National Unplugging Day 28th of June at CAT

28th June is National Unplugging Day- ‪#‎unplug2015‬ ‪#‎gogadgetfree‬ at CATNATIONALUNPLUGGINGDAY3

National Unplugging Day is one day per year, the aim is to help families balance their off-line and on-line interactions. So unplug this Sunday and join us at CAT for a wide range of activities.

Insect Dectectives
12:00pm – 01:00pm
Hunt for dragons, damsels and stags on a mini-beast quest around the CAT grounds. Learn more about different insect habitats and lifecycles, and take a closer look at some of the UK’s most ferocious creatures. A special event as part of National Unplugging Day.

Woodland Explorers
2:00pm – 03:30pm

Immerse yourself in the magic of the woods as you explore this amazing ecosystem. Learn to identify key native tree species, discover the wonderful world of woodland plants and dig deeper to find what lies beneath the forest floor. A special event as part of National Unplugging Day.

Press Release

Families and individuals are encouraged to take a break from technology on 28 June 2015.

In celebration of the second annual National Unplugging Day in the UK on Sunday 28 June 2015, http:\ is asking individuals and families to put down their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours to experience life unplugged.

Parenting experts warn that digital distractions are harming relationships, stopping the young from developing face-to-face communication skills and teaching children that disappearing into digital devices for hours, is a healthy and acceptable activity.

The leading parenting website have carried out a study with over 6,000 parents from across the UK which has some striking statistics, finding the average parent with a smartphone, uses it 240 times a day – on emails, texts and social media. That’s equivalent to four hours a day stranded down the rabbit hole that is the internet.

Typically parents’ first click on their phone between 7-8 am with 20% of parents clicking on before 6am and 22% of parents making midnight their last click at night.

Half of the parents MyFamilyClub surveyed (47%) are logging into Facebook or other social media before doing anything else – our eyes are glued to our phones even before we get out of bed or to attend to the kids!

Gemma Johnson CEO and Founder of says: “As a parent I experience the struggle trying to juggle work and family life and the additional demands of existing in a digital world. We all lead busy lives but it is so important to lead by example with our device usage, boundaries are set by the parents first We want to encourage the nation to put away their digital devices, unplug and pledge to spend time doing something different with their children such as going out for a bike ride, going the park, learning a new activity or taking a walk in the woods.”

Johnson adds: We are encouraging people to unplug and engage in life without a digital connection and be present for our children. I’m urging all individuals to check how much they are using technology and look at the impact it is having on those around you. I certainly didn’t realise how much time I was spending on my smart phone until my oldest son pointed it out, this is why this campaign is so important to me.”

The statistics also revealed that over half of parents sleep next to their smartphone and the survey concludes that parents are ever increasingly showing the signs of smartphone addiction.

As smartphones invade our daily activities, parents are increasingly less present and available for their children and mental health officials are very worried on the long term effects this may have on our children.

Leading Psychologist Dr Kimberley Young who runs the Internet Addiction Clinic believes parents need to be aware of the effects technology can have on children from birth. Dr Young comments:

“Children have access to the internet almost from birth now. They see their parents playing on their mobile devices and they want to play too. Sometimes I think advice on internet use should be part of antenatal classes. “Don’t leave your iPad around because if you do, and children see all the pretty colours they will want to use it too. It’s difficult, because having a device can also be very useful in terms of having a reward, having a pacifier. But if you don’t get the balance right it can be very dangerous.”

The National Day of Unplugging recognises the value and importance of technology in today’s society whilst trying to encourage people (especially families and young children, the connected generations who have grown up with ever-present technology), to be more mindful of their digital usage. This day is not intended to be a one-off, but rather a starting point to encourage people of all ages to embrace a healthy lifestyle by regularly setting aside time away from their digital devices.

To set families up for success during the National Unplugging Day on 28 June, MyFamilyClub is offering tips and advice to families who want to enjoy technology free family time. Individuals and families are invited to get involved with the campaign sharing what they plan to do when not using technology on this day by entering a host of competitions in the lead up to the day and / or uploading a photo to MyFamilyClub’s social media platforms using the following hashtag #GoGadgetFree #Unplug2015

Today at CAT; Contemporary dance workshop & performance

Wild Sweep – a creative dance workshop with Cornerstone Dance Company

Members of Cornerstone Dance will lead you through a hands on creative movement session which explores some of the CAT’s sights, smells and sounds using all the senses. Open to all movers, young and old; please come prepared for all weathers and bring a bottle of water and some paper and pens.

