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This Actor Is Sparking A Green Energy Movement In His Home Village


Temple Guiting is a small village in the English Costwolds--Gloucestershire county, to be exact. A classic rural English village, Temple Guiting has been around since at least as early as 1801 and has only about 60 homes in total. 

Robert Llewellyn is a British actor and TV presenter, best known for his role as the robot (or "service mechanoid") Kryten on BBC2's Red Dwarf. In spite of his futuristic television role, Robert Llewellyn is originally from the sleepy little village of Temple Guiting, and is very fond of the place. 

"[in Temple Guiting] There’s a broad range of incomes (though little cultural diversity), far too many horses and a gentle, ambling pace of life." Robert writes, "I love it. Which is why I decided to try and change it completely."

For the past two years, and in spite of his insistence that he is "as un-green as a corporate exec," Llewellyn has been on a quest to bring renewable energy to the village of Temple Guiting. His idea began with a fascination with the mechanics of renewable energy, and a simple question: why, considering the vast technological advances of the last decade, were people still using so much carbon-based energy? Surely there had to be a better way for people to live.

Based on his own research into renewable energy, Llewellyn even believed that making a switch could help not just the planet, but the people of Temple Guiting themselves. He believed it could lower their bills, or even--by creating a surplus of energy for the national grid--make the village some extra money. 

But first, Llewellyn would have to convince the village to embark on his quest. He figured it would not be an easy sell, noting that, "In Temple Guiting (and many other English villages besides), drastic change is eyed with suspicion. That would certainly include anything that obliged residents to put their own money into switching to renewables, which many people knew very little about."

Yet surprisingly, the village was open to Llewellyn's plan, and not just because of the economic aspect. Many people in the village expressed a belief that they needed to help the planet in any way they could. Llewellyn notes, "...what was interesting was a lot of people saying: ‘We can’t treat the planet the way we have been, we have to change.’ Particularly the older members of the village, who you would think might be the most dismissive of it, were really keen.”