The message of 2016: together we are unstoppable

2016 has been a tough year.

But here at 10:10 we’ve had the privilege of seeing glimmers of hope - real progress towards the low carbon world we’re building. From teachers to gardeners, from north Wales to New Zealand, the resilience and creativity of the people we’ve worked with prove that together, we are unstoppable.  Here are some of the highlights from 10:10 over the last 12 months.

Our Solar Schools installed 1090 panels!

Photo: Oliver Rudkin

Photo: Oliver Rudkin

The fifth and final year of Solar Schools really went with a bang! 21 schools raised £175,000 between them and installed over 1000 solar panels. The panels will mean more money to spend on books, computers and school trips. That’s not all, though, as over the next 25 years they’ll save 17,910 baby elephant’s worth of CO2!

The greatest asset we have is the children’s enthusiasm...Those £5 tiles bought with coppers collected with Grandma are only small, but along with the litter picks and the Tooth Fairy they show that the children care about the project and are passionate about it succeeding.
— Karl Handy, teacher Holy Trinity primary

 The ‘fracking village’ went solar

Photo: Tom Nicholson

Photo: Tom Nicholson

With over 100 solar panels already in the bag, the Repower Balcombe gang had hoped to build a community owned solar park this year. When government policy changes threw a spanner in the works, the team didn’t give up. In March they worked with a commercial developer to build a solar park big enough to match all of Balcombe’s electricity needs. And to cap it all off, Repower Balcombe installed community-owned panels on two local schools with the help of cheerleaders, donors and investors from all over the country.  

Greater Manchester’s community buildings took action on climate change

Photo: Chris Bull

Photo: Chris Bull

This January, 15 community buildings in Greater Manchester set out to crowdfund the cost of solar. They worked their socks off the raise the cash and get their communities involved. Thanks to those pesky government policy changes, only three hubs were able to install solar. But for many, being part of the project was the first time they’d taken action on climate change, and over half of them went on to do more afterwards.

This venture that we’re doing now has got people interested. People that wouldn’t have done things like this before are now getting involved.
— Kenny, manager at Sparth community centre

Hundreds of people uncovered solar treasure in their local areas

Photo: Mal Chadwick

Photo: Mal Chadwick

This September we launched Look Up, our solar prospecting app that lets you size up any roof for solar panels. From Minnesota to Melbourne, Porta Alegra to Poole, we discovered enough solar potential to power 15,000 homes (or boil 270,000 kettles!). And, despite the grey skies, there’s still plenty more out there just waiting to be found.

18,000 of us stood up for wind power

Photo: Andy Aitchinson

Photo: Andy Aitchinson

Onshore wind power is cheap, clean and we’ve got plenty of it in the UK. But the government is hanging wind out to dry, and almost 18,000 of you told them so this November. We handed in a petition, asking the government to financially supports onshore wind power, so it can compete fairly with other electricity sources. And to mark the occasion we carpeted Parliament Square with pinwheels.  But we’re not done yet - keep a look out for more next year!

A new way of buying electricity got off the ground in north Wales

Photo: Mike Peacock, Creative Commons

Photo: Mike Peacock, Creative Commons

We started working with 100 households in Bethesda, north Wales, on a new way to buy and sell electricity. Right now we’re stuck in an energy system designed for big power stations, but the Energy Local project enables the community to work together to have more of an influence on the energy system and the way they buy their power. Things kicked off this summer - keep an eye out and we’ll let you know how it’s going!


Photo: Oliver Rudkin