Brought to you by a new dance company formed by Liverpool Hope University graduates. Their work, inspired by the superheroes and villains of comic strips, consists of a collection of interlocking solos, duets and group pieces all centred around the exploration of relationships, with comical, farcical and exaggerated characteristics. Their work weaves together contemporary, postmodern, physical theatre and pedestrian movement.

Cafe serving hot food: 4pm-5pm
Workshop: 5pm-6.15pm
Bar open: 6pm-7pm
Performance: 7pm-8pm

Free entry – suitable for all ages.

Stop press: the first Small is Beautiful acts are announced

Stop press: the first Small is Beautiful acts are announced

From the 4th-6th September CAT will be hosting the Small Is beautiful festival that explores positive responses to our future through low carbon technology, social justice and the arts. We bring together experts, enthusiasts, creators and the curious from around the world. Join us in making a magical place full of possibilities, and find out how we can collectively shape the future of our world.

It’s been a busy old month here at Small is Beautiful HQ. Early bird tickets have sold out in no time at all – and you’ll see why when you discover the programme! General tickets are on sale via the website, and they too are selling like hot (Welsh) cakes – to avoid disappointment, get yours here sharpish. If you come with a team, you can take advantage of our 6 for the price of 5 offer too.Campfire

So what’s in store? We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our collaboration with the Machynlleth Comedy Festival. The incredible Rob Newman is the first of two comedians coming along to perform. He will bring The Brain Show to the Saturday of the festival.

Our lecture series is really taking shape, and will include the inspirational Dr Jane Davidson, former Welsh minister for Environment and Sustainability, and Aubrey Meyer, a trained violinist who co-founded the Global Commons Institute to counter the threat of climate change.

There are a number of fun, hands-on workshops planned, including from The Soil Association and Strawbuild.

We will have loads of acoustic musicians, many locally sourced, to relax to during the day and expect some foot stomping ceilidhing long into the night to complete the soundtrack to your Small is Beautiful experience.

Don’t forget that if camping isn’t for you, you can stay over at CAT from as little as £20 per night!

Of course, none of this would be possible without our team of volunteers. If you want to be one of them, we’d love to have you on board – please email Equally, if you want to come and share some thoughts or some art, there’s still time – drop us a line and let us know about your work – contact

Stay in touch – believe it or not, there’s more to come! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @smallisfestival, sign up to newsletters on our new website:

See you in September!

Katie, George and the Small is Beautiful festival team

Paul Allen on why a zero emissions goal is vital to the UN process

Report from the Bonn UN Conference (7th June)

 The kind of agreement reached in Paris is a vital opportunity to give a clear signal that the message from the science has been recognized. From what I can gather, the word on the conference floor is that Paris is unlikely to be able to offer the single over-arching final agreement that will fully deal with climate challenge, but a great many people are working very hard to set up an on-going process that remains capable to enable both mitigation and adaptation actions sufficient to meet the task.

Paul Allen at the climate talks in Bonn

There is consensus that mitigation must remain top of the list. But to move from ‘missing the target’ to ‘hitting the target’ requires a process which can quickly aggregate the results the collective INDC’s which countries are promising, to show how far short we are falling from where we know we need to be. The process also requires monitoring to check that any promised emissions reduction is actually delivered successfully. Adaptation is also on the radar, and there is recognition it is intrinsically linked to development and therefore requires synergy with other goals, with the flexibility to up or down scale depending the success of the mitigation ambitions.

However, to deliver both these processes efficiently the process urgently needs to establish a long-term vision, based in what the evidence demands, setting the right priorities on the table. This allows countries, particularly developing countries to plan ahead, around financial incentive and support mechanisms. So we all need to send the right political signals to induce governments to offer INDC’s that collectively add up to the challenge. Unfortunately there seems to be little talk of direct scrutiny or accreditation of INDCs by international peers, however a clear aggregation system must become the driver, with a focus on showing the (hopefully ever decreasing) gap between our cumulative emissions commitments and what we know is needed.

