Zero Carbon Britain: Live online – Local energy solutions

Zero Carbon Britain: Live online – Local energy solutions


Home » Zero Carbon Britain: Live online – Local energy solutions

Explore how to set up a community or local energy project.

To reach a Zero Carbon Britain we need to power up renewables and radically transform how we use energy. Community or locally developed projects can offer a better share of the income and the jobs, plus a genuine sense of pride in being part of the transition we know we must urgently make.

If you’d like to get a community energy project up and running or progress an existing project this online course will move your plans into positive and effective action. Through expert presentations and case studies from community projects, we’ll cover why renewable and local energy models are important, which options to go for, what you need to consider and how to get the community on board. 

Key information

  • Duration: various sessions over one day
  • Upcoming dates: Friday 21 May 2021
  • Start and finish times: 09:30am to 17:00pm (with timetabled breaks)
  • Fees: waged £65; low waged/concession £45
  • Includes: tuition, question and answer sessions, online course materials
  • Terms and conditions

What you will learn

Drawing on almost 50 years of renewable energy work and our 14 years of Zero Carbon Britain modelling and research, we’ll explore why and how we can transition to renewable energy and hear from experts in the field doing just that. Whether you’re interested in starting a new project, being part of an existing scheme or work for a local authority, learn how you can set up or progress your local energy project.

To learn more about the case studies, sessions and format of the day click here.

To learn more about the speakers click here.

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Speaker case studies and sessions

Sonya Bedford: Stephens Scown LLP and Zero Carbon Wedmore

Sonya’s session will unravel the legal requirements around renewable energy projects.  She’ll cover how to look at title to land for sites, contracts that are needed for different types of projects and regulatory issues which might need to be dealt with, including provision of precedent documents for use in future projects.

Liz Warren: Frome Renewable Energy Co-op and District Heating Divas

No single organisation can tackle climate change alone. Even the smallest community energy project will involve local stakeholders, whether it’s the town or parish council, other local authorities, landowners, schools or your friends and neighbours. Presenting case studies from Frome Renewable Energy Co-op and District Heating Divas, Liz’s session will help you think about who to involve, why they matter to your project and how you might reach and engage them.

Tim Brewer: Bro Dyfi Community Renewables Ltd 

Tim will present the case study of Bro Dyfi Community Renewables, situated in the Dyfi Valley alongside CAT. He’ll cover how the group started back in 1999, outlining the company structure and ethos and how they identified suitable projects and technologies. He’ll also offer details on raising project finance/capital, project planning and ‘financial closure’ and project completion/commissioning.

Amanda Smith: Former Head Teacher and CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain Training Manager

A clear and effective action plan is an essential component to effectively manage and deliver any project. Using the Four Directions approach outlined in the Zero Carbon Britain report, this session will explore how to identify the next steps in your energy project.

More will be announced soon…

Breaks, Q&As and networking

Across the day there will be timetabled discussion and reflection sessions, Q&As, networking and offline breaks to keep the online format refreshing and engaging.

Liz Bridge, an attendee on our Zero Carbon Britain: Live online course in November 2020, said of the online format:

Having a background in learning and development I am always interested to learn from the approach of other organisations.

It was a fantastic combination of expert sessions, fabulously managed Q&A, and breakout group chats punctuated by ‘temperature check’ polls. Quickly broke the ice and the clever re-engineering of the breakout groups meant we probably connected with far more people than if we had been in a face to face session.

Meet your tutors

Paul Allen

Paul is Knowledge and Outreach Coordinator for Zero Carbon Britain. He has been a member of the Wales Science Advisory Council (2010), board member of the International Forum for Sustainable Energy (2008) and a Climate Change Commissioner for Wales (2007). He holds an Honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and has been at CAT since 1988.

Amanda Smith

Amanda is the Training Manager in our Zero Carbon Britain team. She has over 20 years experience in teaching, school leadership, adult training and organisational improvement. Amanda is a highly qualified, competent and experienced educator, with Qualified Teacher status, National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers and a Specialist Leader of Education. 

Prior to joining the Centre for Alternative Technology Amanda was a Head Teacher, she also worked in an advisory capacity for the Local Education Authority from 2003, working with schools and other organisations in challenging circumstances to enable them to develop effective action plans and bring organisational change and improvement as a result.

Sonya Bedford

Sonya graduated from CAT’s renewable energy MSc in 2018 and is currently Head of Energy at Stephens Scown LLP. Sonya leads a team of solicitors specialising in energy policy and law. She advises industry on legal requirements for large scale renewable energy developments, including grid, infrastructure, policy, licensing and supply issues.  She was awarded an MBE for services to community energy, along with a number of other environmental awards.

In 2020 Sonya was appointed to the CAT Board of trustees. She also sits on the board of five community energy groups and is one of the founders of the innovative and ambitious Zero Carbon Wedmore group.

Liz Warren

Liz is a Director of SE2, which helps organisations, communities and individuals build their capacity to tackle climate change. She is also a Director of Frome Renewable Energy Co-op and a Trustee of sustainability education charity SEEd. Liz has worked with local authorities across the UK helping them develop carbon reduction plans, engage schools on climate change and develop low carbon heat networks, always through the lens of stakeholder engagement and participation.

She has coordinated everything from primary school assemblies on water efficiency to international conferences on the future of the energy system. She is one of the founders of the District Heating Divas, a network supporting women working within the heat network sector, and an Associate Member of the ADE.

Tim Brewer

Tim has worked in the renewable energy sector for 25 years, primarily in wind, solar and hydro technologies. Over the years he has contributed to both the ‘hands on’ operation and maintenance and project management of renewable energy installations.

He has been involved with Bro Dyfi Community Renewables Ltd since 1999 and has helped this community owned and funded renewable energy company install and operate two wind turbines in the Dyfi Valley, mid Wales.

He also teaches on the short course program at CAT, primarily in wind and solar technologies.

More tutors announced soon…