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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Windy Winter Boating Nights

Richard Stabbins begins an occasional series on the joys and heartbreaks of living on a boat in the middle of a big city.

It’s early evening on the canal towpath and I’m almost home. My hands are frozen and even getting my bike lock open had me yelping expletives. I cut a dishevelled figure on the dark stretch between Broadway Market and Victoria Park, dimly lit by LED lights of neighbouring boats. Hopping onto the bow of my floating home, crouching my way through the front door, my first thought is: “I’m so glad I’ve got a dog!”. Bruno is an excitable 30kg hound, a blessing in himself. I had stocked the stove that morning with a generous heap of coal to keep him warm. It made me love him even more. It’s been 1 degree all day and, boaters returning to a frozen tin box usually despair for an hour or more at the lack of heating that we can monitor from an app on our phone. Praise be, though – I have a hound! 

That contentment does not last long. Backpack stowed away in its spot between front steps and cupboard (every boater knows, space is at the key), I set to washing last night’s dishes. I turn on the taps, hear the boiler kick in, and then that splattering sound that every boat-dweller hates to hear: the water tank is empty! I slump down on to my couch made of old pallets and recycled cushions. The serenity of a warm night with dinner and a book is replaced by the knowledge that I must cruise to the nearest waterpoint. Bruno looks on from his bed with eyes that know what’s coming. At least the batteries are full and I’ve got diesel – a (hopefully) short trip like this will use very little fuel.

First things first, I check the weather forecast on my phone. I know it’s cold, but that’s not the biggest factor – it’s the wind. Google says I’ve got two hours before wind speeds really pick up, so that’s my window to get fuel and safely find a mooring spot elsewhere. It wasn’t long ago that I had been awoken at 05:00 by a fellow boater shouting for help. Wind speeds had suddenly hit eighty-plus mph and several boats had come free from their makeshift moorings (their pegs had been dislodged as there are no mooring rings available in that part of Haggerston). One boat had swung around and was resting horizontally across the canal, blocking anything coming through. Four of usin our pyjamas fought the wind and just about managed to heave in the barge Other boats were tied up to the balcony railings of canalised flats. Ropes stretched across the towpath at neck height like deadly rubber bands – a measure taken temporarily to regain some calm and order.

That feeling of …

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50-year old Diesel Generator In Mirissa Beach

Mirissa beach is known for cool Eurotrash, beautiful surfing and whale-watching. In common with most of the country outside the dapital, the beach community struggles with an unreliable electricity grid. But it is not known as a centre of off-grid technology – and for good reason. Like most of the country, households in Mirissa depend for backup power on diesel rather than solar. The Perkins generator at the Seastar Hotel is a relatively modern example of a near-century-old design.

It sits in the courtyard of this friendly hotel, maintained by locals, at the end of the long golden beach, that has become increasingly popular over the years.

Western surfers share the waves with Sri Lankan fishermen, who hover near the shore all day, line fishing, while most of the catch is hoovered up by industrial vessels on the horizon.

When the power goes out, about once every couple of days, the huge old generator roars into action. It certainly helped me out when I was trying to go online. Happy Birthday, Generator. You can see the film here.

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The End We Start From – New Movie Starring Jodie Comer

A new movie starring Jodie Comer explores what could happen if a flood takes the UK off-grid.

Directed by rising star Mahalia Bello the film is set in a world that sees London submerged by flood waters. Comer play a mum who tries to find her way home with her newborn child after she’s separated from her family.

The disaster movie almost happened in real life last year, when Storm Henck hit the UK. Its intense rainfall had nowhere to go except to pour into rivers, which burst their banks spectacularly across the country. More than 1,000 homes in England were flooded and some villages totally cut off, with Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire worst affected.

This interpretation is supported by figures from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, which last week revealed that the period between July and December in 2023 was the wettest on record for the UK. As to the reason, there is a simple explanation.

“Climate change is warming the atmosphere,” said Linda Speight of Oxford University. “A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture so that when it rains, the rainfall is heavier and more likely to lead to flooding. In particular, we know that climate change is leading to warmer and wetter winters in the UK. We will unfortunately experience more winters like this one in the future.”

The film focuses on the love of a mother for her baby, the love between her and her partner, the love between friends and the love of community. “That’s what keeps people going and gives them strength,” said Megan Hunter, auuthr of the 2017 novel on which the film is based.

