Solar Park in Wiltshire Driving Locals Green

Over 14,000 people have signed a petition against large solar farms in their area following plans for a development covering 2,000 acres (810 hectares) in Wiltshire.

Lime Down Solar Park is designed to create 500MW of clean energy – said to be enough to power 115,000 homes – from six sites in villages in the county.

Developer Island Green Power says it will give a “net gain in biodiversity”. But locals say it will simply take away land that could be used for food growing, and provide no direct benefit to the local community.

The sites would be connected into the National Grid’s substation in Melksham, the proposals say.

The finance behind Lime Down is being provided by Macquarie Bank, an Australian company dubbed the Vampire Kangaroo — an Antipodean adaptation of the ‘vampire squid’ label applied to Goldman Sachs for the way it sucked up money — so most of the income may end up overseas.

The company has been widely accused of piling up debt at Thames Water, which it owned from 2006 to 2017, contributing to the problems at the water company.

With so many question marks over the environmental credentials of solar parks, it should be a cause for deep concern that Macquarie is involved .

The local MP, James Gray, who is against the scheme, blames ‘Wall Street hooligans’ for inflicting the Lime Down plan on his constituency and believes a British company would deal with the local community more sensitively.

He says this is not a party political issue as all the mainstream parties are fully behind Net Zero, as he is. He argues a Starmer-led government would be even more determined to push through Net Zero policies.

As locals see it, the whole political class appears to be ranged against the rural community of North Wiltshire, and their votes have nowhere to go on this issue except to fringe parties who have no hope of forming a government. So there is little political pressure on the Secretary of State to turn it down.

Many local residents are furious that big, titled landowners have been secretly in negotiation with Island Green and there are accusations of greed. On several estates, the land being offered for solar development has recently been taken back from tenant farmers. The rent being offered is a closely guarded secret, but sums in excess of £1,000 per acre per year are routinely advertised by renewables companies on the internet, perhaps five times the return that might be expected from farming.

Some farmers have been open in saying that they did not think there was a future in farming any more and this offered a lifeline. Others had been told by the developers that they would be surrounded by the solar complex whether they liked it or not, and had taken the attitude that if they couldn’t beat the development they …

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Anti-pylon Brits Could Herald New Off-grid Era

Retired film-maker Christopher Hamblin is unmoved at the prospect of a lump-sum payment from developers to compensate him for electricity towers and cables they want to build near his village in the east of England.

“That’s the trouble with these guys — they know the price of everything and the value of nothing,” says the 86-year-old resident of Ardleigh in Essex, a centuries-old settlement surrounded by some of the country’s most recognisable landscapes. 

Hamblin and his fellow residents are part of a growing backlash in local communities across Britain against the expansion of power grids as the steps needed to decarbonise the economy start to encroach on them.

In an attempt to counter this resistance Nick Winser, the government’s electricity networks commissioner, has recommended lump-sum payments to households living close to proposed transmission lines. It was one of several measures aimed at cutting in half the 14 years it takes to complete these projects.

The government wants to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2035, while demand for electricity is expected to double or treble as the economy moves away from fossil fuels under its legally binding target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Electric Vehicles and AI data centres have added a crushing new burden.

The offer of cash for pylons (as towers are named in the UK) has not changed the mood in Ardleigh, which is in the path of a new 183km north-south high voltage transmission line that National Grid wants to build through the East Anglian countryside. It would run from Norwich in Norfolk down to Tilbury in Essex and bring in renewable electricity generated from new offshore wind farms.

It is one of several new electricity transmission lines being planned around Britain to move clean electricity often generated in remote coastal locations into more populated areas where it is needed.

The East Anglia plan mainly involves cables carried on 50m-tall pylons dotted across the countryside, including around Ardleigh, which sits on the edge of the protected countryside of Dedham Vale, made famous in the 19th-century masterpieces by local artist John Constable.

The reason for the opposition varies, ranging from blighting the landscape to the impact on farmers or health, but most opponents would rather see the power lines replaced by undersea cables running from the wind farms most of the way down to Tilbury.

“Every single house within that location — we will be in a cage of electricity pylons,” says Chris Whitfield, chair of Ardleigh parish council, pointing out part of the proposed route on a map. 

Campaigners are well-organised, learning from other groups across the country, and are prepared to resort to legal action.

