Transition Forest Row

A community in transition to a low carbon, sustainable, resilient life.



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Members: 28
Latest Activity: Sep 10, 2015

Discussion Forum

The Rough Guide to Community Energy

Started by Mike Grenville Nov 25, 2011. 0 Replies

Wind power in the high weald

Started by Rowena Jul 17, 2009. 0 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment by Annette Armstrong on May 30, 2008 at 8:53
Hi, glad to be here. Nir said, at the Transition Group Culture workshop on Saturday 24 May,something like: "Everything we do we do for the first time." With this in mind, let's dare to make mistakes as well as get it right. Annette
Comment by Alan on June 4, 2008 at 6:38
Hi all

I'll be up front here - being a committed husband, father, dog owner, new allotment holder and running my own business as well as being active in a number of local initiatives I remain mindful of the time I give to activities outside my home and work life. Therefore I may not be as present as other members.

I also hope that by us all remaining mindful of how we live our own lives and paying attention to our inner worlds that this in itself catalyses change - as Ghandi said "Be the change you want to see in the world".. or I like to think of it as dropping a pebble in a pond and seeing where the ripples go..

(Here's the slightly scary bit) I say this as the son of someone who was extremely active trying to change the world to make it as he believed it should be and who spent little time attending to his own needs which might have helped align his thinking with the outer world...

Comment by Mike Grenville on July 1, 2008 at 12:18
UK Energy 2020 - Achieving a more sustainable energy balance.

The Energy 2020 partner organisations organised a Summit held on 30th June, 2008 where they unveiled a national action plan to meet the UK’s 2020 energy targets. The Energy 2020 Action Plan, adding to the Manifesto signed by over 20 bodies, calls for radical action to include a holistic policy framework to provide investment signals, including binding milestones.

a copy of the report can be downloaded here:
Comment by Mike Grenville on July 9, 2008 at 20:57
This event looks interesting:

A one day Introduction to Community Carbon Footprinting.
10 September - Islington, London

What is community carbon footprinting (CCF), and how is it done? This event will provide a basic understanding of what CCF is, how to get started, what support is available for communities carrying out such a project, and the variety of methodologies that exist in order to calculate a carbon footprint. It will explain the difference between carbon footprinting and eco footprinting, and give you the tools required to calculate carbon footprints whether for communities or individuals, using real case studies showing different styles of CCF and how to calculate real carbon footprints. Carrying out a CCF is an excellent way of raising environmental awareness in your community and provides a baseline from which other projects can be developed.

Details here:
Comment by Mike Grenville on September 2, 2008 at 15:22
A report has been produced by the South East Regional Assembly on "A Route map for reducing the eco-footprint of the South East".

Even the Exec Summary is quite long but there is a lot of interesting stuff in this ..... Apparently there was originally a lot of reference to Transtition Towns as a way to engage communities but they seem to have taken that out in the published version.
Comment by Laurence Green on September 15, 2008 at 21:35
Split incentives in energy supply and use can be a big factor in energy efficiency. The MD of an electricity company wants to sell us more electricity, so he can make more profit for his shareholders. 'We', on the other hand, in the spirit of a transition town, want to reduce our energy use and, as any consumer, our energy costs. The electricity company has no incentive to help us achieve our goals, because they have no connection with and investment in the local community. Does this have to be the case? Is there a way around this problem of split incentives. The town of Osage in Iowa has its own local utility company:Osage Municipal Utilities
11 employees serving ~3,800 population
A decade of demand-side management advice to homes and small businesses:
Prepaid all the debt and built a $2.5M emergency fund
Cut the rates 5 times in 5 y (by 1/3 real, to 1/2 Iowa av.)
Kept existing factories competitive & attracted two more
Kept >$1,000/household-y in town, supporting local jobs and multipliers
Made Osage noticeably more prosperous than
comparable neighboring towns

The role of the general manager of the company is described in a Time Magazine article at,9171,956654,00.html
Comment by Phill on November 4, 2008 at 13:47
Hello all,
Not sure what sort of things your interested in, but as a starter for 10 here's a link which shows some of the energy projects I've done in the last year.
Currently working on a baby turbine, and will post some snaps once I get some spare time during daylight hours to erect it!
Comment by Mike Grenville on November 26, 2008 at 10:51
Could a hyperactive hamster power your house?

... Q: Could hamsters be the answer to the energy crisis? How many hamsters running on wheels would it take to provide enough power for a house?

A: Let's assume a hamster weighing 50 grams can run up a 30-degree slope at two metres per second. This corresponds to a power output of half a watt. If it delivers the same power when running on a hamster wheel, you would need 120 hamsters working flat out to keep a 60-watt bulb lit.

But the average hamster probably doesn't spend more than 5 per cent of its life running on its wheel, so already we would need a rotating brigade of 2,400 hamsters just to light our bulb.

It gets worse. The average UK household needs a constant power consumption of about 2.5 kilowatts, some 2,500 watts. Each house would need 100,000 hamsters to keep it powered. Multiply this by the number of households in the UK and we would have an environmental and economic disaster. Lucky we don't rely on hamsters, then

All the answers to the world's most pointless questions...

They're those baffling questions that pop into the brain when you've nothing better to think about, and only the appliance of a large helping of science can answer. Now a new book by the experts at New Scientist magazine solves some of the most intriguing queries sent in by readers...

Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?
Comment by Mike Grenville on December 1, 2008 at 22:47
The 10 big energy myths

Myth 1: solar power is too expensive to be of much use
Myth 2: wind power is too unreliable
Myth 3: marine energy is a dead-end
Myth 4: nuclear power is cheaper than other low-carbon sources of electricity
Myth 5: electric cars are slow and ugly
Myth 6: biofuels are always destructive to the environment
Myth 7: climate change means we need more organic agriculture
Myth 8: zero carbon homes are the best way of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
Myth 9: the most efficient power stations are big
Myth 10: all proposed solutions to climate change need to be hi-tech

Chris Goodall's new book, Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, is published by Profile books, priced £9.99.
Comment by Phill on December 2, 2008 at 8:27
Hi Mike,
Good list
4 - Nuke power is not low carbon though (if you include building plants, digging out the ore, transport, taking down the buildings, storing the waste for ever)
7 - Not sure about this one, I know GM is not the answer as it's just wish lists and has never delivered anything useful.

I started putting up my new wind turbine at the weekend.
Got my main pole erected (as it were) Sunday evening, and then it came crashing down almost squashing me.
It's a long story and was traced back to a loose wire rope fixing. I'd been doing so many adjustments and changes it slipped through the net.... good job cuz David was helping "I don't think it's going to stop, err no it's coming your way" and sure enough I moved out of the way (in a controlled, yet swift fashion) and the pole landed next to my winching station, removing the handle and destroying a concrete slab (good job I moved, as my head would not have been so lucky)
Anyway we popped all the bits back into position and tightened all the nuts n bolts, replaced the broken handle with a 6mm coach bolt, and had another go, and success! I just need to shorten a few ropes, and ensure it's exactly vertical. However we're pretty much there.
Next action is to attach the turbine, finish the wiring and move the "shed" (the box with the batts and electrics) into position. Then I will fix the blades and then we'll be generating free green electricity! Hurrah! At long last

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