Hanover neighbours hear how to harness solar power – and get paid for it

Posted On 28 Jan 2011 at 12:05 pm

Forty to fifty people from Hanover shared their experiences of trying to harness solar power and heard from a local energy co-operative.

The event, organised by Hanover Action for Sustainable Living, included discussion of the feed-in tariff scheme.

This helps people with wind turbines and solar panels to recoup some of the money they have spent.

It works by allowing them to feed in to the national grid any electricity that they generate but do not use – and they are paid for it.

The meeting, at the Hanover Centre, also heard from Brighton Energy Co-operative.

It aims to be Britain’s first solar co-operative and is encouraging people to sign up as it looks for 1,000 local investors.

It is currently looking at potential sites in the area for its first array of solar panels.

The size is likely to be at least 1,000 square metres, making it the biggest of its type in Sussex.

Brighton Energy Co-operative is run by chartered accountant Danni Craker, former software company director Damian Tow and environmental campaigner Will Cottrell.

The co-operative is one of a number of business organisations locally trying to raise or earn money by operating in environmentally friendly ways.

Another is Blue Carbon, in Woodingdean, which installs the Ultra eco™, a revolutionary energy-saving device using electrical current optimisation™ technology.

The device reduces electricity use and cuts bills and Blu Carbon is the only company selling the technology in Britain.

The organisations are typical of the type of business that Brighton and Hove City Council promised to encourage when it adopted a report in late 2009.

The report was called Environmental industries inquiry – capturing the potential and economic benefits for Brighton and Hove.

It was produced by an ad hoc panel of the Culture, Tourism and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Bill Randall, the Green councillor for Hanover and Elm Grove.

The report urged the council to emulate the success of Brighton and Hove in nurturing the creative sector and the digital economy.

It won support from the other political parties – the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

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