Five plus Five

Given the current gap between action and evidence, even if it cannot manage to offer all that is required, it is vital the post-Paris process must not ‘lock’ us into an inadequate path. Given the growing pressure from the gap between our aggregated commitments and the clear targets from the science, and the fact that the world is changing quickly, the commitments under the Paris agreement must remain ‘upwardly mobile’ enough to allow for cultural, economic and technological shifts.

So many people here in Bonn are talking about a system which must be set up to encourage the parties to raise their ambition as the cycles of the post Paris COP process proceed. There is a call for a 5-year review process to allow increasing ambition, driven by advancing evidence from the science, maturing mitigation technology and the need for advancing adaptation actions.

A further suggestion is the dynamic ‘5+5’ process that proposes each INDC mitigation commitment has a 5 year fixed period (giving certainty), but is also accompanied by an indicative profile for the subsequent 5 years (allowing flexibility from a known point). ‘5+5’ means we know where we are and we also know where we think we are going, but it all remains flexible. This is to be supported by a parallel dual aggregation process (fixed + flexible) to focus ambition.

This is where we see the true value of a clear evidence based long-term goal such as zero-emissions – especially as we know our current INDC’s do not collectively be up to the task. Long-term predictability is also important to the business “community’ – and is their preferred option. Similarly cultural shifts and social changes require clear direction and focused goals. Zero gives long-term predictability, it is a useful compliment providing a practical signal to every level of society to drive planning and ambition.

Getting to Zero by is ambitious but technically achievable with existing technology. It would require increased levels of national and multilateral collaboration and co-operation – the barriers are both political and cultural, but a Zero emissions target is what the process clearly needs, as it gives a clear signal to policy makers, industry, finance and citizens that planning for change is not just important – it is unavoidable. This is why CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain team has been here in Bonn, working alongside Track0 to pull together a wide spectrum of global scenarios showing how we can reach a zero, or near zero endpoint, and making it available to all.

Other perspectives on the need for a long-term goal can be found at:


Paul Allen, Centre for Alternative Technology, 7th June 2015

Interview: Colin’s taken his skills into research and development

Colin Jones studied on the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment programme at CAT from 2010 to 2014. This week he has been back helping to run a practical with current students on PV flash testing. We took the opportunity to catch up with him about his experience of the course and what he has gone on to do since graduation.

Colin Jones, Ex-Student

What first convinced you to study the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment course?

I first came to CAT is 2007 when I did a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installers course. I met Stuart (the programme leader) who told me about this new course they were launching. I joined the following year.

I didn’t have a degree previously, but they accepted me onto the course on the basis of my previous experience. I had my own electrical engineering company and we had been working on a lot of residential solar installations since the feed in tariff was introduced.

I was particularly attracted to the practical bias of the course at CAT. I also liked the idea of the modular structure, where each module included intensive residential weeks.

How has doing the course impacted on your career?

Half way through the course I got a job with Carillion Energy working as a project manager on commercial, medium scale, PV projects. These were larger and more complex projects than I had previously been working on, and it gave me a chance to put into practice all I had learned on the PV module of the course. I’m sure I was offered the job because of being on the Renewable Energy course. I also still had my own company, so that was doing the residential installations whilst I was working on the commercial projects with Carillion Energy.

12 months ago, after completing the course, I got a new job working for Tharsus. Tharsus is an engineering company that is researching and developing new technology. My job is not just to do with renewable energy now; I look at automation and processes more generally. Having said that, we do have some work to do with renewable energy products, particularly in energy storage.

Although I am not always working directly on renewable energy systems now, the skills I learned from the MSc course are definitely still useful. In particular, the skills around data collection and processing that I learned on the course. I use these skills all the time.

Find out more about studying MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment

CAT goes to Bonn: Getting Ready for Zero

Paul Allen reports from the climate talks in Bonn 

On Thursday 4th June, CAT joined forces with INFORSE and Track 0 to host a side event at the UNFCCC climate conference in Bonn.  The event presented the first reviewers draft of our new report “Getting Ready for Zero: An overview of who’s working on zero carbon modelling & tool kits”, so we could get feedback and additional case studies from the very varied range of experts at the UN conference before finally going to press. The room was packed with over 100 attendees, including a range of delegates, experts and observers.


