITED, SE1 0NW, (registered number 11068740), NISSAN INTERNATIONAL SA, (registered number CH-550-1047524-0). **Based on a family located in the South East, at home on average half a day and with an annual electricity demand of 4,500kWh, with a 4kWp Solar PV system and 6kWh storage system is installed.





The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast

The clean energy future is unfolding fast Dr Jeremy Leggett


hen the G7 nations agreed in June 2015 to push for a treaty to phase out fossil fuels, few believed it could be negotiated. But in December that year, at the Paris Climate Summit, it was. The Paris Agreement has been adopted by every independent government on

power in Europe came from renewables. In both 2016 and 2017, solar was the biggest single sector for new global power capacity additions. In 2017, wind supplied a record 43.6% of Denmark’s electricity, with no grid problems. Denmark is targeting 50% wind by 2020, with a further

week later, Apple reached 100% renewable power for all its operations, spanning 43 countries. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said: “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible ...because we know the future depends on it.” Around the world, 122 giant companies have

user of electricity, ahead of Poland, for example. As I describe in my book, The Winning of The Carbon War, such efforts are global, and extend across the full breadth of civil society. The first US coal-fired power plant is being shut down and replaced by solar simply because it is cheaper to build new solar than to operate existing coal burning plant. The Wisconsin utility, WEC Energy’s inappropriately named Pleasant Prairie plant, will be replaced by a solar farm. The workforce increasingly reflects the switch: as of April 2017, 475,000 people were employed in the US solar and wind industries, many more than in coal and gas.

Batteries support a new energy model

the planet: a total phase-out of coal, oil and gas will mean a global energy transition to renewables. “Is this feasible?” doubters ask. It‘s not just feasible, it‘s happening before our eyes. “Renewable electricity will consistently be less expensive than fossil fuels by 2020,” the International Renewable Energy Agency reported in January, having plotted the spectacular drops in solar and wind prices around the world in recent years. World records in conventional power generation are tumbling everywhere as a consequence.

Global progress in renewables In 2015, all China’s new power demand was met with wind and solar. In 2016, almost 90% of new

30% from solar, biomass and other renewables: 80% in all, just two years from now. In March this year, Portugal’s electricity consumption was met 104% by renewables for a whole month (and it was cheaper than the year before). Cities and companies are playing major roles in the transition. 43 cities are now 100% renewable powered; thousands more target 100%.

Alphabet and Apple go fully renewable Google owner, Alphabet, the biggest corporate buyer of renewables, reached 100% renewable power in April this year. Wind and solar now power all their data centres, where electricity use grows in double digit percentages each year. A

In April, the world’s most powerful wind turbine was installed off Scotland. Just one rotation of the blades can power the average UK home for a day now committed to 100% renewable powering of their operations. If the 122 RE100 (some of the world’s most influential companies who have committed to going 100% renewable) were a country it would be the world’s 24th biggest

This story is also about the wider family of clean and smart technologies. The cost of batteries and electric vehicles is also falling steeply. This is just as well, because air pollution has increasingly emerged since 2015 as a powerful additional driver for national, federal and city governments to cut fossil fuel emissions, notwithstanding climate change. Lithium-ion battery prices are down 80% since 2010. At least 7 new gigawatt-size battery factories will come onstream in Europe by 2020, driving costs down further. Solar power and batteries are already beating natural gas in some places, including California and Arizona. This is ominous news for the oil and gas companies, most of whom pursue strategies involving transition to gas as the backbone of energy for decades to come. Worse than this for Big Oil, carmakers everywhere are

Jeremy was born in Hastings and is one of the world’s foremost climate researchers, entrepreneurs and renewable energy activists. He is founder of Solar Century and one of the founders of the Carbon Tracker initiative which has led to the fossil fuel divestment movement.

embracing an electric future. China’s Chongqing Changan car company recently decided to sell only electric vehicles from 2025. The writing on the wall, for those with eyes to see, is becoming clearer with each passing week, and in unexpected places. In January 2016, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi told his people: “In 50 years, when we ship off the last barrel of petrol, we will not be sad. I promise you, my brothers and sisters, we will be celebrating.” This will be because of the clean energy the nation will have invested in before then. European utility companies have also got the message. How could they not? With such low renewables costs, their old business models are broken. In December 2017 all the major EU power utilities committed to carbon-neutral power ‘well before’ 2050. The global energy transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is real. In my experience, it is going much faster than most people think.