At the same time, she hopes that The End We Start From will help to raise awareness about the need to act urgently on the climate emergency facing our planet, or we too will face the end of life as we know it.

“If it becomes one of the most important things in the world to all of us, we’ll be able to make the changes we need to,” she says. “We’ve driven things this far with overconsumption, fossil fuels, capitalism: we’ve reached this point of total crisis. But this is where we are. And we need to start from here, from this end point we’ve reached, and create a new future.”


London and other cities across the UK are underprepared for the “disastrous consequences” of climate change, with issues including severe flooding and extreme heat posing a “lethal risk” to vulnerable communities, according to a new report. The London Climate Resilience Review, commissioned by mayor of London Sadiq Khan and chaired by Emma Howard Boyd, the former chair of the Environment Agency, issued a series of “urgent recommendations”, including that Whitehall should give councils more funding and powers to adapt to global warming. 

The End We Start From goes on general release

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Media Alert : Scottish Power Poised to Waste £5 Billion on Upgrading Archaic Infrastructure, Missing Opportunity for Microgrid Investment 

For Release 

18th Jan, 2024, United Kingdom 




An evidence session tomorrow, Weds 17th Jan, before the Net Zero Commons Committee, titled ‘A Flexible Grid for the Future’, is poised to bring to light critical decisions impacting the future of the UK’s energy infrastructure. 

In evidence to the committee, Nick Rosen, a prominent off-grid expert, author, and documentary filmmaker, has raised significant concerns about the current direction of energy investments in the UK, along with the plan by Scottish Power to invest £5 Billion in upgrading existing infrastructure. 


Key Points: 

  • Committee Meeting: The Commons Committee ‘A Flexible Grid for the Future’ is set to convene this Wednesday at 10 am to quiz the head of Scottish Power on the renewal and expansion of the UK’s energy grid. 
  • Costly Energy Loss: As highlighted by Nick Rosen in his evidence to the committee, the UK is already incurring approximately £2 billion annually in energy losses. This staggering figure underlines inefficiencies in the current grid system. 
  • Scottish Power’s Plan: Ahead of this crucial meeting, Scottish Power has announced plans to invest a colossal £5 billion in upgrading outdated cable systems, a move that Rosen criticises as short-sighted. 
  • Pylon Controversy: Amidst these developments, there has been a noticeable absence of discussion regarding the build-out of more pylons.

The budget is almost £2b for Scotland alone and is considered by many as a blight on the countryside. 

  • Missed Opportunity for Microgrids: Rosen emphasizes that this scenario represents a squandered chance to pivot towards a more sustainable and future-proof approach. By focusing on localized microgrids, the UK could avoid the pitfalls of upgrading an archaic system and recover the billions lost due to energy inefficiencies. 

Nick Rosen, known for his extensive work and publications on off-grid living and sustainable energy solutions, has submitted his evidence to the Commons Committee. He stresses the urgency for a paradigm shift in how we perceive and invest in our energy infrastructure. 


Availability for Comment and Interviews: 

Nick Rosen is available for comments or interviews to discuss this pressing issue further. His expertise and insight into sustainable energy solutions, particularly in the realm of microgrids, could provide valuable perspectives in the wake of the upcoming committee meeting. 


Contact Information: 


07971 543703 


About Nick Rosen: 

Nick Rosen is an acclaimed off-grid expert, author, and documentary filmmaker. His work focuses on promoting sustainable living and energy independence, as reflected in his widely read books and documentaries on off-grid living. 


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Cabin Porn Maintains Allure – Book Review

Books, articles and TV shows about beautifully-styled off-grid cabins ,continue to attract large audiences, showing our love affair with off-grid escapism continues and is even intensifying.

Off The Grid – Houses for Escape even has that escapist word in the title – and is selling well as a result. Wallpaper magazine calls it “a richly illustrated chronicle of new residential design in far-flung locations across North America.” Emphasis on “Richly.”

The “author, “Dominic Bradbury glosses over the stories of how innovative architects fleeced their clients to make everyday living in the most wild and remote locations of the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia not only expensive, but also a self-sustaining status symbol – something to crow about in terms of energy, water, and in some cases location.

From snowbound cabins in the far Northern Hemisphere to coastal retreats that can only be accessed by boat, this fully illustrated overview explains the diverse ways in which architects are tackling extreme climates, remoteness, and sustainability challenges to enable a new way of life that is both liberating and responsible, wherever on Earth you happen to be.