Getting Ready for Zero sets out to examine the global response to what the most recent consensus in climate science is telling us:  to stabilise our climate system and stay below the internationally agreed limit of 2ºC with high certainty, we must rapidly eliminate man-made emissions of greenhouse gases and phase-out fossil fuel use almost entirely by around mid-century. The good news is that our research has revealed a wealth of peer-reviewed and robust research showing a phase out of greenhouse gasses, especially from fossil fuels, can be achieved with existing technology. We map out over 70 scenarios at national, regional and city level and explore 27 case studies in detail. This body of work will act as a tool to support all those pressing for an outcome from the UN process, based around what the science demands, by demonstrating that we can move rapidly towards zero emissions without harming social and economic development whilst securing more equitable access to clean energy, especially for the poor.


Following my overview of the project, its aims and expected outcomes, a range of experts presented examples of the scenarios included in the report plus links to how it fits with the climate science and the UN negotiations. Key speakers included:

  • National and EU-wide transitions to 100% renewable, Gunnar Boye Olesen, INFORSE
  • Zero Carbon Britain, Philip James
  • Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios (MAPS), Andrea Rudnick, Latin America Liaison
  • Beyond Zero Emissions Australia, Simon Richardson, Mayor of Byron Shire
  • 100% Renewable Morocco: Irene Garcia, World Future Council
  • Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project (DDPP), Alexandra Deprez, IDDRI Research Fellow
  • Low Carbon Development in Ethiopia, Mulugeta Ayalew, Government of Ethiopia

Niklas Hohne, of the New Climate Institute offered an overview of the latest understanding of the climate science, and the presentations concluded with an overview of what does this work means for the Paris Agreement and Beyond from Jennifer Morgan, of the World Resources Institute.

There were many questions, positive feedback and comments. One of the key areas we want to iron out is definitions – a lot of the research showcased in the report has been developed independently in varied areas of the world, so terminology and definitions vary. Also delegates, business leaders, NGO’s and cities tend to use a wide range of vocabularies to talk about getting to zero. One particular concern was expressed that if the UN adopts the term ‘net-zero’ it may be miss-used to allow large-scale offsetting of burning fossil fuels as usual, a challenge which we will try to take into account in our final wording.

We hope the side event will also catalyse a network of zero carbon practice from COP21 in Paris and called upon everyone at the event to feed into the final report, due for publication in the coming weeks – so watch this space! Phil and I will remain here in Bonn for a few days longer to follow negotiations and to feed our work into a wide range of meetings and side events. We will keep you posted….

Paul Allen



CAT to host hit reality show Cariad@Iaith

S4c Press Release

Seven days, eight contestants, two presenters, and one language. Over the course of a week, eight Welsh celebrities will try to learn as much Cymraeg as possible and this year, the Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth will be turned into a classroom fit for the stars.

And S4C can reveal that this year’s brave crew of celebrities who will eat, drink, sleep and live the Welsh language and face a range of outdoor challenges include one of Wales’ most famous weather presenters, an Olympic medal-winning athlete, a former Welsh rugby international, a CBeebies presenter, a well-known comedian and a galaxy of actors.CF6rS-RUoAA0r-u

Cariad@Iaith, presented this year for the first time by opera star Wynne Evans along with the darling of all Welsh learners, Nia Parry, will start with a special preview programme on Sunday 14 June at 8.00 on S4C with daily programmes to follow every weekday night at 8.25 and 9.30 with the final on Saturday 20 June.

Now in its seventh series, Cariad@Iaith has featured Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Gareth Thomas, Steve Strange and Janet Street-Porter amongst others as previous contestants and this year’s line-up is no less impressive.

 Derek Brockway is one of the most familiar faces on Welsh television, having presented the weather on BBC Wales Today for 18 years. Derek is originally from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan and lives near Cardiff and is also the presenter of TV series Weatherman Walking.

Rebecca Keatley will be well known to younger viewers as a presenter on children’s television service, CBeebies. Originally from Port Talbot, Rebecca now lives in London where she presents programmes such as Let’s Play on the channel.

