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Bristol’s Big Green Week

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Bristol’s Big Green Week is coming to an end this Sunday, and the solar community is running a 3-day weekend in the Solar Pavilion on College Green in front of City Hall to launch the Solar City initiative.

Mayor George Ferguson will launch this and Bristol Energy Network’s Community Strategy for Energy (see Bristol Post article and Today’s programme). Their aim is to hit a gigawatt of solar for Bristol by 2020 plus lots of green jobs and apprenticeships PLUS the UK’s cheapest electricity.

This Sunday there’s an Electric Car Show and an Electric Bike Race.

Last Friday, Bristol won the European Green Capital Competition and will be voted European Green Capital 2015. Here is the jury presentation video, and their thanks to the people of Bristol. It’s a great recognition of Bristol’s creative energy, grass-roots collaboration, and vision. They’ve entered three times and been shortlisted every time, moving from 7th to 2nd, and finally this time round, they won!

Big Green Week

With the balance of last year’s community share issue to install solar PV on more roofs in Lockleaze, and the offer of £100,000 low interest loan from Big City Capital via PURE, to boost their £145K.  They’re planning a 2nd share offer for £500,000, and applying for a £100,000 Regional Growth Fund grant.  By 2015 their plan is to step up a gear, and really scale.

A gigawatt of solar for Bristol is a Big Goal. It will cost about £1 billion to install over 5-8 years, and generate £100m/year worth of electricity – equal to most of Bristol’s domestic electricity. It will take ~1,500 wo/man years to just to install, creating green jobs and training, and local manufacturing. Of course solar has its limits like night, and winter but it spearheads a revolution in cheap energy, and is complemented by electric cars and bikes, smart grids, storage systems and more…

Germany has over 30 times more solar energy than they’re aiming for. If £1Bn worth of solar generates £100m/yr worth of electricity, the economics appears to stack up. The challenge as with most projects, has been to find ‘volume’ finance to pay for solar and upgrade the housing stock. They’re working on this by forming partnerships which will hopefully allow them to offer a unique scheme for energy and solar retrofits ‘warmer homes and free solar’.

They were nominated for an European Sustainable Energy Award but didn’t win this year, although shortlisted from 244 nominees based on community engagement.

Their first Bristol Power Co-op AGM will be November 14th at 7pm at Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY, book your place on Eventbrite.

From David and the Bristol Power Co-op Team

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