There’s a better alternative to a massively expensive and controversial new nuclear power programme, and you can see it emerging in a council estate on the edge of Oxford. Local renewable energy combined with local electricity storage in people’s homes offers a cheaper, greener and more people-friendly alternative. Project ERIC, a pilot involving nearly 100 low-income homes and community buildings, is showing here and now how this “small is beautiful” alternative to new nukes can work. The basic idea is simple. Deploy as many photovoltaic (PV) panels as possible on rooftops. Whenever surplus solar electricity is generated – more than the household below can use – store the surplus in compact battery pack within the home, rather than exporting it into the local electricity network. Then use it later in the day, instead of importing electricity from the grid. But instead of investing £100billion or more in a new generation of nuclear power station, solar PV and battery storage could be rolled out across millions of UK homes with unshaded, south-facing roofs. To date, only a tiny proportion of UK homes which are suited for PV installations have them. This combination of local PV, local battery storage and flexible tariffs could radically reduce the need for new baseload like. From day-to-day, huge quantities of solar electricity would be stored whenever the sun shone and released at night or during cloudy spells.