Chris Corcoran is a comedian and radio presenter who currently presents his own radio show on BBC Radio Wales on Saturday afternoons. Chris has supported Rob Brydon on tour and has featured on many comedy shows on TV and radio. Before turning to comedy, he was a teacher at Barry Comprehensive School.

For 15 years, Jamie Baulch was a poster boy for Welsh athletics, having won a total of 11 medals at events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the IAAF World Athletics Championships. He recently appeared on BBC Wales’ looking for my birth mum programme where he traced his birth mother.

Pontypridd actress Nicola Reynolds first appeared on our screens in cult film Human Traffic, set in Cardiff. Since then she has had roles in Coronation Street, High Hopes and Clocking Off but may be more familiar as the face of Meg as part of BBC Wales sitcom Scrum 4.

Merthyr-born actor Steve Speirs has appeared in series such as Doctor Who, NCIS and Jonathan Creek as well as films such as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Pirates of the Caribbean. He is also a writer for Ruth Jones’ hit sitcom Stella.

Caroline Sheen is a West End actress originally from Port Talbot who has appeared in an array of musicals including Grease, Mamma Mia and Les Miserables and has also appeared in popular TV series Torchwood and Hotel Babylon.

Ex-Cardiff Blues and Wales international rugby player Tom Shanklin is Wales’ fifth highest-scoring rugby player on record. He earned 70 caps for the Welsh team and has also played for the British and Irish Lions squad.

Co-presenter and tutor Nia Parry added, “I love everything about the Cariad@Iaith experience – the fun, the activities, meeting new people and working with a wonderful crew but above all I love teaching Welsh in the classroom again and welcoming another set of various stars is great.”

With the help of tutors Ioan Talfryn and Nia Parry, the eight brave contestants will have their knowledge of Welsh put to the test with formal lessons and by using the language during physical challenges and the unique teaching method of desuggestipedia, which encourages language immersion through songs and games.

But after a whole week of lessons, only one can be crowned winner of the series, with the week’s best learner announced on the Saturday final.

Another addition to the series this year is the new presenter, Wynne Evans who was a contestant on the show in a previous series. “I’m very excited about presenting the show. I can’t quite believe that I’ve gone from being a contestant to being a presenter,” says Wynne who has also presented the seres Am Ddrama on S4C. “I’m not quite sure if I’m ready but I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.”

This year’s series is sponsored by the Welsh Government. First Minister Carwyn Jones said:  “As a government we are committed to giving people of all ages the opportunity to learn Welsh and are keen to encourage them to use the language in their day to day lives.

“The Welsh for Adults programme is key to ensuring that adults have opportunities to learn Welsh and I am pleased that we are working with S4C to support Cariad@Iaith to encourage more adults to learn Welsh or improve their skills.”

Kim Bryan, a spokesperson for the Centre for Alternative Technology added, “It is a fantastic opportunity for CAT and Machynlleth to showcase the wide range of activities there are to do in the area and the friendliness of the local community. The Welsh language is a vitally important part of our culture and hosting the Cariad@Iaith programme here at CAT is a tremendous way to support it.”


Wyth seren yn bwyta, cysgu ac yn dysgu Cymraeg ar Cariad@Iaith 2015

Saith niwrnod, wyth cystadleuydd, dau gyflwynydd ac un iaith. Dros gyfnod o wythnos, bydd wyth o sêr Cymreig yn ceisio dysgu Cymraeg hyd eithaf eu gallu, ac eleni, mi fydd Canolfan y Dechnoleg Amgen ym Machynlleth yn cael ei thrawsnewid i ystafell ddosbarth arbennig iawn.

Gall S4C ddatgelu bod y criw enwog eleni fydd yn bwyta, yfed, cysgu ac yn byw’r iaith Gymraeg ac yn wynebu gweithgareddau awyr agored amrywiol yn cynnwys un o gyflwynwyr tywydd enwoca’r genedl, athletwr penigamp sydd wedi ennill medalau Olympaidd, un o gyn-chwaraewyr rygbi gorau’r wlad, cyflwynydd teledu plant CBeebies a llu o actorion adnabyddus.