Local farm owner Charles Tritton suggested the anger is such that it could hurt the Tory party electorally. “The whole of East Anglia is pretty Conservative,” he said. “Add one or two per cent [swing vote] due to this …

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Solar Panels for Palestine – Donate Now

Whatever your views on the Arab-Israel conflicts, and on the Hamas atrocities of October 9th, nobody can no doubt that the humanitarian crisis demands immediate action by all of us – especially now that UNWRA has been exposed as a deeply suspect organisation. Sending money to huge bureaucracies like Save the Children or UNWRA – you know for sure that much of it goes in admin, bribes and other priorities than your own.

So if you want to help Palestinians on the ground in Gaza, who are surviving on tiny morsels of food, limited water and intermittent energy, if you want all your money to go straight to those in need – then we have a way.

Our cameraman in Gaza, will spend what we send him on buying solar panels, and film himself donating them to ordinary families. He has already been donating cash this way – brought in via Egypt.

He shot our latest Youtube footage, showing him distributing donated money – 50 shekels at a time. You can see the ID cards of the women as he hands them the money. You can see they are innocent citizens and not terrorists. Watch the video on our socials, and tell your friends.




Youtube shorts

But solar panels are more valuable than money – they are the gift that keeps on giving. We have found a supply of panels in Gaza, and any donations received will be used to purchase them and give them to communities in need of energy to power their lights and phones.

Please paypal to nick@off-grid.net and we will get the money straight out there the next day.

Mark your paypal: Solar Panels for Palestine.

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off grid showhome under construction in 2021

Welcome To Our Showhome – Open Day 27th August

The off-grid showhome started as a lockdown project – a spur of the moment bid for some land in an online auction in 2020.

Now it is a full -fledged reality and our next open weekend is August 27th 2023 – we welcome local residents who want to see what is happening , and also anyone who  is considering a similar project and needs advice on how to build.  Contact news@off-grid.net for more info – You can also watch the youtube film which shows the building process. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95qqnOWnfk4.

In years to come, the wood will benefit the environment in many ways, and also benefit the local community.  After all – they helped to plant it after we put out a call on Facebook seeking volunteers. They will use the shed to make tea and shelter from adverse conditions.

Three local scythers turned up in a 1950s LandRover. They looked like the Detectorists from the BBC series starring Toby Jones, except that instead of metal detectors they had long handled Austrian scythes which they honed frequently, as they slowly scythed their way through bracken and overgrown grass without disturbing the earth beneath, saving all sorts of tiny wildlife from abrupt eviction.

Each tree required a stake to be pounded in the ground, then a spade-slit for the tiny sapling itself.  The tree-guard slides over the tree and is fastened to the stake and presto – add ten years and you have a mature English woodland.

It was laborious process and by the end of the first day we had only scythed half the field and planted 150 trees.  Out of 500

We headed back up the track expecting to return a week later.  But then came another lockdown. The second day of planting never happened a year later.

Now the woodland is beginning to take shape, the shed is built and our neighbours have erected their shelters as well.

Please come and visit – and help plants some more trees.

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Seven Ways to Beat the Blackout this Winter

Homeware stores report a 60% year on year increase in website searches like hot water bottle, candle and flashlight. These are baby steps. You don’t need to become an off-grid survivalist to learn a few of our tricks. This head torch (In the UK – https://amzn.to/3ATUbfG) for example – may look a tad eccentric, but its more convenient during a blackout than candles or a handheld flashlight – you are walking around in your own pool of light!
Batteries last a month of daily use, wich is fortunate since the UK National Grid warned lights could go out on “those deepest, darkest evenings in January and February” because of reduced gas imports from Europe. In the US, major cities are finding that extreme weather can easily disrupt their utility supply, randomly and with increasing regularity.

Both American and British grid-tied households are apprehensive about what to expect. The ideas and products in this list will help you take back control of your power bill, and save money from reduced energy consumption.

1. Work and comms
Top of the list for the WFA generation is a reliable internet connection and long battery life. If you have a laptop make sure its low-energy – (the latest HP https://amzn.to/3XLHhdN, or Apple 13” Macbook https://amzn.to/3ipApSS, both last over 13 hours of use). Mobile phones with a good battery life include the Android Asus https://amzn.to/3UgKO0I and this Apple https://amzn.to/3OP0SFy

You can connect the laptop via your mobile phone’s personal wifi hotspot. Alternatively, buy a data dongle that plugs into your laptop (and feeds off its battery) to connect it to the internet via the mobile phone network- best for international is the Huwai https://amzn.to/3Fd03mO – A mifi dongle does the same thing, plus allows several devices to wirelessly use the connection. Both these options require a data plan from a mobile phone provider.

