becBrighton Energy Coop recently received a grant from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to push forward on a new plan to convert Brighton’s food waste to electricity and heat. This process is called anaerobic digestion and uses the natural heat produced by decaying matter to generate energy.

At present – as I’m sure you know – Brighton and Hove simply throws it’s unwanted foodstuffs in the bin, which is an utter waste. Much better, we feel, to do something with this resource, especially in times of rising energy prices and the increasingly obvious realities of global climate change.

Consequently Brighton Energy Coop has just started to look at how this might be achieved in our city. It’s not going to be quick: building an anaerobic digestor is a big and complex process. But working with us on this is Rachel Espinosa, a waste consultant specialising in anaerobic digestion who brings an in-depth knowledge to the BEC team. We look forward to taking this project forward with Rachel’s expertise.

Within the next two weeks I’ll also be able to tell you about our new solar project, which will see BEC triple in size and add a whole lot more solar capacity to Brighton and Hove. I’ll keep you posted.

becMeanwhile I’m sure your aware of another source of energy in Sussex – fracking. While Balcombe and Cuadrilla have been in the news it’s been little noticed has been that another company – Celtique Energie – is applying for permission to drill on the west side of West Sussex.

Fracking is no solution to our energy needs: this fascination with fossil fuels is one reason why UK governments consistently fail to support renewable energy. Only 3% of our energy is renewable, the third lowest in Europe. As well as pushing for more renewables it’s important to stand up to the false solutions of new fossil fuels. You can add your voice against Celtique’s application to frack in Sussex here.

Yet the anti-fracking movement provides a great opportunity for locally-grown renewable energy – you can see my blog here about this. For this reason I was very pleased to be invited to talk to the people of Balcombe about starting their own energy coop – I’ll be talking in the village on the 26th and also at nearby Forest Row on the same subject  on the 24th October.

Finally, it’s also worthwhile that on 23rd September the latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change will show that global temperature change is increasing faster than most models expected.

This report is the keystone of climate science, and the fossil fuel lobby is desperate to undermine it. Just as fracking has shown, it’s important that we raise our voices to defend what is right. So when you find the climate deniers attempting to undermine the IPCC (the largest peer-reviewed scientific process that has ever existed), it’s key to discover who they are, who funds them, whether their data is peer-reviewed and what their sources’ academic credentials are.

Real science, not science in the cause of profit, must be the driver behind our energy future.

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