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast




Ending fossil fuels at home Dr Brenda Boardman (MBE) outlines things to do right now Brenda is an Emeritus Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and a visiting professor at the University of Exeter. At the ECI, Brenda was the former head of the Lower Carbon Futures team and a co-director of the UK Energy Research Centre. Her main research focus is on how to achieve demand reduction in energy across the UK economy. © flickr_MartinPettitt


here is a lot of discussion about the need to phase out our use of fossil fuels worldwide, that is coal, oil and gas, as they are the source of the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing climate change. Obviously, the quicker we do this, the sooner the beneficial impact on the climate will be felt. What we do not often discuss is that phasing out fossil fuels at a national level depends upon us, as individual users, phasing them out from our homes and lifestyles.

Go electric and go green We need to stop using gas in the home. We need to switch from a petrol or diesel car to an electric one. And the electricity we buy should be coming from renewable sources (green electricity) only. The latter is particularly important, as we will be needing a great deal more electricity if we are using it for both heating our homes and mobility. In reality, to supply all this extra electricity from renewable sources will be almost impossible, so we must reduce our demand: we must use our energy more efficiently.


Energy-efficient heating For instance, to phase out gas from our homes should mean, first of all, super-insulating the home, bringing it up to a passivhaus standard. This is the German model that requires almost no heating, where virtually all the heat in the home comes from warm bodies, sunshine and the waste heat from our lights and appliances. There is no need for a heating system, though there may be a small wood stove, for psychological and physical comfort. So, we need to first spend our money on insulation, rather than an electric heat pump to put heat into our leaky homes. To phase out the use of gas from water heating in the summer will require the installation of solar thermal panels on the roof and an electric immersion heater in winter.

Turn it off! Reducing our current use of electricity means turning off lights, TVs, computers and monitors, whenever they are not in use. It also means making sure our homes have 100% LED lights (www.efficientlight. can help). Which? report that you we can get an 80% reduction in the cost


of electricity for lighting for every 100W incandescent bulb we replace with a light emitting diode (LED).

Fossil Free Hastings

Healthy mobility

Gabriel Carlyle

As for mobility, it will be important to switch from using a car, any car, as much as possible and walking, cycling or using public transport instead. This in turn means lobbying the local authority to make sure there are good cycle paths and bus routes.

Check your savings One other action that helps with switching out of fossil fuels is to encourage the divestment from the shares of fossil fuel companies. This is what needs to be done by pension funds, our banks and other investment funds. The rationale is that the fossil fuel companies are finding that their stocks of unused fossil fuels, still in the ground, are no longer the ‘assets’ they were once thought to be: they cannot be mined and sold in the future. They are becoming worthless. So, any responsible investor should be getting out of the shares, before they crash. There is, therefore, a lot we can be doing and planning to do, knowing that we are helping the planet.


uring the last six years, over 880 institutions, managing assets worth more than $6 trillion, have made commitments to get rid of all or some of their investments in the fossil fuel (oil, coal and gas) industries. These investments are not only damaging the balance of the earth’s climate, but also pose a serious financial danger for investors. Indeed, UK public pension funds lost nearly £700m during 2014/15 when the value of their investments in the coal industry plummeted.

Here in East Sussex, Fossil Free Hastings has been leading the campaign to persuade the East Sussex Pension Fund (ESPF) to stop investing local people’s pension monies in fossil fuels. The Fund is run by the County Council and the current investment is estimated to be £150m. Three members of the Fund – Hastings Borough Council, Lewes Town Council and Brighton and Hove City Council – have already passed motions calling on ESPF to ditch these dirty and dangerous investments. Now we need to step up the pressure!

Get involved by signing our online petition at, coming to our next meeting (7pm, Monday 18 June, White Rock Hotel, Hastings) or dropping us a line at For more info see




The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast



s s e n i Bus

h t w Gro Grant

If you’ve got ideas to grow your business but not quite enough cash to make it happen, then a LOCASE Business Growth Grant is just what you’re looking for.

0 0 0 , 0 1 £ free

up to

e l s s ha

MORE GOOD NEWS: WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU APPLY! SO ALL YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IS... Grants are available to small to medium sized enterprises (SME) based in East Sussex* who:

help their customers save energy eg:

plumbing electrical heating & cooling Energy management LED lighting

maintain or Landscaping & arboriculture protect the Recycling & Renewable energy environment Building technologies eg:

Water saving & treatment Pollution control

Call today for a copy of our info pack and get the ball rolling

what does your business need to

GROW? y a d o t pply


01273 641949 LoCASE is an £8.8 million project to drive green business growth across East Sussex, Kent and Essex. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.


