Hinkley Point C approval – the future lumbered by the past

Met a Co-op member on the bus back from a women’s refuge AGM. Was I going to the Alan Simpson presentation on energy to the Nottingham Central Co-Op branch? Now, I was.

On the day when Theresa May approved Hinkley Point C.
Contrast with Alan Simpson’s examples from Germany (and The Meadows) of hope.
Insulation. Local generation. Energy storage. Control of local networks.
Germany’s national embrace of tackling climate change and stopping nuclear, combined with devolution of power.
Poignant that Alan’s presentation was in the Nottingham Mechanics.  Founded in an era when more was done locally and a bigger belief in engineering.
(I hope to be able to add / link to Alan’s slides.)

Green Progress in The Meadows

Further to a post celebrating progress by Nottingham city, a short summary of the progress in The Meadows, with an update on Project Sensible and a link to the Jeremy Corbyn video that draws heavily from experience in The Meadows.

Such green achievements in The Meadows include –
– bus priority measures – the bus lane along Meadows Way East;
– tram services at 3 stops in The Meadows plus ‘ng2’ and Midland station;
– decades of taking heat from waste before landfill at Eastcroft (Meadows);
– new green housing off Green Street, and off Wilford Crescent West; and new green council housing in the west of The New Meadows; and and an exemplar green house;.
– helping solar panels to be installed on properties, by both NCH and MOzES – the Meadows own energy services company;
– a hundred and more enjoying lower price energy using a council owned business – Robin Hood Energy – whose income is ploughed back into lower prices, and have amongst the cheapest pre-payment schemes;
– planning policies to reduce the need to travel, and improvements to walking and cycling routes; to require greener buildings, including in the newest council housing;
– warmer homes through the decent homes programmes for council housing;
– energy efficient street lighting; with new lighting being provided at the end of this month for walkers and cyclists using Victoria Embankment;
– simple recycling (mainly doorstep) available to every household;
– schools involved in growing their own food (Greenfields and (I think) Victoria (ex-Riverside);
– testing the use of batteries to store energy rather than immediately send it into the grid (Project SENSIBLE).

On Project SENSIBLE, Julian Marsh reports
“The tenders for the domestic batteries and monitoring systems is currently being sought with prices expected back at the end of the month. This will enable us to firm up on numbers. It is hoped that we can start the meetings with the final volunteers in November and December and then begin the installations at the beginning of the New Year.
“The School system is currently having its tender documents put together and this will be tendered mid-October. Installation will either be Christmas or Easter in the School breaks.
“The Mundella Building is currently having its performance specification finalised and prices for that will be put forward by the Design and Build Contractor.
“Some of you will have been at the Meadows Library … to hear Jeremy Corbyn launch what we hope will be the Labour Party policy on energy – based largely on a community model. Mozes has helped by putting forward ideas for this and so we got the honour of being the location for the press release and for the attached little film which focusses specifically on what we are doing in the Meadows.”

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The video can be seen at – https://youtu.be/y5t8m1RXG9A

Corbyn in The Meadows

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign has launched their energy and climate change national policy at The Meadows Library.

The Meadows was chosen because of Nottingham’s green and energy initiativesa lot being made of Robin Hood Energy which celebrates its first birthday today – and because of the green initiatives within The Meadows – new eco / energy efficient homes, MOzES (a local energy services company) and Project SENSIBLE (an EU project for which the local component is exploring the use of batteries to store electricity before transmitting it back out to the national power network).
No doubt the policy and the speech (which was read) will become available in full elsewhere.
The event itself was a press conference and 6 journalists attended.  Their questions prompted unscripted chat and a different kind of interest.
* BBC East Midlands quoted the GMB as saying this new policy won’t keep the lights on.  This view is a bit disappointing, given insulation has the potential to reduce the need for something like Hinckley Point C which is some years away and going to cost a lot of money and will supply energy at a high price.  Insulation in Nottingham has made people feel prouder of their homes, reduced fuel bills and given people work.
* The Press Association asked why this issue had been driven down the agenda.  Jeremy said this always happens, until there is a crisis, and then panic measures are brought forward.  Alan Simpson said with climate change, crises were going to become the new norm.
* The Guardian (check) asked given the cost of the green initiatives, why an emphasis on being world leaders on climate change, especially given the new resolve of the USA and China. Here, some acknowledgement that Britain had under Labour provided a world leadership role, but there is a desire to be ambitious about this.
* Notts TV wondered if deprived families hadn’t got other priorities than sustainability.  Rather like Lilian Greenwood in Clifton, Jeremy had found that people in his constituency were very interested once their homes had been improved and their fuel bills were down.
* Bloomberg asked whether Robin Hood Energy was seen as the blueprint.  Jeremy said he was impressed, but I noticed the potential to misunderstand RHE as green, when the limit to the tariffs it can currently offer means it doesn’t yet offer a green package.
* The Nottingham Post asked whether Jeremy was going to catch the tram to attend his rally at The Forest.  He wasn’t, but he had used the Nottingham tram before, and he also wanted to celebrate the buses in Nottingham.  (Kinda disappointing from the N Post – we all have events to get to in circumstances that mean we can’t use the greenest option – just a trite point.)
* Scisco Media asked about population growth.
A bit doubtful about these policy statements are something that should distinguish leadership candidates that much since policy is something that the party should determine.
Jeremy then went on to address a rally at The Forest

Eco week at Welbeck Primary School

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A week of events when the school looked at how the school creates, uses and even wastes energy.
The pledges at the end – to switch lights off when not needed, to turn off taps and to switch off computers not being used – and to tell everyone at home.
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Three year ones helped me read out the school pledges at the end.
And another year one took 50 or more photos for me.
Assembly were able to name three measures the council had taken to help the environment in The Meadows – the tram, new & warmer homes (insulation) and solar panels.

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A map of Project Sensible’s energy initiative in The Meadows.
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Alan Simpson contrasted the despair of green initiatives in Britain with the progress in Germany.
As a last minute sub, I explained how initiatives since the seventies for public transport, social equality and revenue protection in Nottingham had led to environmental progress in Nottingham.
During questions, I explained that the priority is to ensure Robin Hood Energy gets off to a sound start, and that options for a green energy rate are being explored.
Notes on the Em-Power-Nottingham event are available.
Alan Simpson, former Nottingham MP and now climate change advisor to the Welsh Assembly talked about community energy projects in Germany, Professor Mark Gillott and Dr Lucelia Rodrigues from the University of Nottingham Department of the Built Environment presented the MOZES community energy project in the Meadows, along with Dr Anton Ianakiev who will discuss the Remourban city demonstrator project in Nottingham.

The slideshow of Project Sensible is available.