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Why I invested in Wedmore



Several private investors explain their motivations for investing in Wedmore Community Power Co-operative, a vibrant rural community now directly served by its own green power plant.

I want to help with the development of local renewable energy. I want to put my savings to better use than if they were with a high street bank, i.e. funding a community project. I would also like a return on my capital as good as or better than that on offer from current cash ISAs, taking into account that I will have to pay tax on it. Joe Norman


The opportunity to invest in Wedmore Community Power Co-operative ticked so many boxes for me.  To be honest and start with the selfish reasons, the expected return on the investment is very important, particularly now I’m retired.  It was very reassuring to hear about it from people I know a bit and trust.  The fact that it’s fairly local adds to the appeal.

Renewable energy is a central plank in the building of a sustainable society and there’s no game in town that’s bigger than that – the future depends on it. So it’s both exciting and a privilege to have a stake in the venture. Adrian Tait


My investment is an investment in the survival of the human race. If we do not stop using ‘dirty’ energy, the Earth will survive but unfortunately most living things that occupy it (including us) will not. Elaine Tucker


I am a supporter of solar power, and have a 4 kilowatt (kW) domestic installation of my own which provides a very good return on my investment; I do not support large-scale wind farms, which I believe to be very uneconomic, inefficient and a ‘blot on the landscape’; I hope to receive a reasonable return on my capital, which I could not achieve with other investments of a similar magnitude. Barry Underwood


My main concern is to leave my granddaughter a viable planet, and the Wedmore Co-op ticks all the right sustainable development boxes – renewable, local, community-owned, and non-profit. Roger Martin


As residents of Blackford, we are keen to support local initiatives to generate clean power, and we also see this as a good investment opportunity at a time when interest rates are so low. Victoria and Justin Ash


I believe in local community sustainable schemes which not only use natural resources but enhance our own way of life in the process of doing so. Chris Dean


I have invested with you because it looks likely that the overall rate of return will be considerably higher than I can get at a bank or building society, I am interested in reducing the gases causing climate change and it broadens my investment portfolio. Mrs Stott


I am certainly hoping that this will prove to be a good investment with a reliable and growing return which beats inflation and the paltry interest rates on offer from banks and building societies at the moment.  That said, I am under no illusions that any money invested in this scheme must be money you can afford to lose (I hope that doesn’t happen!).

I think this scheme is an excellent model for something that could be scaled up nationwide: local energy providers coming up with innovative schemes to provide energy for their locality so the community feels ownership and is much less likely to block such schemes with ‘nimby’ arguments.  Such schemes would have no problem attracting investment from private depositors fed up with the returns from financial institutions – most savers are not greedy but just want a modest return above inflation. John Everitt

If you’re interested in investing in Wedmore, you can do so through Ethex. The current share offer closes on November 9 2013.

Further reading:

Wedmore: community action, renewable energy and financial returns

‘Positive’ investment worth £1.6bn in the UK

Government needs clear vision for UK community energy, says Green Alliance

Community energy: what you need to know

Harnessing the power of a community


New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035



renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart /

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.


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How Going Green Can Save A Company Money



going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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