2. Uninterruptible power supply
For your home broadband connection, Most most modern gas boilers need a permanent electricity supply, so if your power goes down then so does your central heating you need an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which has a battery. A mid-range model can keep a typical 12V router seamlessly connected for a day, and a hot water pump in the evening. An APC UPS by Schneider Electric https://amzn.to/3EO6jQK for around £380 promises to keep a router and smartphone charger running for almost a day The more devices you plug in the shorter the UPS will last.

3. Battery pack

Either get yourself a big battery or a small one that fits in your purse or pocket – dont bother with the ones in between

Small portable battery packs charge your mobile phone, (like this one from Anker – https://amzn.to/3ucfDsB )when you are on the go, but are less handy in a blackout. Just make sure the power pack itself stays charged.

Big batteries like Bluetti and Jackery can set …

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If you take the dime, you gotta take the crime

Ever since 2008, I have been puzzled as to why individual directors are never prosecuted for corporate crimes in the UK. At the time of the financial crisis, I tried placing numerous stories and TV docs on the subject but nobody wanted to know.

The announcement this month by the US Department of Justice that there is to be a “crackdown” on company executives, is the first sign that the tide is beginning to turn

It will cause an uneasy stirring in corporate circles from Los Angeles to London, where the result of a UK Ministry of Justice “Call for Evidence” on a new “failure to prevent economic crime” offence has been pending since March 2017. Even the government’s own supporters are ashamed of this failure and the Law Commission is now due to issue an update at any moment.

There is widespread distrust of the system in Britain because of the scale and variety of large companies which break the law without their directors facing any criminal charges. chief executives argue that they are worth their hugely inflated salaries, and take the credit in full when things go well, but when large companies are found to have broken the law, its remarkably hard it is to prove that the boss was in charge of the decision making process that led to the crime.

When the companies themselves are fined, it is the shareholders or customers that foot the bill, not the law-breakers themselves. The rules of the game are rigged in favour of the wealthy , who can afford armies of expensive lawyers and tie prosecutors in knots for years on end. This makes a mockery of Britain’s reputation for rule of law, and is harmful to democracy in general.

Sewage dumping by Southern Water

Take the current outcry in coastal areas all around the country over sewage dumping. Southern Water has been repeatedly fined over the dumping. A judge has unequivocally found that previous court rulings were flouted and n evidence of illegal sewage dumping was destroyed or falsified. Nobody individual ever been prosecuted, or as far as I am aware even investigated by police.

The fury currently being expressed in Parliament, and on the nation’s beaches by swimmers is not just at the stench of the sewage, but also at the cosy system which allows company directors to hide behind evidential barriers which were designed to be insurmountable.

Proving a “Controlling Mind”

The issue in the case of Southern Water, and almost every other large corporate prosecution, is the difficulty in proving that the offence was committed by a “controlling mind.” The CEOs and CFOs of our biggest companies, who are happy to take the credit for success, draw large salaries and even larger bonuses, are mysteriously absent from the wheelhouse whenever there is a criminal investigation. You could say that McAvity-like quality is their biggest talent.…

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Kentucky a centre for off-grid living

A Kentucky couple, who have been off-grid for more than five years, have set up a website to discuss the lifestyle.

Mark and Emily McCafferty tell their story on AccidentalHippies.com. The couple bought 16 acres of land and built a nearly 1,200-square-foot house that uses a combination of energy sources, including solar panels, a radiant heat system, a wood stove and propane. The house also features a rainwater catchment system.

According to a study by outdoor services provider LawnStarter, the Bluegrass State was the top state in America for living off-the-grid, which is defined as having a home that’s not connected to a utility company or co-op for a power source.

Kentucky ranked well across the metrics, LawnStarter said in a release. Besides having laws allowing for an off-the-grid lifestyle, the state received top marks for the number of rural health clinics per 1,000 square miles. According to ruralhealthinfo.org, the state has 252 such clinics

Other strengths included the state’s cost of living and its high marks for solar power potential, a temperate climate and sufficient precipitation.

Off-the-grid lifestyles are gaining in popularity. A 2019 study by Accenture noted that in some markets, residential and commercial demand for solar panels could top 15% within the next 15 years.

However, according to the experts, the lifestyle is not for everyone.

“In short, be ready to devote 100 percent of your days to your lifestyle,” said Gabriel Durham, the sustainability coordinator for the University of Houston’s Office of Sustainability. “Video games become farming, work commutes become hand-washing laundry, going out to see people becomes chopping firewood.”

