It all started …
…in Malhamdale back in 2004 when, as part of the Malhamdale Plan drawn up by local action group Malhamdale Initiative, Malhamdale Renewable Energy Group was established to investigate energy demand and available renewable energy resources in the dale. With the co-operation of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and a grant from the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust’s Sustainable Development Fund, a survey was carried out in 2005 with input from the Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth (CAT). The survey provided detailed statistics and analysis of demand as well as recommendations on how to reduce energy usage. A report was published giving details of the findings and recommendations.
As part of the Malhamdale group’s ongoing development, in 2010 contact was made with Craven Action for Renewable Energy, a Gargrave based group established with the aim of supporting renewable energy development in Craven. After experiencing the bitterness created by opposition to a wind farm near Gargrave this group decided to try and bring an approach based on consultation and co-operation, rather than conflict, to the development of our own renewable energy resources.
The conviction that a commitment to the transition to a low carbon economy can encourage sustainable development of our rural communities and make a significant contribution to controlling climate change, is at the root of our project. Ownership of and understanding how energy systems work does make a significant difference to behaviour, resulting in energy savings.
If we are to achieve the targets agreed at COP 21 in Paris at the end of 2015 everyone has to be involved in the transition to a low carbon economy.