Can Two Artists Kickstart A Multi Billion Pound Energy Revolution?
Hilary Powell & Dan Edelstyn are artist / filmmakers based in London. Fresh from their socially-engaged action of creating an artist bank to buy up and blow up £1 million in high street debt, they are now embarking on a new mission: To bring power back to the people.
Do you ever feel disempowered, angry and frankly depressed by all that's happening in contemporary politics in the UK? Do you want to help build an alternative but maybe you don't know where to start? Well read on, because the story that we are living involves you, because we can all make a difference, but only when we come together.
It seems like no time since my partner Hilary and I had the crazy idea of turning our street in London into a Renewable Power Station. We just got tired of waiting for the government to take action and responsibility for the climate crisis, and worrying about mounting energy bills. We felt they weren’t taking the future of the planet seriously and it suddenly dawned on us: if we keep waiting for the politicians to actually do something, it’s just going to get too late, we’ll go beyond the tipping point the experts are warning against.
And we saw too that the energy markets had gone totally crazy. According to the government themselves, there were 27% of people in our own borough of London who were in "energy poverty". In fact, the charity Energy Action predicts that 50% of the UK population will be in "fuel poverty" by the end of the year!
Like a lot of people, we were hoping that there would be a turning point, a political sea change, a wakening up. But actually many of the people who did just that were largely ignored by the political establishment, or laughed off the TV talk shows they were asked to appear on to "explain themselves".
And this is a big thing: they weren't creating new systems or structures, rather they were just critiquing the existing ones – plus they were demonized even by a press owned by billionaires who want to keep reality firmly out of the news. So we said to ourselves – "If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?" We decided we would set about building a renewable Power Station on our street – and follow the advice and ideas set out by economist and author Ann Pettifor – "Every Building a Power Station."
With no real knowledge of how solar panels or insulation work, we said "Let’s get solar panels onto every house of one London street – and then when we’ve done that, let’s insulate all the houses that want to be in on it – Let's get a zero-carbon street!"
Let’s declare ourselves as a sort of mini government – the type of government we would want if we had a genuine choice. A government of artists and visionaries rather than the fusty and corrupt types who currently rule over us. After all, when you start to bulk-buy solar panels, the cost falls massively from the retail price. We've got a deal with our supplier that's 50% cheaper for doing this in bulk.
We have done some calculations:
There are 22,260,856 houses in the UK.
Installing solar panels on every house in the UK would provide 60.52% of our total domestic electricity consumption.
Between April and September, solar generation would exceed all domestic electricity consumption.
How much would it cost to fit every house in the UK with solar panels and battery storage?
The average retail price including VAT for a 3.16kW system with 5.12kWh battery storage is currently £6000 - £6000 x 22,260,856 = £133.56bn. Or roughly 3.59 track and trace systems.
Meeting a significant amount of our electricity needs with cheaper domestic energy production would reduce our reliance on international energy markets, which can be volatile and raise prices significantly for consumers.
Not having enough renewables or storage means you feel the effects of intermittency to a much greater degree.This intermittency means you have to go into the market and buy energy (usually fossil fuels) which can push the price up significantly.
Just look at the energy markets now…it’s a nightmare – and who’s pulling the strings? Vladimir Putin?! I don't know about you - but I'd much rather do business with artists than him - any day! Does this sound a bit Utopian? Do we sound like crackpots?
Find out for yourselves!
We have set up a membership site where you can have totally free access for 30 days – and there’s no credit cards or anything–
If you join you'll find out:
★ HOW WE CAN GET TOGETHER AND SLASH THE PRICES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY WITHOUT COMPLICATED BUSINESS MODELS OR PAPERWORK (OUR STREET-BY-STREET SYSTEM)
★ THE NO BRAINER WAY TO GET FREE SOLAR INTO OUR CASH-STRAPPED SCHOOLS (UPCOMING ONLINE EVENT WITH SOLAR 4 SCHOOLS)
★ HOW TO MAKE GREAT ART THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD WHILE RETAINING POETRY, WONDER, AND JOY
★ HOW WE CAN TEAM UP IN OUR COMMUNITIES TO MAKE IMPORTANT MOVEMENTS THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
The one thing I can promise you is not to bore you. Signing up costs literally nothing - and you can unsubscribe at any time.
You will also get to watch our recent documentary BANK JOB for free inside the membership portal. This was nominated for a Grierson award under 'most entertaining documentary' category in 2021 and nominated for a BIFA as well.
It also got ★★★★ in the FT
Go to https://membership.power.film/enrol to learn more.
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