The Energy and Notion project was inspired by the relentless changing energy landscape Wales has passed through in the past century.
Brought up in Machen, South Wales, I spent over 20 years living overseas.
Upon my return the change to the Welsh landscape was striking.
During the late 70’s a trip up the valleys from Machen, to see my Nan, who lived in Brynmawr, was a dusty, and windy old journey, along the Risca Valley, past Newbridge and Crumlin, Six Bells and Nantyglo.
All Welsh mining towns were built on coal’s legacy. And all remained covered in dust and dirt.
In 2012 I traveled to see my Nan, now in a care home, by train. A new track had been laid directly between Cardiff along the valley as far as Ebbw Vale.
The dust, slag heaps and coal buckets that passed over the roads, not to mention the mine buildings – gone. The rivers were no longer black but clear and full of life.
The train journey passed through a beautiful green, and clean valley. And stopped at newly built stations.
If you climbed to the top of the mountain you could see what had replaced the coal.
In the distance glistening on a hill top high above Crumlin, what appeared at first to be a reservoir, was a solar farm. And in all directions, forests of wind turbines, turned continuously on the Welsh hill tops. The Bristol channel that lies beyond the hills has the second largest tidal range in the world. Tidal hydro-electricity may soon provide a boost to Wales’ energy needs. New nuclear power plants are planned at Hinckley Point, just across the Bristol Channel, and at Wylfa in Anglessy.
From my vantage point I could clearly see how Wales’ energy landscape has changed and continues to change.
The challenge now: to convert what I could see from the hill-top to the “Energy+Notion” micro-documentary, so others could share and comment on Wales’ changing energy landscape.
- © Richard Jones / Energy+Notion