Five politics students from Penryn campus, Exeter University, visited WREN with their tutor, Dr Lei Xie.

The students were interested in the way that WREN has connected with the Wadebridge community and in researching issues around facilitating behavioural change.

David Atfield, WREN’s director for academic and student liaison, arranged the visit. “We are always keen to work with and support partner academic institutions and this was just such an opportunity. They learned about us and we look forward to reading their reports and recommendations – and learning from them,” David said.

The students had a presentation about WREN from Dominic Comonte, operations manager, and asked some searching questions, such as: “If you are a co-operative, why is this called the Energy Shop, with its connotations of commercialism?” (The answer: we wanted right from the start to have a presence on the high street that made renewable energy entirely normal, something that everybody did, not just those already committed to green energy.) 

Exeter students at the Energy Shop with David Atfield, Amanda Pennington, Jerry Clark and Dominic Comonte. Photo by Dr Lei Xie


David then led the students on a tour of Wadebridge, pointing out the many local shops accepting the WREN currency, and businesses such as the laundrette and Wadebridge Wines benefiting from using renewable energy. The students were also keen to interview people in the town as part of their research into community attitudes towards WREN and renewable energy.

Afterwards Dr Xie wrote: “The students said they've learned a lot and are motivated to write up their reports on individuals' behavioural change. I will keep you updated on our research progress.”

7th December 2014