It is expensive for what it is a – featuring just 42 elite and priviledged homes across the USA and the world. Contemporary projects, designed by foreign firms as well as North American architects from across the continent. Divided into three broad categories (Countryside & Forest, Waterside & Coast, and Hillside & Mountain), viewThe only real unifying factor is location; these are houses without access to traditional services or facilities, and are said to have a special and intense relationship with their surroundings.

Although you would be forgiven to think that many of them turn their back on the surroundings and simply serv to inflate the ego of the architects, the likes of Brillhart or Cohesion studio,, whose creation could have appeared literally anywhere in the US, but happens to be in the iconic Joshia Tree area – where passing LA journalists  might choose to puff the firm up a little.

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Top 5 States for Living Off-Grid in the USA

The United States, with its vast and diverse landscapes, offers several states where off-grid living is more accessible and encouraged.  Here are the top states that foster an environment conducive to off-grid life.

Arizona: Sunshine and Freedom

Nestled in the arid Southwest, Arizona boasts abundant sunshine, making it an ideal hub for solar power. Its vast rural areas offer relatively affordable land and, in certain regions, lenient regulations that facilitate off-grid living. Communities in places like Apache County have embraced sustainable, off-grid lifestyles, encouraging like-minded individuals to join their ranks.

New Mexico: Serenity and Space

Similar to Arizona, New Mexico provides ample sunlight for solar energy and pockets of affordable land. Some counties, such as Taos, are known for their off-grid communities and more relaxed building codes, fostering a supportive environment for those seeking a life disconnected from traditional utilities. Hundreds of square miles area around Alberqueue are dotted with off-grid ocmmunities

Texas: Large and Wild

The Lone Star State’s huge acreage caters to all off-grid aspirations. Depite its arid climate – Texas combines vast expanses of land with fewer zoning regulations, especially in rural regions. Areas like Terlingua in West Texas have become hotspots for off-grid living, offering a balance between seclusion and community.

Oregon: Green and Progressive

Oregon’s allure lies in its more liberal land use policies in certain areas and a generally supportive attitude toward sustainable living. While the state experiences ample rainfall on the western (Pacific Ocean) side of the state, it also features communities that embrace off-grid practices, particularly in counties like Josephine and Curry. The eastern side of the state boasts more arid land, which may have more challenges due to less rainfall overall.

Alaska: The Ultimate Frontier

For those seeking true isolation and a connection with untamed nature, Alaska stands as an enticing choice. Its remote and spacious landscapes beckon those looking for a complete break from mainstream living. While harsh winters can pose challenges, the state’s independent spirit and vast wilderness appeal to off-grid enthusiasts.

Key Considerations for Off-Grid Living

While these states offer favorable conditions for off-grid living, regulations and local ordinances vary significantly within each state. Before embarking on an off-grid lifestyle, thorough research on specific counties, land-use policies, water rights, and building codes is essential. Additionally, considerations about climate, access to resources, and community should factor into the decision-making process.

Embracing Off-Grid Freedom

Off-grid living embodies a desire for independence, sustainability, and a closer connection to nature. Whether one seeks the arid deserts of the Southwest, the rugged terrains of Alaska, or the green landscapes of Oregon, these states provide opportunities for individuals or communities to forge their path toward self-reliance and off-grid freedom.

Do you live in any of these states? If so, do you live off-grid or want to live off-grid? Tell us about your experiences where you live.  Leave comments or write to news@off-grid.net

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Gridless in Gaza

The tragic war in Gaza has left hundreds of thousands off the grid  – with no water or power and very little food.

Off-grid has obtained exclusive footage from the streets of Southern Gaza – available to watch on our youtube channel – offgridnet .

It is quite dangerous to gather this footage and our thanks go to our long-standing cameraman in the region. We are not naming him for security purposes.

After they queue for hours at aid stations for tiny amounts of sustenance,  and to recharge their phones – Gaza residents then return to bombed-out shelters to cook morsels of bread on campfires and go to the toilet in whatever unused corners they can find.

They search the trash for materials for their fires to cook by. Off-Grid.net is trying to send solar panels and batteries to Gaza but there are many obstacles.

The Israeli army prevents batteries and solar panels from getting through, claiming the equipment has a military purpose.  But this claim ignores the humanitarian emergency unfolding, and makes Israel’s IDF look as though they are deliberately imposing siege conditions on the Gaza population.

