It is Big Green week in Bristol and there are a lot of very interesting talks and events happening. Last night M Sustainability attended Our Energy Future: the road not (yet) taken hosted by Bristol Energy Network (http://www.bristolenergynetwork.org/) who are an umbrella group for Bristols community groups.
There are a number of different ways to deal with the energy crisis, increasing climate change due to use of fossil fuels, and the panel was diverse and had a number of different takes on how the matter should be dealt with.
All on the panel seemed to agree that realistically energy efficiency within buildings and energy should be considered first and that renewables should be a secondary measure.
There were calls for a policy similar to the Feed in Tariff for home improvements to help insulate homes to a higher standard, which would reduce the amount of energy needed overall, this could be provided by a government scheme. This is something that could make a real difference to the overall energy demand, reduce fuel poverty and also see effects on health and wellbeing of the nation, however there have been challenges to similar schemes such as the green deal which did not provide a big incentive to improve efficiencies, and the Renewable Heat Incentive has also had barriers to overcome such as difficulties in measuring the amount of heat produced and a limited uptake.
There was a lot of discussion centred around Germany as an exemplary model for energy use and production. Although it was noted that there are some things that have improved from the German model. More information here.
There were ideas around energy use with technology to improve the times that people use energy, such as making the buildings different colours for when it is a good time to power up.