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Our energy, our future

Related Research


A WREN member's  account of choosing and installing a wind turbine.

AUTHOR: Grant McAlpine

MSc Renewable Energy: CAT, June 2012

Grant details the process for siting, choosing, installing and monitoring a GAIA 133 (11kW) wind turbine. He identifies the selection criteria and outlines the rationale for choosing the GIAI.

Incorporating early post-installation performance data, Grant offers a very useful, first hand account of the principal issues and challenges that were experienced'.

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The WREN model: A template for community energy schemes in the future?

Author: Bertie Redhead
MSc Energy Policy and Sustainability: University of Exeter
September 2011

Bertie explores three principal issues: 1. WREN’s strengths and weaknesses; opportunities and threats. 2. Motivations of WREN’s principal stakeholders. 3. Required trade offs for securing a low carbon reality.

Bertie comes up with three key findings: Vision and competence; limited engagement and resources / Commercial return (private sector); local engagement (public) / Collaboration – based on trust and transparency – is key

Bertie concludes by noting “…while it is good that money is being made it is equally important how it is shared.”

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Photovoltaics in the home: Exploring the role of domestic PV in the future of UK Energy

Author: Dan Goodchild
MSc Sustainable Development: University of Exeter
September 2011

Dan asks three important questions: 1. Why do people install PV? 2. Can and do PV/smart meters raise energy awareness? 3. Does having PV change behaviour?

Dan comes up with three key findings: Raising energy awareness influences energy usage / The more people know the less they waste / Despite the Feed In Tariff high initial investment is a barrier

Dan concludes by recommending “…that policy should encourage adoption across wider social groups…”

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Smart Meters

In this 2010 paper Dr Tom Hargreaves (University of East Anglia) summarises the experiences of 15 UK householders trialling different types of smart meters.He explores, for example, the importance of their location, ease of set-up, use and interpretation as influencing household energy consumption.

He concludes by commenting that installing smart meters can have both positive and negative outcomes and that understanding the household is key to assessing their impact on energy consumption in the home.'   

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Space heating demand of Cornwall – maps and methodology

Author: James Miller
MEng Renewable Energy: University of Exeter & Camborne School of Mines
February 2010

Cornwall Council commissioned James to compile a space heating energy demand map of the whole county in order to gain a greater understanding of energy use and locate areas suitable for district heating systems.

Space heating is the energy used within buildings to raise the internal temperature to a level that is comfortable for its occupants.
This report calculates the average annual space heating requirements of buildings and concludes by identifying alternative methodologies for mapping future energy use in identified growth areas.

Author’s note: For domestic power use, I have used 'MW/km2/a' (this is annual energy use, not power); this should instead read 'MW/km2' (which is power). But, ignoring the rogue 'a', all the calculations were checked and are correct.
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A Community Approach to Tidal Power in Cornwall and South Devon

Author: Sophie Stevens

Sophie has just graduated from Exeter University with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Renewable Energy. Her dissertation 'A Community Approach to Tidal Power in Cornwall and South Devon' explores the potential for tidal energy exploitation and examines the possibilities for a community involvement approach in  areas around Cornwall and South Devon. The WREN model and research is explored and assessed and Sophie concludes by highlighting the need for future investment to ensure that tidal energy income remains within the community.

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Latest News

Wadebridge Energy Company partners with South West Water

For the first time in nearly ninety years, Wadebridge will have its own electricity generating company. Wadebridge Energy Company will install solar panels on roofs and is working with South West Water on an installation to power one of its treatment works.



£10,000 grants for local causes

£10,000 from the Middle Treworder solar farm has been presented to eight community groups in the Wadebridge area.


Vote for locally owned energy

The Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) has applied for two grants from Energyfund Cornwall to make a significant step forward for locally-owned community energy. However, to have a chance of winning them it needs to demonstrate support through on-line voting by its supporters for both projects. 




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