About us.....

Abingdon Carbon Cutters is a Community Action Group formed to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and to promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at St Ethelwold's House, which is here.

At some meetings, we have guest speakers to present various topics, and at others we discuss our own personal actions to address climate change. The group has a focus on encouragement, both of one another, and of the town community.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The ARES project.

Exciting news from Richard Riggs and a request for help. Please send any reply to him direct on richard.riggs@physics.org
and not to me! Many thanks, Sally

Dear Carbon Cutters

Can I let you all know where we are on our hydro power project.

First, it has a name! ARES, for Abingdon Renewable Energy Scheme. A quick
summary of what has to happen is: (1) permission from the Environment Agency -
several hoops to jump through for that; (2) planning permission from the Vale;
(3) a share offer; (4) get it built; (5) a board managing it and reinvesting
some of the profit in local renewable energy.

We have met various people in the field to get background information. (1)
looks like the slowest bit, so don't hold your breath to see it up and
running. Just what is required and how much it will cost to get through (1)
and (2) needs more clarifying.

Early stage funding is needed for consultancy, publicity, and the usual
administrative costs of running a project. But it's not just about fund
raising and how to reward early investors, it's about raising awareness of the
project generally. This may lead on to sources of support and sponsorship, and
it would improve the prospects for the eventual share offer. However it is also
to develop a sense of ownership locally, as it will be a very visible advert
for local renewable energy.

It is still early days for the project, but an opportunity for publicity is
coming up, at the dragon boat races on Sunday 9 May. So a pitch is booked! I
have two requests for that event:

1. Can anyone lend a gazebo less than 3m across (that's the width of the
pitch), to give some shelter from the sun (hopefully not from the rain)?

2. Would you like to do a session there, giving out leaflets and chatting about
the scheme to anyone who is interested?

Also, more generally:

3. Would you like to give me your name as someone who wants to be kept
informed of what we are doing, maybe to be involved in some way in future, but
making no commitment to the project at present?

4. Would you like to be involved more directly, perhaps because you have
useful skills, experience, contacts, etc, or simply because you want to do
what you can to help it to a successful conclusion?

We are gradually getting together a group to oversee the project, but just how
we operate should be quite flexible. Do you have abilities in management,
technology, publicity, negotiation, building a web site, writing reports,
checking contracts, chasing after grants or sponsorship, looking after the
money.... the list goes on. And don't underrate plain old common sense and
enthusiasm! Get in touch with me (Richard Riggs) at ares1@dsl.pipex.com, or
phone 01235 521931.

Hoping to hear from some of you - please reply to me at richard.riggs@physics.org

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