Harnessing Community Energies - Findhorn June 4th

On June 4th 2015, ORIGIN hosted a collaborative conference ‘Harnessing Community Energies - Optimising the Benefits of Renewable Energy’ in the beautiful and relaxed setting of the Findhorn ecovillage, one of the ORIGIN demonstration sites . European and UK funed projects looking at the challenges of integrating renewables and engaging people in changing ’energy’ behaviour  were featured.

Michael Shaw, Findhorn resident and member of the ORIGIN team, setting the scene with a poem by Pablo Neruda

Interestingly, all projects highlighted that in the region of 30% to 40% of   people are 'enthusiasts' and willing to adapt their energy use. In Findhorn, as part of the ORIGIN trial,  a novel, green tariff  is offered when excess renewables are forecast. To date this has led to 40% of people changing their energy use and a corresponding increase in utilisation of the locally sourced wind energy.

The conference welcomed guests from all over the world and there was also a forum to discuss the future of microgrids, share human engagement stories, visit the AES Solar plant in Forres and learn more about biomass at Findhorn.Julia Gutierrez and her colleague from Community Energy Scotland topically travelled to Findhorn on Carbon Clever e-bikes! See http://www.communityenergyscotland.org.uk/userfiles/file/stevens_uploaded_documents/Harnessing-Community-Energies-for-Website.pdf for details

Lesley Riddoch provided a very thought provoking open talk ' Is Scotland ready for the Renewables Revolution?' to round off a very interesting day.