Hospitals are another place where Gazans can charge their phones and pick up water.

Please contact us if you want to help us provide off-grid aid to Gaza  – contact



Please contact us with footage from off-grid zones, anywhere in the world.

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“I gave up normal life to live in my own wood – for £15,500”

A MAN who gave up his normal life to live off the grid with his family has revealed how – and why – he did it.

Fraser, his wife Rachael and their children Grace and Albie stay in a patch of woodlands in Lancashire, UK.  But the 4.5 acres of land was bare when Fraser managed to pull £15,500 together to buy it 18 years ago.

Fraser said: “Holding out for that perfect piece of land isn’t always feasible because there’s always someone there with a larger wallet than you – get something you can afford.

“Plant trees as quickly as you can, because it’s going to take a long time, then make it your paradise.”

He’s now living the dream after building a completely off-the-grid life for him and his young family.  The dad-of-two says he was just 22 and living at home in council housing when he scraped the money together – and hasn’t looked back since.

He’s left behind the noisy neighbours and ended up running his own YouTube channel named The Off Grid Family, encouraging others to take the leap, too.

Recalling almost 20 years ago, Fraser said: “I was living at home, living on a council housing estate. The area was a bit rough, and you’ve got noisy neighbours and all those things that come with it.”

He said house prices were through the roof – even for back then – so he started up a business in tree surgery to try get some funds together.

Fraser continued: “My passion was growing trees and having nature around me.  You couldn’t get a mortgage for land. I had to get a personal loan. The land was £15,500 for 4.5 acres – it was an awful lot of money for me.

“The only way I managed to do it really was because I was still living at home. There was no inheritance and there was no trust fund.

“People think you can’t get this without help… you can.  I went to work and in the beginning was working six days a week.”

At the beginning he just planted trees on the land and used it as storage – which is called “agroforestry”.

He’s since planted thousands of trees, a massive bar, solar and water filtration system.

Fraser said: “It’s been a massive undertaking. We’re completely off the grid. We’ve got a family now living here and I suppose it’s called the good life. They’re quite fortunate really, we’ve broken the cycle, they’re not going to be on a housing estate, which is brilliant.”

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Poorest Countries Barred From Building Green Economy

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan has   issued a rallying call for 2024, in a statement   claiming that the rich countries are using the green   transition as an excuse to boost their own economies   at the expense of developing ones. According to the UN’s trade chief, the world’s   advanced economies are greenwashing to make their   own eco-credentials look better, while preventing poorer countries from developing quickly.

Grynspan attacked the EU for taking Indonesia to the WTO over its restrictions on nickel exports and requirement to process the ore locally. She said Jakarta wanted to move up the value chain by making products from the nickel.  It is only reasonable for a country with an overstretched electricity grid to want to use its own nickel tp produce its own batteries, fro example – rather than being forced to export to China or Canada.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan has issued a rallying call for 2024, in a statement claiming that the rich countries are using the green transition as an excuse to boost their own economies at the expense of developing ones.

“They don’t want it to be exported in the raw form, but with value added. So they were taken to arbitration in the WTO. They lost in the first instance precisely because global trade rules have not been adjusted,” she said.   She said that the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures should be reformed.  Jakarta has appealed but because the US has blocked the formation of a WTO appellate body, the case has stalled. The EU is considering taking enforcement actions such as tariffs on Indonesian goods.   It makes for a “chaotic system” where richer, bigger countries have more power.

“Many trade rules forbid policies that can be used by developing countries. And the developed countries have more fiscal space to subsidise in the areas that are good for ‘quote, unquote’, the environment,” Grynspan, told the Financial Times in an interview.

She said the international trading system, which had allowed states such as South Korea and her native Costa Rica to progress, was no longer working for the poorest.  “Trade and investment have been the two pillars for developing countries to really go on to a path of dynamic growth,” she said. But they now face two big problems, locked out of markets by the fast pace of technological change and facing new barriers erected in rich countries.  “The least digitally prepared countries are falling farther behind in digital,” said Grynspan. “The other problem is that industrial policy …could affect developing countries’ ability to compete.”

The US landmark Inflation Reduction Act has $369bn of subsidies and tax breaks for domestically produced goods such as electric vehicles. The EU has responded in kind with increased subsidies and policies to stimulate production of silicon chips, critical minerals and green technology.  “Developing countries see a lot of these policies as protectionist. They don’t have the …

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