Cornish town aims to be UK's first to adopt solar power - struggle becomes YouTube series

Sunday 18 September 2011 16:12

The residents of the small town of Wadebridge, Cornwall, are aiming to transform the area into the first solar- and renewable-energy powered town in the UK. Their journey towards this goal is the subject of a YouTube mini-series.

The small town located in Cornwall on the southern tip of the United Kingdom has a population of around 6,000 and, thanks to a campaign by local residents, aims to become the first solar-powered town in the UK.

This campaign to convert to renewable energy is being led by the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN), which is aiming to install 1Mega Watts (MW) of solar energy by April 2012 and 7MW of solar energy by 2015, which would account for around a third of the town's electricity supply.

The campaigners have faced a series of difficulties in their pursuit of this renewable energy goal, including winning over local residents and technical difficulties surrounding controversial proposals by the British government to limit the Feed-In-Tariff (payment for generating electricity) to small-scale projects.

However, supported by solar technology companies such as Solarcentury, the town's residents are beginning to install their first solar panels, and their initial inspiration, efforts and journey towards this goal is the subject of a four-part YouTube mini-series.

The first episode was uploaded to YouTube on May 20 and outlines the aims of the project and the difficulties involved in winning over some of Wadebridge's residents. The video is available to watch at: The next episode will be made available on Solarcentury's channel at within the next two weeks.

The following episodes will be filmed over the coming months and uploaded to the channel roughly every four weeks.

The Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) is also available to follow online via Facebook (, Twitter ( @WRENuk) or via the official website

This grassroots project tackles renwable energy on a village-size scale while another plan for a renewable-energy-powered community, the Tianjin eco-city in China, is a massive project - a $607 million,  30km squared city due for completion in 2018.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments