BIG Solar V5As we all know, energy production and consumption are key issues facing the UK as it seeks to decarbonise. Here in the Moorlands, production opportunities seem limited, due to current planning restrictions, but there is still scope for both domestic and community electricity generation via solar installations and also to reduce carbon emissions via retrofit and insulation in our houses. Above all, there is a pressing need for information on the many and complex issues involved.

The Energy Fair we had planned for early February has had to be postponed due to Covid but we now plan to run it on Sunday 3rd April 2022, 10:00 till 16:00 at the Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek. In addition to a range of stalls covering relevant materials, we have invited specialist speakers to present on the three main themes:

1. Community Energy Production
2. House Insulation and Retrofit possibilities
3. Personal/Domestic Energy Production and Use

We’re also planning a range of hands-on activities for children and like-minded adults to comple-ment the ‘heavy’ stuff.

All being well, the thermal imaging camera that we had booked for the February event will be available on the new date but in any event we will still be able display thermal images of Moorlands buildings with different levels and types of insulation to help us decide on the ideal insulation for our own homes. The camera will be in the Moorlands from Fri 28th January till Tuesday 8th February, so do let us know if you would like images taken of your house. You can contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The absence of the feed-in tariff has led to a marked reduction of roof top solar installations on domestic building and the collapse of the "Green Deal" has delayed the time that Staffordshire Moorlands will become net zero. However, community solar energy is achievable in the Moorlands; it just requires local authorities, businesses, residents, etc. to be committed to taking advantage of the help that is available from cooperatives such as Big Solar. They are working to help communities get to net zero. An extract from their website is shown here.

"The Big Solar Co-op exists to make it possible for people to get solar built anywhere in the UK. Our work is led by volunteers, who we support in lots of different ways.

If you have a potential solar site to report, please tell us about it.

If you want to get solar rooftops built in your area ASAP, we can train you up to find potential sites, assess them and approach the owners.

If you are part of an existing community group there are several ways in which we can work together to get more solar built in your area."

The majority of council owned buildings in the Moorlands have been surveyed already but industrial sites and care homes have not. If you know the owners or tenants of buildings with large roofs, please put them in touch with the Big Solar Coop.

Picture credit: Carla Sam ( .