Bydd Cariad@Iaith eleni’n cael ei chyflwyno am y tro cyntaf eleni gan y canwr opera Wynne Evans ynghyd â’r bytholwyrdd Nia Parry, gyda rhaglen rhagflas arbennig i’w gweld nos Sul 14 Mehefin am 8.25 ar S4C gyda rhaglenni nosweithiol yn cael eu darlledu bob nos am 8.25 a 9.30 gyda’r ffeinal nos Sadwrn 20 Mehefin.

Dyma’r seithfed gyfres o Cariad@Iaith ac mae sêr y gorffennol yn cynnwys Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Gareth Thomas, Steve Strange a Janet Street-Porter ac mae’r enwau mawr yn parhau eleni.

Mae Derek Brockway yn un o wynebau mwyaf adnabyddus ar deledu Cymru, ac mae wedi cyflwyno’r tywydd ar BBC Wales Today am ddeunaw mlynedd. Mae Derek yn dod o’r Barri yn wreiddiol, ond mae bellach yn byw ar gyrion Caerdydd. Mae hefyd yn cyflwyno’r gyfres Weatherman Walks.

Bydd Rebecca Keatley yn wyneb cyfarwydd iawn i wylwyr iau fel cyflwynydd ar wasanaeth plant CBeebies y BBC. Yn wreiddiol o Bort Talbot, mae Rebecca’n byw yn Llundain lle mae’n cyflwyno rhaglenni fel Let’s Play ar y sianel.

Digrifwr a chyflwynydd radio yw Chris Corcoran sy’n cyflwyno ei raglen ei hun ar BBC Radio Wales ar brynhawniau Sadwrn. Mae Chris wedi cefnogi Rob Brydon ar daith ac wedi ymddangos ar nifer o raglenni comedi ar deledu a radio. Cyn troi at fyd comedi, roedd yn athro yn Ysgol Gyfun y Barri.

Am 15 mlynedd, roedd Jamie Baulch yn un o eiconau’r byd athletau, ac mae wedi ennill 11 o fedalau yn y gemau Olympaidd, Gemau’r Gymanwlad a Phencampwriaethau Athletau’r Byd. Fe ymddangosodd yn ddiweddar ar raglen Coming Home BBC Wales i gwrdd â’i fam enedigol am y tro cyntaf.

Ymddangosodd Nicola Reynolds o Bontypridd ar ein sgriniau’n gyntaf yn y ffilm Human Traffic a leolwyd yng Nghaerdydd. Ers hynny, mae wedi ymddangos yn Coronation Street, High Hopes a Clocking Off ond efallai ei bod hi’n fwy adnabyddus fel ‘Meg’ o’r gyfres Scrum 4 gan BBC Wales.

Ganwyd Steve Speirs ym Merthyr Tudful ac mae wedi ymddangos mewn cyfresi megis Doctor Who, NCIS a Jonathan Creek ynghyd â Star Wars: The Phantom Menace a Pirates of the Caribbean. Mae hefyd yn ysgrifennu ar gyfer y gyfres Stella gan Ruth Jones.

Mae Caroline Sheen yn actores yn y West End yn Llundain ac yn dod yn wreiddiol o Bort Talbot. Mae wedi ymddangos mewn nifer o sioeau cerdd megis Grease, Mamma Mia a Les Miserables ynghyd â chyfresi teledu fel Torchwood a Hotel Babylon.

Tom Shanklin yw un o chwaraewyr rygbi mwyaf llwyddiannus Cymru, ac ymhlith sgorwyr uchaf y tîm cenedlaethol. Mae wedi ennill 70 o gapiau dros ei wlad a hefyd wedi chwarae i Gleision Caerdydd a Llewod Prydain ac Iwerddon.

Dywedodd cyflwynydd Cariad@Iaith, Nia Parry, “Dw i’n caru popeth am y profiad Cariad@Iaith – yr hwyl, y gweithgareddau, cwrdd á phobl newydd a gweithio gyda chriw hyfryd, ond dw i wrth fy modd yn cael addysgu Cymraeg yn y dosbarth eto. Mae’n hyfryd cael croesawu sêr mor amrywiol i’r ystafell ddosbarth unwaith eto eleni.