Growth Grant

Marketing IT & software tools & Equipment Website PLANT & MACHINERY consultancy Product development system Upgrades

* excludes Brighton & Hove

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast




New kids on the block! Dr Colin Nolden, director of Community Energy South and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Bristol Law School


itcoin bears all the signatures of a bubble akin to the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century. The underlying technology of Bitcoin, the Blockchain, has enabled Bitcoin to proliferate as a means of transferring value across the Internet. This might seem trivial given that banks and other financial intermediaries have been shifting money around the globe since the 19th century. However, what makes Bitcoin different is that it enables peer-to-peer (P2P: person to person) exchange of value, making financial transaction intermediaries obsolete.

This lends itself to money laundering and tax evasion, as well as providing people with access to the global financial system without the need for credit checks or state facilitation, as has been the case in Venezuela, where Bitcoin has at times proven more stable than the Bolivar!

Blockchain and independent energy Crypto-currencies aside, Blockchain’s truly revolutionary nature is its function as a distributed ledger. Arguably, ledgers as a technology of accounting (keeping track of who owns what) have

Riding Sunbeams: trains powered by the sun Julian Wilkins, legal advisor, Community Energy South (CES) and director, Repower Balcombe  and Solesco); Berwick, East Sussex (Cuckmere Community Solar); Basing and Micheldever, Hampshire (both Hampshire Community Energy). Hastings could feature in the next round of site selections (Bo Peep junction) and help to add more trains to both the Hastings-Tonbridge and the Hastings-Victoria lines.   ‘Riding Sunbeams’ was introduced by TV historian and rail enthusiast, Dan Snow with a supportive speech from Shadow

not fundamentally changed since the development of double-entry bookkeeping over 500 years ago. Modern capitalism is underpinned by monopolistically controlled, centralised ledgers for property titles, contracts, transactions, records and money. This is about to change. P2P exchange of value lends itself to a wide range of applications and the

energy sector is where we are witnessing a true blossoming of innovations. Brooklyn Microgrid in New York uses Blockchain to enable households with an excess of solar PV generated electricity to trade it locally with their neighbours, without the need for a large utility or a district network operator. Closer to home, Repowering London is trialling a P2P trading system as part of Ofgem’s

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rebecca Long Bailey. Ollie Pendered of CES and Leo Murray, Director of 10:10 outlined the project. Network Rail is an active participant in the technical and commercial discussions alongside Ricardo, Siemens and Imperial College. The first six sites are waiting for grant funding to cover all the commercial, legal and technical considerations of

the feasibility study. CES acts as the steering party for the local community groups involved and heads the discussions with key players. CES’s team is led by Ollie Pendered, supported by myself as their legal advisor; I am also a director of Repower Balcombe, whose chairman, Tom Parker pioneered the idea of using renewable energy to power the railways.  Network Rail is the largest electricity user in the UK, so

© 10:10 Climate Action


n the 6th December 2017 at the London Transport Museum, Lewes based Community Energy South (CES) launched their ‘Riding Sunbeams’ feasibility study exploring the potential for solar to directly power rail, tube and tram systems. The study, in conjunction with Imperial College, covers Balcombe, West Sussex (Repower Balcombe); Hassocks, West Sussex (HKD Energy); Barnham, West Sussex (BHESCO


sandbox. Both examples can help balance supply and demand at a local level. What’s more, the carbon emission intensity of the electricity grid can be assigned to traded units of zero carbon energy on P2P networks, thereby creating measured, reported, verified and tradeable carbon emission reductions. But that’s a story for another day... Watch this space!

the switch to communityowned renewable electricity at sites that prove technically and commercially viable could provide clean, sustainable energy at a competitive price that also yields a suitable financial return for the involved community groups. To our knowledge the project is a world first and, if implemented, will serve as a template for a national and international roll out. We hope to announce a further update later this year.



The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast

©Martin Prescott/


Becoming Active Energy System Participants

businesses could transform our relationship with energy, turning us from passive to engaged consumers. In a paper for Smart Energy GB, I outlined three different business models:

Dr Jeff Hardy


ow many living systems can you think of where one participant sits at the end of the system demanding services without giving anything back? That’s exactly what you and I do as consumers within our energy system. Our energy system, the thing that keeps us warm, fed, entertained, mobile and productive, provides these services whenever we want them, without asking anything in return, other than our hard-earned cash.

