Road to Copenhagen

Press Release

For release 3rd December 2009

Welsh Green Valleys solutions head for Copenhagen

You could be forgiven for thinking that a small country like Wales might have little impact at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, but when it comes to green energy, the whole world may be looking towards the Green Valleys in Wales for inspiration.

Based in the picturesque Brecon Beacons National Park, The Green Valleys community project and Talybont on Usk Energy have been chosen to be featured in the TV series ‘Road to Copenhagen’, which is part of the United Nation’s Seal the Deal Campaign. In the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on the 7th of December, the series was broadcast across Europe and Asia during the months of September, October and November on the CNBC network. The series will also be showcased during the summit itself as part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) stand.

Filmed by Back2back productions in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the short film follows the community energy initiatives for two Big Green Challenge* entrants – ‘The Green Valleys’ in Wales and ‘Global Generation’ in Kings Cross, London – focusing on their practical solutions that are setting the UK towards a green energy revolution.

The Green Valleys has spent the last year working on community based energy initiatives that are dramatically altering the way Wales uses and generates energy.  With 11 micro hydro generators already installed across the National Park and a further 50 viable systems already identified; irrigation systems for allotments; energy audits and thermal imaging on homes; woodland management for the production of local wood fuel and low carbon transport initiatives – it suddenly becomes apparent why this tiny part of Wales is creating big green waves on the world climate change stage.    And if all this isn’t enough The Green Valleys is also waiting to hear if they’ve won a share in £1 million pound from NESTA’s Big Green Challenge competition which is due to be announced in January 2010.

Wales’ first community hydro turbine in Talybont on Usk owned and operated by Talybont on Usk Energy is also featured in the film and has been greatly supportive of The Green Valleys community project.  Mike Bugler, Chairman of Talybont on Usk Energy said:  “We look forward to hearing if The Green Valleys has been successful in the Big Green Challenge competition and we were delighted to have worked with them on this short film.  We have been happy to share our experiences with the Green Valleys Dyffryn Crawnon hydro project which I understand could be a stepping stone for them to become Wales’ first carbon negative community.  We are constantly looking at new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and only this week, we have placed an order for an electric car which will be owned and used by our local community and its visitors.”

Chris Blake, Director of the Green Valleys said: “To have our community based energy initiatives showcased at the Climate Change summit in Copenhagen is a huge accolade for the Green Valleys and all the communities who’ve been dedicated to finding solutions to mitigate climate change.  The hard work that’s gone into seeing good ideas turned into tangible developments producing fantastic energy solutions is nothing short of inspiring – which is why we have so many communities across the National Park involved with the Green Valleys.  To have the rest of the world now watching our progress is humbling but it clearly demonstrates how local initiatives are relevant to people all over the world.”


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