Knowledge Sharing

Sparking Conversations

On May 27th 2023, the Mycelia Energy Collective and Totally Renewable Tenby Point hosted an information session at the Corinella and District Community Centre that launched our first Energy Circle event. That day, the group had a robust conversation about all things relating to renewable energy!

Sparking Conversations grab

Each month, we’ll share some of the questions we covered at our last Energy Circle in a document we call ‘Sparking Conversations’ to make sure everyone is part of the conversation!”

Click here to download ‘Sparking Conversations’ from May 27th 2023.

Questions this month

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy refers to things like solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy (from waste), and hydrogen (in some cases).
Switching to renewable energy and ending use of non-renewable fossil fuels like coal and gas. is critical in mitigating
the effects of climate change and transitioning to a renewable future. A mix of renewable energy sources is
important to create a reliable energy system suited to varying conditions and future demands.

What is community energy?

To put it simply, community energy means that benefits flow to community, rather than to corporations. It also
means that the energy is generated and used within a local community, or between a network of members.

How do microgrids work?

A microgrid consists of a cluster of households and / or businesses trading energy via a local, miniature energy grid,
with the ability to disconnect from the main energy grid and power itself. In addition to allowing local energy
trading, microgrids create community resilience in scenarios of planned and unplanned power outages, like storms
that can damage power lines and leave people without power for extended periods.

What’s virtual energy trading?

A virtual power plant (VPP), or virtual energy network (VEN), allows trading of energy via aggregating and accounting
between households and businesses. It means power generated by members of the network can be purchased and
utilised by other members of the network. This system doesn’t require new infrastructure as it uses existing smart
meters, already in place in many homes and businesses, to account for energy generated, stored and utilised by
members of the network. Energy charges are then based on how much energy people generate and / or use.

What if I’m told there’s already too much solar in my area?

If you’re told there’s already too much solar in your area, it is most likely because your retailer already has a number
of customers with solar in your area and it doesn’t suit their business to have more customers with solar at this point
in time. If you ask a different energy retailer and you may get a different answer!

How is my feed-in tariff determined?

There is a minimum feed-in tariff that all energy providers must adhere to, set by the essential services commission.
The feed-in tariffs you receive are set by your energy retailer (who sends you your energy bills), and influenced by
your energy distributor (think poles and wires). You can compare the feed-in tariffs offered by different retailers to
see who values your excess solar the most.

Can I make the switch to renewable energy if I don’t have solar?

Yes – even if you don’t have solar you can choose 100% renewable energy sources. Ask your energy provider about
100% renewable energy and if they can’t offer it to you for your home or business shop around. The Mycelia Energy
Collective’s retailer, The People’s Grid, is one example!

Why are batteries important?

Batteries allow storing of excess energy for use at a later time, for example storing excess solar energy generated
during the day for use when there are more people at home at night. Some batteries are privately owned at people’s
homes and businesses, and in some neighbourhoods there are community owned batteries too.

How can I do good with my energy bill?

Whether you have solar or not, making the switch to 100% renewable energy is a good thing for our environment.
Plus, if you regularly generate excess solar and export to the grid, imagine being able to sell that energy to your
family, friends and neighbours at a good price, or donating it to someone in need.

Sparking Conversations Featured Image

Mycelia Energy Collective

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