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Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group

How Green is my Valley?

30th September 2011

A hydroelectic scheme in the Brecon Beacons

A hydroelectric scheme in the Brecon Beacons

How Green is my Valley?

          Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group were recently delighted to resume their monthly meetings with a talk given by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project.

          This Community Interest Company based in the Brecon Beacons National Park develops, installs and finances high head micro-hydro electric systems for long term community benefit. All profit from these projects is used to reduce carbon emissions and improve biodiversity.

          Reversing the degradation of upland peat bogs clearly illustrated the link between theses two goals. Climate change has turned lush green bogs into rocky scrub. By implementing techniques of bog regeneration, more water is retained in the uplands, making more available for the micro-hydro schemes.

          TGV started out as a handful of committed individuals developing their own micro-hydro systems in the Beacons and became a CIC in 2010 following its success in the Big Green Challenge of 2009. To date sixteen hydro systems have been installed.

          These schemes have the virtue of being almost invisible in the National Park, with pipelines often following drainage ditches and turbines being housed in simple wooden sheds. The farmer's income from these schemes has enabled them to farm in a more sustainable manner and stay on their farms longer.

          Though TGV own some of the schemes, others have just been assisted with their own installation, finance or governance. Pay back from these can be achieved in as little as four years. Their feasibility studies cost only 400.

          Grenville, a keen environmentalist and one of the originators of the Project, now serves as a director of the Company. He also still works part-time for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. His aim is to show that the region can become not only self sufficient in, but also a net exporter of energy.

          The scope of the scheme is impressive. Biodiesel provision, woodland management projects and electric car development all have their place. In all respects TGV stimulates the local economy with local sourcing as a prominent feature of the scheme.

          In so many respects it enhances the Brecon Beacons both economically and environmentally.


Past Articles
23rd September 2011PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre
5th August 2011The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills
24th June 2011The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre
27th May 2011Electric Cars The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
13th May 2011Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
22nd April 2011Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock
1st April 2011A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock
25th February 2011Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency
14th January 2011The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy
12th November 2010How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming
15th October 2010Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline
10th August 2010The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels
18th June 2010Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth
16th April 2010Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People
12th March 2010Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife
12th February 2010Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot
15th January 2010Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy
4th December 2009Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire
13th November 2009Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example
16th October 2009Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines
2nd October 2009A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind
11th September 2009Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire
10th July 2009A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential
12th June 2009St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability
24th April 2009Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire
13th March 2009Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun
13th February 2009Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?
14th November 2008Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG
17th October 2008PSEEG to become a Registered Charity

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