Emily McCafferty said in a blog post on the site that living off the grid does not mean disappearing from society altogether. Instead, for them, it’s more about being mindful of the footprint they’re creating.

She states on her blog that people who may be interested in living off the grid should start creating self-sufficient habits in their current residence.

“Learn how to bake bread, mend clothes, can food, wire circuits, build from scratch, and so on,” she wrote. “There are hundreds of great homestead skills you can learn right where you are. The more prepared you are going into an off-grid building project, the better off you’ll be.”

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Second Sleep – Book Review

The Second Sleep by Robert Harris – Buy it on Amazon US – an elegant, post-apocalyptic thriller
A priest investigates a vicar’s untimely death in a future Britain where reason is banished by dogma

The title of the book refers to the once common practice of having a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night, before returning to bed. It’s a powerful image that posits the current climate, in which much of the country enjoys relative health, wealth and freedom from outdated superstitions, as a brief, lucid window between two long stretches of darkness.

The Second Sleep: the Sunday Times 1 bestselling novel

One of the ways you know a good novel is by the other books you reach for as comparisons. Robert Harris’s latest, The Second Sleep, is a work of speculative fiction set in Britain 800 years into the future, after a “systemic collapse of technical civilisation” known as the Apocalypse. Into the void of the “Dark Age” steps a rejuvenated and dogmatic church, whose authoritarian rule and obsessive suppression of heretical “scientism” ensure that people live in brutal and backward conditions.

Harris’s bleak imagined world issues a clarion call to the present, urging us to recognise the value of progress, the importance of woolly concepts like liberalism and the rule of law, and all the other ideals we’ve spent generations fighting for yet seem prepared to sacrifice on the altar of populism. For make no mistake, this novel may be set in a Wessex that’s at once futuristic and quasi-medieval, but it’s very much about the here and now, about Trump and Brexit and the Govian rejection of experts.

Christopher Fairfax is a newly ordained priest who serves under the sinister Bishop Pole of Exeter. He has been sent to a village, Addicott St George, deep in a valley often cut off by the violent storms that beset this future England. The vicar of the village, Father Lacy, has recently died, and Pole has dispatched Fairfax to bury the old priest.

Harris is a master of plotting and, in elegant, understated third-person prose, he ratchets the tension ever upwards. A mysterious figure appears at Lacy’s funeral, casting doubt on the accidental nature of the priest’s death. There is a strange tower in the woods – the Devil’s Chair – around which human bones are discovered. There’s the Proceedings and Papers of the Society of Antiquaries, the records of a heretical movement. There’s a letter from a Prof Morgenstern, winner of the 1999 Nobel prize for “physic”, which notes that in the pre-Apocalyptic past “London existed at any moment only six meals removed from starvation” and that “society has reached a level of sophistication that renders it uniquely vulnerable to total collapse”. Sure enough, the Apocalypse hits in 2025, with thousands dying from previously preventable diseases, and more killed in brutal internecine wars.

There’s the echo …

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Peru View

Alone in the Peruvian Desert

Although every place on this planet is unique in its own way, Peru manages to stand out above the crowd because of its many natural and cultural aspects. This has astounded people for hundreds of years and still fascinates them today. So pack your camping bags and running shoes because here are the best Off-Grid places you can visit!








Its always a great thing to meet new people and to learn about new cultures, however Peruvians tend to make this act an even more enjoyable experience. Most Peruvians are hard workers, extremely polite, peaceful and curious about the interest of their visitors. So if you ever visit, don’t hesitate to talk to a local!

Peru’s various climates crates a diverse ecosystem and natural variety, all in one country. You can enjoy a drive in the desert and then end up by the ocean. it is one of the only places where its desert meets the sea. The combinations and varieties are endless. Peru is also known for its beautiful beaches, of Herradura, Costa Verde, and Puntas Rocas – all located in South of Lima, Peru’s capital. For a good time in the sun, sand, and crystal clean waters; you can go to popular beaches like Pucasana, Punta Sal, El Silencio, Punta Hermosa, and Santa Maria. Peru makes it perfect to do many short budget trips that allow you to experience this natural variety.

There are so many ways to discover this incredible country with Peruresponsabile.it You can book your honeymoon trip, or book an unforgettable stay in the Amazon with one of their collaborative communities. You can also walk among the Peruvian Valleys with one of their hiking trails or finally drive on the remote landscape in one of their off-road vehicles!

Watch Video Here: https://youtu.be/u8DSoulj7jM

For more information on Tours in Peru, please visit: https://www.peruresponsabile.it

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