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Children of the sun

Power. It's something we're interested in. Not in the same way Genghis Khan was. World domination isn't really our thing in Wrexham.

We’re interested in helping to solve the world’s energy problems.

People are using more energy, but fossil fuels like natural gas are drying up. So that’s a big problem.

Throw in the pollution created by fossil fuels and concerns about nuclear power, and things start to look scary.

So the issue is pretty simple. The solution? That’s not so simple. But it makes sense to do two things: develop clean energy technology and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Wrexham is immersing itself in both and doing its bit to keep the lights switched on for future generations.

Proof? Visit the solar centre at Sharp Manufacturing in Llay, and you’ll begin to understand the science behind harnessing energy from the sun.

The centre is open to schools, colleges, universities and other groups, but you have to book in advance. Please don’t just turn up. They’re busy people.

Of course, Sharp is one of the world’s truly elite corporations. They’ve been working with solar technology – or ‘photovoltaics’ – since the 1960s, so it’s safe to say they’re experts.

Now take a drive around Wrexham and you’ll probably notice a lot of homes with shiny new solar panels on the roofs. Wrexham Council is busy fixing them to 3,000 council houses as part of a £20 million scheme. One of the biggest of its kind in the UK.

The project will save around 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually (the equivalent to taking 1,000 cars off the road) and will help reduce Wrexham’s carbon footprint. What’s more, it’ll save council tenants up to £300 a year on electricity bills.

Turn the lights off before you leave

So we’re doing our bit to tackle climate change. But it’s not all about building and using solar technology.

We’re also making all those little adjustments to our daily routines to reduce our impact on the environment.

From the very simple (only boiling the water you need in the kettle, turning off the lights in empty rooms) to the more challenging (growing your own food, cutting down on car usage).

Through the innovative People Power project, everyone in Wrexham is being asked to make an online pledge to reduce their energy use at home and at work.

Steve Connor, chief executive at the marketing agency Creative Concern, has been helping us bang the drum. “The campaign asks the people of Wrexham to decrease their own energy consumption in simple, practical ways”, he says.

“As a direct result of the project many thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions will be saved and the county borough’s total carbon footprint will drop.”

Build for the future

Now a futuristic place needs futuristic buildings. Right? And that means buildings that won’t cost the earth.

Plans to develop the town’s Western Gateway into a low-carbon, mixed use business park are gathering pace. And it’s not just the environment that will benefit.

This hi-spec, hi-tech business park will also help Wrexham attract more high quality employers. And premium companies will bring premium jobs.