Renewable energy pioneer remembered in Ruskin Park

Cllr Becca Thackray with the memorial bench

Professor Godfrey Boyle, a pioneer of renewable energy and a local resident, has been honoured by the naming of a bench in Ruskin Park – which he visited daily.

It was unveiled by Herne Hill Green Party councillor Becca Thackray.

portrait of man
Godfrey Boyle

Godfrey Boyle was professor, and then emeritus professor, at the Open University and established the university’s course on renewable energy. An international authority, he was for decades the “go-to” person in this field.

Cllr Thackray reminded local friends who gathered to celebrate the occasion: “In 1975 Godfrey wrote a ground-breaking book Living on the Sun, Harnessing Renewable Energy for an Equitable Society, which showed how industrial societies could terminate dependence on non-renewable sources of energy, like coal and oil, to create a gentler civilisation based on the indefinitely-sustainable energies of the Sun, geothermal heat of the earth and the tidal motions of the oceans.

“Derided by sceptics at the time, now, almost 50 years later, Godfrey’s vision is becoming reality, in no small part due to his leadership, especially in the field of wind power.

“We are so grateful to have had such a pioneer living in our community. He loved this park and I hope those who sit on this memorial bench will take a moment to reflect on how much the world owes this amazing man.”

More on Professor Boyle

Community activists (l-r) Fred Taggart, Frances Lamb, Becca Thackray, Carol Boucher and Phil Isaac standing