Many thanks to Craig Weatherhill for posting this photo to the Mebyon Kernow facebook page, which illustrates a great example of reneweables fitting into existing blots on the landscape if you will.
I must say credit to Cornwall Council, a few years back before austerity and job cuts were the only headlines coming from Lys Kernow. They did fit solar panels to the roof of the building and it's a great scheme. There's a roof there doing nothing, the solar panels are in no ones way, obscuring no ones view. We need to identify more potential like this, on council buildings, on supermarkets and industrial units.
These are the kind of simple innovative ideas that we must be looking to, another one of my pet rants that my friends and family are probably sick of hearing is water usage. I don't think I've blogged about this before apologies if I'm covering old ground. In Aberystwyth they have a relatively new Welsh Assembly Government building and they've made a great job of it with the water supply. The rain water that is collected on the roof is recovered and used in the building, a simple thing but it reduces the energy needed to treat water and get it to the building and it's just plain common sense. It never ceases to amaze and infuriate me that we live in a world where the water supply has been collected in lakes, reservoirs and rivers. Piped to centers to be filtered and treated with chemicals so it's safe to drink. All at a massive cost and then how much of it gets actually consumed by humans, how much of that treated drinking water is used to water gardens, clean cars, wash hands, bathed in and worst of all flushed down the toilet. We spend an absolute fortune on the treatment of water to make it safe to drink, in a land like Cornwall where rain is abundant we need to think differently.
If I have a vision for the future its one where we capture the solar and wave power, utilise the rainwater that's all around us. But not on a huge scale over a greenfields but on a small scale. Personally I'd love, to live somewhere with my own solar panels and rainwater collection. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be free of the likes of EDF, South West Water and the like. In terms of policy, we in Cornwall or should I say the council needs to find ways to encourage businesses and organisations including itself to find ways to become more self sufficient and when they start saving money pass on these savings to the people of Cornwall.