Our first ECCO conference was held at Fferm Moelyci near Bangor on 12thSeptember 2019 with over 40 members of energy groups, housing associations, local authorities and others in attendance. The conference was delivered in partnership with Community Energy Wales and Cyd Ynni.
The aim was to demonstrate the range of carbon saving work undertaken by organisations in Wales and use this shared experience to inspire the next wave of projects.
We explored de-carbonising transport, with an introduction to TrydaNi, a cooperative Electric Vehicle charging network for Wales with Rob Proctor. This was followed by an inspiring summary from Tonnie Tekelenburg of the work of our ECCO partner from the Netherlands Lochem Energie and their huge success in developing Electric Vehicle car sharing clubs.
Next we learned about the experiences of three very different approachs to home energy efficiency. Mel Davies from Ynni Ogwen outlined their work with Energy Efficiency hubs in Bethesda. Jeremy Thorp form SharEnergy presented work in Newtown to finance efficiency improvements in rented housing. Finally Martyn Davies introduced work of the Denbighshire Housing Association to develop new carbon zero homes for the future.
Our final set of speakers covered work in installing more renewables. Rose Gillam from Awel Amen Tawe introduced how solar PV could still be viable without subsidy. Gareth Harrison demonstrated how the Cyd Ynni partnership of community energy groups work together to achieve greater impact. Fotis Lolas from Dwr Cymru promoted how this large energy user aims to dramatically reduce their carbon emissions and the role that community energy could play in supplying energy to Dwr Cymru’s operational sites.
Our presentations concluded with the work of the Institute of Welsh Affairs where Auriol Miller outlined the Re-energising Wales project that has examined and made recommendations for a range of improvements needed to de-carbonise Wales.
The afternoon workshops encouraged all the delegates to share their experiences across four topic groups – renewables, energy efficiency, transport and financing. We will summarise the discussion and prepare the key points and outputs to share in the near future.
A huge thanks go out to everyone who put so much time into making the event a success, in particular staff at Community Energy Wales, our hosts at Fferm Moelyci and our speakers who took the time to share their successes. Our climate is changing rapidly and Auriol Miller from the IWA summed up this urgency well:
Bold leadership is required – the time for Action is now.
Hopefully our conference will go some way to energising communities, local authorities and other organisations to take the lead and act now to address our biggest challenge.