powerhouse2The good news is that there are many community groups throughout the country who are working to install community renewable energy to benefit both the local community and future generations. The nearest one to Leek is the hydro project at Havannah Weir, near Congleton, that’s operated by an Archimedes Screw turbine that feeds power to the grid, plus the local Siemens factory, and was instigated by Congleton Sustainability. They were fortunate that they got some funding from the feed-in tariff before the government abolished it in favour of large grants to the fossil fuel and nuclear industry for very expensive Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and nuclear power stations. As a result, small community developments are only economically viable if they can sell their electricity to a large daytime user, such as a factory, school or nursing home. You can find out more at the Congleton Hydro Project and see a video of Archie, their Archimedes Screw being installed. Here's the latest image of Archie up and running. Thanks to Paul Hopewell for providing it.

Archie 1Despite the absence of hydro possibilities here, Staffordshire Moorlands could still work towards becoming self-sufficient in energy if all buildings were upgraded to a high standard of insulation. At present there are insufficient trained craftsmen to do the job and we hope that the County Council will make training and incentives two of their main priorities. To become truly self-sufficient, we also need both wind and solar power at community scale, which unfortunately is largely prevented by the current local plan. To achieve our carbon pledges, it is vitally important that ALL levels of government, from parish upwards, collaborate fully with the many civil organisations and businesses who are actively working to build renewable energy schemes and retrofit our stock of buildings. Only by doing so, will we reach net Zero Carbon by 2050.

With this in mind, Moorlands Climate Action is organising an Energy Fair for April 2022, when we plan to have experts on retrofitting existing buildings and renewable energy to answer your questions, along with other displays and presentations. We are looking for local contacts, so if you have any who may be interested, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..