Volunteers step up plans for Renewable Energy in Sheffield

Document Sample
Volunteers step up plans for Renewable Energy in Sheffield Powered By Docstoc


Can Communities Succeed where Politicians Falter?
While Global Leaders struggle to maintain optimism in the run up to international climate
talks in Copenhagen, people in Sheffield are taking the initiative and preparing to put
their money where their mouths are.

Sheffield Renewables[1] has launched a feasibility study this week into the potential for
water powered green electricity generation at Jordan Dam on the border between
Sheffield and Rotherham. If the results are encouraging then the organisation aims to
offer shares to local individuals and businesses to help fund construction of the scheme.

Richard Collins, an engineer at Sheffield University, is one of Sheffield Renewables'
core volunteers. He said:
“our preliminary work suggests that Jordan Dam is the most promising site for a hydro
scheme in Sheffield. It could generate a significant amount of green electricity. We have
employed a highly regarded consultant to complete a full site assessment and estimate
the potential costs and returns”.

Sheffield Renewables’ initial assessment suggests that the scheme might cost around
£450,000 to build; and could generate around 380MWh/yr of electricity. This is enough
to power 130 typical family homes [2]. Sourcing this much electricity from hydroelectric
generation rather than the national grid would save about 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide
per year [3].

The results of the feasibility study will be known by February 2010. From there,
Sheffield Renewables is hoping to establish a time scale for a share offer and
subsequent installation of the hydroelectric generator. The share offer would be open to
individuals and businesses within Sheffield, providing them with an ethical investment
opportunity which will also help improve their environment.


Funding for the feasibility work has been provided by a combination of grants from
Sheffield First Partnership and Future Energy Yorkshire [4]. Sheffield Renewables is
also discussing the development of the weir with British Waterways [5].

Sheffield Renewables provides an opportunity for local people to put their time and/or
money where their mouth is and make a genuine difference to their local environment
and energy security. Sheffield Renewables believes the by working together,
communities can rise to the challenges posed by climate change. We very much hope
that world leaders can find a similar shared commitment at their talks in Copenhagen.
Contact Details:
Cariad Thomas-Cooke
Network and Communications Officer for Sheffield Renewables
07951 741 382
Also visit our website:

Notes to Editors

[1] Sheffield Renewables is committed to improving Sheffield’s environmental
sustainability. We aim to harness local enthusiasm, knowledge and skills, in creating an
energetic and committed social enterprise, which develops, owns and operates
renewable energy schemes.

Our schemes will contribute to city wide efforts to meet targets for reducing greenhouse
gas emissions and for increasing local renewable energy provision. We reinforce these
direct carbon savings through local outreach, communications and education. Our work
also helps to strengthen social cohesion and community resilience by encouraging
people to work together and to share a common purpose, and also by developing
community owned assets.


Sheffield Renewables was formed by a group of volunteers in late 2007. We are a
social enterprise, owned by and working for local people. We rely heavily on volunteer
time to develop and deliver our project work. In pursuing our aims we work across the
city for the benefit of everyone, while giving an additional focus to those areas close to
our project sites. Sheffield

[2] This is based on an average UK household electricity consumption of 3,935kWh per
household per year. Provided by the Energy Saving Trust

[3] Based on a carbon dioxide emission rate of 0.537kg CO2/kWh of grid generated
electricity from The Carbon Trust

[4] To date Sheffield Renewables had received funding from the following organisations:

   1.   Sheffield First Partnership (SFP) The partnership coordinates the work of a range
        of different public, private and voluntary agencies and initiatives and brings
        together the public, private, voluntary, community and faith sectors.

        Information on funding given to Sheffield Renewables:

   2.   Key Fund Yorkshire is a social enterprise that provides development finance for
        social entrepreneurs, voluntary and community organisations and existing social

   3.   Future Energy Yorkshire has been established to secure the economic
        opportunities arising from new and renewable energy technologies and projects
        across the Yorkshire and Humber region


[4] British Waterways owns the weir at Jordan Dam as part of 2,200 miles of canals and
rivers that the organisation cares for