For schools, colleges and universities in Wales, the centre at Machynlleth in Powys, half an hour’s drive from Aberystwyth, is a resource that runs a free information service, visits for schools and residential courses.
The centre has teamed up with the University of East London which validates specialist diplomas and Masters degrees delivered by academic staff at the centre. It offers an architecture MSc and a Masters in renewable energy and the built environment. Student Owen Morgan, 26, says enrolling on the MSc course helped him land a job with Bright Light Solar, a mid-Wales renewable energy company which provides solar powered vaccine fridges, water pumps and heating systems to rural areas worldwide.
“Everyone is there because they are passionate about sustainability. We inspire each other to push the frontiers of what can be achieved,”
By 2007, there were 2GW of turbines installed. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) says 9GW of offshore wind will be in place by 2015, overtaking installed nuclear power. This month, Centrica and RWE npower came close to approving two offshore wind farms costing an estimated £3bn.
According to the Centre for Alternative Technology, wave power could supply 10% of the UK’s energy needs but this technology is at a much earlier stage. Although there are scores of British designs for wave energy converters, none are anywhere near commercial scale.
The Centre for Alternative Technology, a think-tank for energy-saving devices for more than 35 years, says the credit crunch has led to a surge in interest in eco-measures.
“People are beginning to think about investing their money in something that will provide them with affordable, reliable energy, whatever the economic climate,” says spokesman David Hood.
(And because you have to take the rough with the smooth his an amusing but less favourable story from The Huddersfield Daily Examiner)
THE Three Little Pigs learned the hard way that a house built of straw was a bad idea.
But they were doing their building, and Mr Wolf was doing his huffing and puffing, before the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) was launched.
CAT, in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, is a clearing house for a host of clever ideas and unusual experiments involving environmentally friendly, nay, amorous, nay, out-of-control passionate, wheezes to rescue the world from the hi-tech doom towards which it is undoubtedly trundling.