Brecon Beacons based TGV Hydro has just received an Ashden Award for its work on community renewable energy.
(This news comes with thanks to Chris Blake for the press release and Ashden / Andrew Aitchison Photography for the photos)
PHOTO: CHRIS BLAKE AND FARMER HOWELL WILLIAMS OUTSIDE HOWELL’S TURBINE HOUSE FOR HIS 15KW SCHEME
The hills and streams of rural Wales make an ideal location for generating sustainable electricity from hydropower. But many potential sites are too small for the big hydropower developers to touch. TGV Hydro, wholly owned by The Green Valleys CIC, is filling this gap. It’s developing microhydro projects for private and community ownership across South Wales, working closely with the local authority to create a model that could be replicated elsewhere. Local labour is used to build projects where possible, and TGV has helped a new manufacturer of hydro turbines to start up.
PHOTO: HILL FARMER HOWELL WILLIAMS CHECKING THE OPERATION OF HIS 15KW MICROHYDRO SCHEME IN THE BRECON BEACONS
With 23 schemes completed across Wales and permissions for another 20 secured, TGV Hydro has been at the forefront of developing clean electricity from mountain streams. The renewable electricity generated can be sold into the national grid, so farmers and communities can diversify their income. And as Chris, who is one of the co-founders of TGV Hydro, explained
there is scope to build low impact microhydro schemes in any upland area – there are thousands of suitable sites across the UK, taking advantage of the energy in water as it runs down hill
The Ashden Awards have been going for fifteen years now. The very first award was presented to a Rwandan organisation that had designed a clean, energy-efficient oven to help counter the country’s serious deforestation. The Award was front-page news in the country’s press and the winner was met off the plane by President Kagame of Rwanda.
Since 2001, Ashden has rewarded over 170 sustainable energy champions across the world, helping everyone from those lacking electricity, to those suffering the consequences of cities that are choked with traffic fumes and congestion. These awards go to the people who are making sustainable energy more accessible, affordable and aspirational.
PHOTO: TGV HYDRO CO-FOUNDER CHRIS BLAKE BY THE INTAKE OF HOWELL WILLIAMS’ HYDRO SCHEME
Massive congratulations to Grenville Ham, Chris Blake and all at TGV Hydro – local people who are responding to the call for more action on climate change with practical solutions that also help to sustain farming and rural ways of life.
First published in Broad Sheep Magazine