In the tranquil landscape of Mid Wales, the Centre for Alternative Technologies (CAT) stands as a beacon of sustainability and innovation. Founded in the late 1970s, CAT is an educational charity with a vital mission: to inspire, inform and enable people to lead more sustainable lives.
CAT, despite its name, no longer concentrates its efforts exclusively on alternative technology, but provides information on all aspects of sustainable living.
We recently visited CAT. At its core, CAT is committed to promoting sustainability through practical solutions. Its goal is to transition away from resource-intensive technologies to eco-friendly alternatives. The centre showcases multiple aspects of sustainable living, including renewable energy, sustainable architecture, low-impact lifestyles and environmental conservation. By offering hands-on learning experiences and real-life examples, CAT empowers visitors to adopt eco-friendly practices in their daily lives.
The CAT Visitor Centre serves as a hub for sustainability education and innovation. It features a blend of traditional and modern sustainable architecture and runs entirely on renewable energy from solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps and hydroelectric generators. Through interactive exhibitions, workshops and access to experts, visitors gain insights into sustainability and eco-conscious living.
One of CAT’s significant endeavours is its Renewable Energy Department. This division focuses on educating people about various renewable energy sources, such as solar power, wind energy and micro-hydroelectric systems. By raising awareness about these alternative sources, CAT aims to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.
Beyond education and research, CAT actively engages in advocacy efforts. It collaborates with policymakers and governmental bodies to promote sustainable practices at the local and national levels. Through research, expert advice, and policy discussions, CAT aims to influence decisions that will lead to a greener and more sustainable future.
Despite its significance in promoting sustainability and pioneering green technologies, CAT appears to be facing a lack of funding. The facility looks tired and worn out. Nevertheless, it remains a beacon of hope, calling for support from like-minded individuals, businesses and policymakers to revitalise this institution and ensure it continues to lead the charge towards a much-needed greener, more sustainable future.