We started by thinking about our personal visions for the future of the energy cooperative, then had some detailed presentations about the range of possible technical options we have, and then discussed which to take forward, who was most interested in each, and what to prioritise first.
What we'd like to be doing - some of our personal visions:
- Demonstrating that Coops can be effective (partnerships with other groups to operate on a bigger scale)
- Identifying the financial basis of projects – try to make something work financially and then go out and sell it.
- Targeted, specific problems or projects
- Develop knowledge of grant funding
- Sharing ideas for sources of funding
- Delivery - Actually doing things!
- Ready for commercial offers?
- Building on the opportunities from research partnerships (bovis homes, hanham hall?)
- Doing work on reducing energy consumption
- Energy Cooperative doing delivery and finance – project development in partnership with other/local groups
- A source of finance (and motivation) for organisations that otherwise would not have the time/money
We've decided on several projects to take forward now (others may be developed later), and people have volunteered to be involved in project development. These will form working groups. If you'd like to get involved in any of the working groups, get in touch with us: email@example.com
- Continuing with Solar PV: this was considered a priority, as we already know how to do this, and if it's still viable we should build on that as far as we can.
- Renewable Heat (including biomass boilers, Ground Source Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal): The viability of this technology is very site dependent, and we need to do further research and better define our role.
This group is pretty small at the moment (although highly skilled) - so if you're interested in taking forward some renewable heat projects, get in touch!
- Wind Power: To be researched, and options for delivery explored. This probably requires partnership outside of Bristol, and may involve long lead-ins and planning applications.
- Energy Efficiency: Very tricky to find a business model for this that works. But wouldn't it be amazing if we did!!
- Anaerobic Digestion: Could be good, would probably require partnership with nearby farmers.
In addition to the project development working groups above, it would be good if someone or a small working group took responsibility for understand and meeting holistic needs of (and maybe therefore liasing with):
a) Domestic home-owners/renters
b) Community Buildings
c) Community Energy Groups
d) Commercial Organisations
Also, perhaps someone or a small working group could establish some research objectives/priorities for the Coop to help take advantage of any Masters students/University collaboration/innovative tech projects/funding opportunities that come our way!
If you weren't able to make it on the day, and would like to get involved in one of the groups listed above, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will introduce you to the relevant working group. We also still have a number of volunteer roles available, which are detailed here.