Gyda help y tiwtoriaid Ioan Talfryn a Nia Parry, bydd yr wyth seren dewr yn profi eu gallu yn y Gymraeg drwy wersi ffurfiol a defnyddio’r iaith wrth ymgymryd â heriau corfforol amrywiol a’r dull unigryw o ddysgu, sef ‘dadawgrymeg’, sy’n hybu defnydd o’r iaith drwy ganu a chwarae gemau.

Ond ar ôl wythnos gyfan o wersi dim ond un seren fydd yn cipio’r teitl o ddysgwr Cymraeg gorau’r gyfres a chyhoeddir yr enillydd yn ystod y ffeinal ar nos Sadwrn.

Wyneb newydd arall fydd yn ymuno â’r gyfres eleni fydd y cyflwynydd Wynne Evans a oedd yn gystadleuydd ar y rhaglen mewn cyfres flaenorol. “Dw i’n teimlo’n gyffrous iawn am gyflwyno’r gyfres. Dydw i ddim wir yn gallu credu fy mod i wedi mynd o fod yn gystadleuydd i fod yn gyflwynydd,” meddai Wynne, sydd hefyd wedi cyflwyno’r gyfres Am Ddrama ar S4C. “Dydw i ddim yn siŵr os ydw i’n barod ond dwi’n edrych ymlaen at yr her!”

Noddir y gyfres eleni gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Dywedodd y Prif Weinidog Carwyn Jones: “Fel Llywodraeth, rydym yn gwbl ymrwymiedig i roi cyfleoedd i bobl o bob oedran i ddysgu Cymraeg ac i’w hannog i ddefnyddio mwy o’r iaith bob dydd.

“Mae’r rhaglen Cymraeg i Oedolion yn allweddol er mwyn sicrhau bod gan oedolion y cyfleoedd i ddysgu Cymraeg ac rwy’n hapus iawn ein bod yn cydweithio ag S4C i gefnogi Cariad@Iaith er mwyn annog mwy o oedolion i ddysgu Cymraeg neu wella eu sgiliau.”

Ychwanegodd Kim Bryan, llefarydd ar ran Canolfan y Dechnoleg Amgen, “Dyma gyfle euraidd i’r Ganolfan ac i Fachynlleth i arddangos yr ystod eang o weithgareddau sydd i’w gwneud yn yr ardal a chyfeillgarwch y gymuned leol. Mae’r iaith Gymraeg yn rhan annatod a phwysig iawn o’n diwylliant ac mae croesawu Cariad@Iaith yma yn ffordd wych o wneud hynny.”











Interview: Elgan’s developing new renewable energy projects across the UK

profile Elgan Roberts

Elgan Roberts has been studying on the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment course part time since 2012. He is half way through writing his thesis, which seems like a good time to look back on the course and the impact it is having on his career.

profile Elgan Roberts
Elgan Roberts – Renewable Energy Student

What impact has studying MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment had on your career?

My background was in mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2002 and then worked in the agricultural industry for seven years until 2009. At that point I wanted to move back to Wales, where I am from, and I was also interested in getting into renewable energy.

I managed to get a job with a small wind installation company in Bangor doing feasibility studies and project management. I decided to do an MSc alongside working to allow me to advance in my career.

About six months after starting the course I got a new job with a bigger national company called Carter Jonas. In this company I was able to work on larger scale projects, and more of a range of projects involving hydro, solar, wind and biomass. I wouldn’t have got this job without being on the course. Working in a bigger company has allowed me to expand my career. I’m directly using the skills I gained on the course in my work

Why did you decide to do the MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment course at CAT?

I looked at it originally because it was at a convenient location near to Bangor. What I particularly liked about it was the good mix of face to face and distance learning. Studying through 5-night blocks meant I could do the course without missing much work, and it didn’t really impact on my employers. I came to an open day and I was really impressed with the teachers and facilities.

How was the experience of the course for you?

One of the things I have most appreciated whilst being on the course is that the small numbers of students means you get plenty of time with the lecturers to look at things in detail

I have definitely enjoyed the course, although it is hard work if you are studying alongside working full time. There are a good bunch of people on the course, and you spend all your time with them during the on site attendances. A week at a time is a good amount of time to spend with people. I’ve made some great friends who I will certainly stay in touch with.

MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment – More Information

CAT challenge to Climate Change Secretary

Responding to the appointment of Amber Rudd as the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, CAT CEO Adrian Ramsay said:

“I congratulate Amber Rudd on her appointment. She has repeatedly asserted her commitment to tackling climate change, curbing carbon emissions, increasing green investment and pressing for a strong deal at the crucial international climate talks this December. I now challenge her to ensure that the policies of the UK Government are consistent with the scientific evidence on the action needed for a rapid decarbonisation of our economy. This is what is needed to ensure that the UK is taking a lead in this crucial year when we need an international agree220px-342303320_Amber_Rudd_MPment which keeps global temperature rises below the critical two degree warming to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

“Rudd will have to stand up to the Conservative backbenchers and show decisive and clear leadership in rolling out a long term plan to stimulate green jobs. Our renewable energy and energy efficiency industries need to be able to rely on consistent support from Government policy to secure investment.

“Rudd will also need to examine some of the Conservative pre-election pledges. She has shown support for home insulation and some renewables but if this is coupled with scrapping support for onshore wind farms, continued subsidies for fracking and North Sea oil exploration then she won’t be able to achieve the decarbonisation that the scientific evidence shows we need.”

“”The Centre for Alternative Technology has been saying for a long time that the solutions to climate change are within our grasp – all that is needed is the political will. Amber Rudd has stated a commitment to addressing climate change. It is now the job of every concerned citizen and the charities and NGOs that they support to hold her to account and help muster this political will. Now is not the time to give up hope; now is the time to rally around positive solutions, working towards a shared vision of a more sustainable world. “

The Small is Beautiful festival comes to CAT in 2015!

The Small is Beautiful festival comes to CAT in 2015!

Do you ever feel like trying to change the world is a bit of a hard slog? That there are so many things to be angry about, and to try to change, that it gets a bit exhausting and even starts to feel impossible?

Karambu Ringera Well, we feel the same! Which is why we are happy to welcome the Small is Beautiful festival – to be held at CAT for the first time this year:  getting a bunch of people together to share the positive, practical things they are doing to change the world is just what we all need to refresh our spirits and remind us why we care in the first place.

The Small is Beautiful festival is a colourful, hands-on, weekend celebration of the ideas of radical economist E. F. Schumacher, who wrote the groundbreaking book of that name. It blends small-scale technology use, ideas from international development and new economics with the arts through lectures, debates, workshops, music and installations. The festival aims to ignite imaginations and unlock positive responses to our future in a fun and creative environment.

Since its first year in 2009, the festival has been run in partnership with international development charities Practical Action and Engineers without Borders UK. Historically, the festival was held in rural Warwickshire, but in 2014 moved to the fantastic St. George’s Concert Hall in Bristol. Almost entirely run by volunteers, the success of the festival is the result of the hard work of dozens of professionals, students, academics and practitioners, who collectively donate their time to showcase the latest thinking and technology in sectors such as international development, sustainability and social change.

If you are joining us – and we hope you are – you can look forward to a full programme of expert presentations, discussions, workshops and dancing into the night. In 2015, we will be drawing inspiration from CAT’s flagship Zero Carbon Britain report, as well as the global climate negotiations in Paris in December for our programming. We will focus on three key strands: Energy, Food and Agriculture, and the Economy, and will be tackling the key issue of how to actually make change happen.

The festival has previously welcomed Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio, Green MEP Molly Scott-Cato, Kenyan peace activist Karambu Ringera, and Polly Higgins, environmental lawyer and all-round inspiring person. Technologies available for people to try in workshops vary widely: from the low-tech wonders of the world, such as basic water pumps and traditional mud brick making, to 3D printing and how to generate energy from wind, water and the sun, not to forget the ever-popular spoon carving! Kids are catered for in child-friendly workshops so it is a weekend that the whole family can enjoy.

When the Small Is Beautiful festival organisers came to CAT last October to have a look around, they  knew they had found their new home. The historical links to Schumacher and sustainable technologies, the incredibly beautiful setting and the sheer enthusiasm of the staff means that September 4th-6th can’t come soon enough for us, and we can’t wait to welcome you all as well!

The Small is BeautiCampfireful festival will take place from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th September 2015 at CAT. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website:

If you have a workshop or piece of research you would like to share, or to ask any questions, please email and don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates: & @smallisfestival