Powering Together: what’s it all about?

Community Energy Fortnight and The Climate Coalition’s ‘Speak Up Week of Action’ coincide this summer in celebration of people delivering renewable energy projects across the country. In this blog we find out more about these initiatives and the Trust’s approach to renewable energy and climate change.

Hafod y Llan hydro dam ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Powering Together, this year’s theme for Community Energy Fortnight (24 June – 9 July), is about showcasing a range of renewable energy initiatives, from across the sector, that highlight how people are working together to ensure energy is efficiently used, generated renewably and that benefits produced are shared locally.

As part of the celebrations this year, The Climate Coalition’s Speak Up Week of Action (1 – 9 July) is about speaking up against climate change and raising awareness about the challenges it presents to the things we care about.  Many local community groups are hosting their MPs to showcase initiatives and inspire support.

A whole range of interesting events have been taking place across the country during the fortnight to support these initiatives, including some at our own places.

The largest electricity-generating water wheel in Europe, at Aberdulais Falls, Wales. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

This week we’ve shown visitors how we’re meeting our ambitious energy targets across our places, from returning hydro-electricity generation to Cragside, and using the power of the Lakes at Little Langdale valley, to using woodchip heating to power Dudmaston, and supporting two community hydros in the Ogwen valley (Ynni Ogwen) and the Padarn Peris valley (Ynni Padarn Peris).

To catch events during the second half of the fortnight, why not take a look at the dedicated map to find an event near you – simply sign up, go along and enjoy!

The Biomass boiler at Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire. All of the Mill’s energy is generated from renewable sources on site. ©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

So what is The Climate Coalition all about?

The Climate Coalition is a group of 130 organisations in the UK that work together to protect the “people, places and life we love from climate change”.  We’re a member of the Coalition because we recognise the impact that climate change is already having, and is set to have, on the special places in our care, and beyond.

Cows cooling in the water of Broomlee Lough, Northumberland during the drought of July 2006

Cows cooling in the water of Broomlee Lough, Northumberland during the drought of July 2006. ©National Trust Images/Simon Fraser

Our ambitious target is to cut energy usage by 20 per cent at our places, and source 50 per cent of our energy from renewable sources on the land we look after by 2020.  This ambition will be delivered, in part, through our Renewable Energy Investment (REI) Programme. We’re investing £30 million in over 40 renewable energy projects over the next 5 years.

Take a look at a great story from Cragside, where we’re once again harnessing the power of water to fuel the house.  Our efforts build on the ingenuity of former owner, English industrialist and philanthropist Sir William Armstrong, who first utilised the power of water on his estate over 150 years ago.

A new Archimedes screw restores hydroelectricity to Cragside in Northumberland, the first house in the world ever to use it. The turbine uses water from Tumbleton Lake to create power for the house.  Find out more about the project here. ©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Want to get involved?

It’s not too late to sign up to an event, check out the event map for what’s happening near you.

If you want to keep up to date with how the National Trust is going greener through the use of renewable energy, take a look at our Going Green blog.

To learn more about what we think about climate change and renewable energy take a look at Our Views.

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