Smarter, cleaner, cheaper In the future, I don’t think we’ll get away with being such passive consumers. Why? Because the energy system is transforming: it’s becoming cleaner and smarter. In the last three months of 2016, half our electricity came from

an energy system is most efficient when those who use energy do so when it is available low-carbon sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear power. Electric vehicles are becoming a norm rather than a curiosity. Smart devices are permeating all aspects of our lives - the other day I saw an advert for an Internet connected hairbrush! The National Infrastructure Commission thinks a smart power system could save consumers up to £8 billion a year by 2030. Why such a big number? The main reason is that

an energy system is most efficient when those who use energy do so when it is available, like when the sun is shining or the wind blowing. A smart energy system helps us do this by telling us, often via price, when it’s a good time to use energy. And this is the crux: the cheapest future clean energy system we can build is one in which we, as consumers, are doing our bit to make it as smart and efficient as possible. This means being flexible in how and when we use energy. This doesn’t mean living in fear every time we turn on the kettle. In fact, it could be rather fun, maybe even exciting to be part of this.

New models for business In my research at the Grantham Institute Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College, I examine how new

 eer-to-peer energy P – where you as the consumer buy, sell and exchange energy with other consumers – you are directly in control.  nergy Service Company E – where you enter a

long-term relationship with a company who guarantees you lower bills by improving the efficiency and smartness of your house. Third party control – where a company acts on your behalf in the energy, telecoms and entertainment markets, switching energy supplier to save you money and flexing your demand automatically in response to energy system needs.

Jeff contributed the Energy chapter in Jim Al-Khalili’s book “What’s Next?” reviewed by Simone Witney in this supplement. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, where he researches what the future low-carbon energy system might look like, how people will engage with it and what businesses will be operating in it. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Public Power Solutions, a company wholly owned by Swindon Borough Council specialising is renewable power and waste solutions. Previously he was Head of Sustainable Energy Futures at the GB energy regulator, Ofgem and Head of Science for Work Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He’s also worked at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Energy Research Centre, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Green Chemistry Group at the University of York and at Sellafield as research chemist in a nuclear laboratory.

The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast




Sussex engineer and feminist shines a light on the future Dame Caroline Haslett is honoured by UK Power Networks that every woman should know how to rewire a plug to becoming a pioneering member of the nationalised British Electricity Authority. Her energy was extraordinary according to her friend, Margaret Partridge, another president of the Women’s Engineering Society: ‘She was a member of council of the British Institute of Management 1946–54, of the Industrial Welfare Society, of the National Industrial Alliance,

rights goes on and on. She was also the first woman to be made a Companion of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Artistic up-lighting of an electricity pylon is the somewhat unusual way to commemorate her extraordinary life and celebrate the 100year anniversary of the women’s vote in a touching tribute organised by local enthusiasts from Three Bridges Forum, one of whom

© IET Archives


legant and brilliant, a Sussex engineer who loved electricity, Caroline Haslett was the only woman delegate at the World Power Conference in Berlin in 1930. Born in Worth in Sussex in 1895, she worked for a local boiler company before co-founding the Women’s Engineering Society. In the early 1920’s, when there was no national grid, little electricity or electric heat let alone an electric appliance, she foresaw the future of electricity to liberate women. “Way is being made by electricity for a higher order of women – women set free from drudgery, who have time for reflection; for selfrespect. We are coming to an age when the spiritual and higher state of life will have freer development, and this is only possible when women are liberated from soul-destroying drudgery... I want [every woman] to have leisure to acquaint herself more profoundly with the topics of the day.” To celebrate her legacy, UK Power Networks have installed a blue plaque at the Haslett Avenue depot in Crawley and lit a pylon. Michael Horwood, community affairs officer at UK Power Networks, said: “Dame Caroline made a major contribution to the industry and to the introduction of the kind of household labour-saving devices we all take for granted now. The period between the two world wars saw huge technical developments in our industry and she played a key part in it all.” Her interest ranged from making electrical sockets safe for children and insisting

“I’m delighted to see UK Power Networks celebrate the life of the pioneering Sussex suffragette and brilliant electrical engineer, Dame Caroline Haslett, who saw electricity as a means to help women escape household drudgery and gain freedom and equality. More than ever, we need visionary engineers like her.” – Amber Rudd, MP

of the Administrative Staff College, and of King’s College of Household and Social Science; a governor of the London School of Economics... the list of Institutes, Colleges or Government roles where she could accelerate women’s

said: “There seems to have been so little recognition of Dame Caroline Haslett”. Not any longer. UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes

and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England. The company invests more than £500 million in its electricity networks every year and works with community partners like Community Energy South and Energise Sussex Coast to help vulnerable customers and reduce fuel poverty. “We are undertaking trials to ensure that our electricity networks can support the transition to

a low carbon future,” says Liam O’Sullivan, UK Power Network’s Head of Capital Programme Delivery and Programme Management, “and we are delighted to help Hastings and Ore Valley explore a community led transition to a cleaner, greener and smarter future, where we ensure that vulnerable customers can also benefit from the kind of network innovations we are championing.”




