Hello all! We have been extremely busy with travel the last few days! Last you heard we were exploring London in the rain. That evening some of us wrote papers while others explored the nightlife. We were even able to find a sports bar that showed the Packer/Cowboy game. The next day was a busy day. After waking up early, we waited in the pouring rain for our bus that arrived 45 min late. Then traffic was impossible to navigate through so we arrived an hour late for our meeting with the department of business, energy, and industrial strategy.
The presenters were super flexible and we were able to still get in the presentations. We heard about the U.K.’s plan for fracking, nuclear power, off shore wind, and the Climate Change Act. After a quick lunch, our bus brought us to meet with a representative from the green alliance. She talked about their action in Greener U.K. a group to help keep environmental policy going after Brexit. From here, we had a two-hour bus ride to Bristol, stopping for a quick bite along the way. Papers were tackled on the drive as well as when we got to the hostel in Bristol. There was a nice country jam session in the back of the bus by some, myself included, and that provided the rest of the group to feel better about their own singing abilities.
Tuesday was another busy day for the all. We were up early with nice warm English breakfast- eggs, tomatoes, sausage, bacon, beans, and lots more. After the good hearty meal, we loaded the bus and headed off to visit a nuclear power plant Hinkley Point B. Security was extremely tight and the plant was very conscious of safety. It was a massive operation; we visited only one of the generations, which were providing 537 MW of energy to the UK. As we were driving in and out from the plant we were able to see the construction of Hinkley Point C, a nuclear plant that will provide 3.2 GW of electricity.
With a quick turn around, we headed back to the hostel where we met with some anti-nuclear representatives. It was an extreme change of view from what we saw from the morning session. A lot of us were taken aback by such differencing opinions. After the session, we unwound with a very good carb loaded meal of pizza, potato wedges, bread, pasta, and beans.
Needing something to wash the carb loaded dinner down, a group of us went to a local pub for happy hour. It’s hard to beat a two-pound pint of Guinness. Needless to say, we had good conversation and a good night off.
Now, as to why the blog got the title A “Crappy” Morning Near Bristol. Today we went and visited a biomethane plant outside of Bristol. For those of you who don’t know or just need a refresher of what a biomethane plant are, it is a plant that creates methane from organic material. This organic material, in this case was the sewage from the 30,000 plus homes. From the moment we stepped off the bus until the moment we stepped back on the bus, our noses’ were petrified with horrific smells. However, the plant was not a crappy time. We were able to see how the carbon neutral company was able to turn something we all need to get rid of into methane.
When the time came, we were all relieved to get back on the bus and head to our next meeting. It was a great follow-up meeting as we headed to an open field with wind turbines and solar panels. The sun was shining and the air was fresh and odorless! We met with two gentlemen from a local energy co-op. They talked to us about some of the finance of smaller local energy.
At the moment we are headed to Nottingham where we will stay for four days. Thus, after you have read this, we will be safe in Nottingham.
Like always thank you for reading! Until next time.