The Future of Energy supplement in partnership with Energise Sussex Coast

Nil Desperandum: Simone Witney reviews What’s Next? What Science Can Tell Us About Our Future Edited by Jim Al-Khalili


f you’ve ever wondered how life will look in the immediate future, this book is for you. It’s a comprehensive overview of the current state of technological innovation. This in itself is exciting and you may expect to find many quixotic and futuristic details. However, the rapid expansion of technology with its ambiguous promises of a brighter future brings with it serious concerns about the implications of change - and this is addressed in relation to each of eighteen areas of knowledge. The authors, all eminent in their area of expertise, have each contributed on subjects including artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, energy, DNA, medicine and quantum computing. Each chapter is short, but describes the status quo of research, the likely outcomes for the foreseeable future and the arguments for and against each innovation. What raises it above other attempts to embrace complexity, is the quality of the writing which is a joy to experience, makes concepts and arguments accessible even to

those without a scientific background. It is, of course, star-studded with curiosities: blue ties made from spider silk produced from yeast; genetic data stored in blotting paper; bicycle tyres which reform immediately if punctured; clothing which adapts to body temperature and weather. All of Shakespeare’s sonnets have been stored on a DNA nucleus just about seven times smaller than a single hair and the University of Sussex is collaborating with Google, Aarhus University, RIKEN in Japan, and Siegel University to produce a quantum computer. It’s all an astounding tribute to human invention and initiative. This book is crystalline in its clarity, its integrity, the brilliance of its intellectual scope and its multifaceted content. It will stop you being a Luddite, inspire writers and artists and enthuse even experts with its message of interconnectivity and its delineation of the evolving conceptual mapping of our internal worlds.


Getting a rooftop solar and battery quotation by Energise Sussex Coast


our home and your energy use are unique to you. Depending on your roof condition and position, a solar and battery system could provide you with up to 70% of your electricity, but you should always be wise and take care when signing contracts. We recommend that you start with the Energy Saving Trust website (see www. to see if your roof is suitable, and if you want a quotation we suggest you contact at least 3 or 4 companies. It’s important to know what you’re asking for, so we recommend you look at our Minimum Standards specification, adapted from that used by Southend Council (email As an independent community energy company we can’t make any direct recommendations for suppliers – you


Join the ENERGISE Living Lab Take part in a research project to reduce the energy you consume at home. You will be joining hundreds of people across Europe as part of an international project. What are the cultural and social reasons behind our energy consumption decisions? Over the 8 week project you will receive a fortnightly fruit and veg box. energise-project

Green homes wanted will need to do your own research and satisfy yourself that your chosen system will give you the benefits you want, and that the supplier has good references. However, we are happy to mention some companies we have collaborated with over the last couple of years:

1 2

 Nissan Energy Solar - Up to £500 off your installation.

Osborne/Moixa - Book a solar and battery survey 01424 436793 or email


North Star Solar - Launching its

rooftop solar and battery offer in July in a partnership with Travis Perkins. Contact


Joju Solar - Multi award winning

solar company based in Oxford. 0207 697 1000 /

We are looking for local homes to take part in an Eco Open Homes event. Are you happy to show and tell ways you have improved your home - from DIY measures to green roofs, recycling water and renewable energy? Please email to participate in either project.

Hastings Independent Press CIC publishes a free fortnightly newspaper, produced by 11 independent volunteer editors to represent the community.

Contributors Editorial team: Richard Watson, Simone Witney, Zelly Restorick and Tessa Say Design: Sarah Macbeth Cover photo: Lucinda Wells Thanks to Mary Long, Chris Crookall-Fallon, Ollie Pendered, Frank Oldfield, Jeremy Martin and Peter Sermol This supplement is supported by the Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN) project and is funded by the Interreg North West Europe programme.

The Future of Energy - HIP Supplement #3  

This supplement is a call to action for our 1066 Local Energy Campaign that aims to inspire. A new energy future is emerging where we can al...

The Future of Energy - HIP Supplement #3  

This supplement is a call to action for our 1066 Local Energy Campaign that aims to inspire. A new energy future is emerging where we can al...