Centre for Alternative Technology


The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) or Canolfan y Dechnoleg Amgem in Welsh, is an alternative energy and technology centre in Mid Wales. Their focus is on research into sustainable alternative energy, eco-friendly architecture and design and woodland preservation. They make their discoveries and inroads available to the general population through a range of courses, work and volunteering opportunities available to all. They also look to find answers to today’s social problems including tackling the housing crisis by showing people how to build their own homes.


The Eco-Centre

The Centre for Alternative Energy is located on a seven acre site near the southern foothills of Snowdonia in Powys, North Wales. The Centre is on the Birmingham to Aberystwyth train line and the nearest station is at Macynlleth, from there you will need to walk to the bus station to catch a bus to Llyn Gwen Lodge.

Postal Address:
Centre for Alternative Technology,
SY20 9AZ,

When you arrive you will be greeted by their friendly team who will guide you to your destination. The centre includes a graduate school,  a forest for their woodland management courses, a visitor centre and accommodation for students volunteers and paying visitors. Their are also various options for eating their range of organic foods produced on allotments on-site and learn about methods for growing your own food sources. Accommodation is available on site and houses paying visitors, students and long term volunteers in separate blocks. For visitors there are a wide array of one day courses available to learn about CAT’s work and how you can reproduce it.

If you have any general enquiries then contact the Centre for Alternative Energy on 01654 705950.

For more information about the work of the centre including research you can phone: 01654 705989.

The Centre For Alternative Energy Courses

CAT have an excellent array of courses both short term for visitors, longer term for volunteers and certified courses for graduates and post-graduates.

Courses for volunteers include sustainable woodland management, hydroelectricity, simple wood craft. Volunteers will learn range of skills on site and learn to use tools and machines such as the charcoal baking machine. Email Denise at volunteering@cat.org.uk or phone 01654 705955 to register your interest or to find out more about volunteering opportunities at CAT

Courses for graduates The Centre for Alternative Technology offer a range of course for graduates including: Masters in Sustainable Architecture, validated by the University of East London, Masters in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources, Msc in Sustainability and Adaption in the Built Environment. Contact the Centre for Alternative Technology Graduate School on 01654 705953 for more information. Students attend lectures on site and do intensive field works for up to a month.

Build a Tiny House Course the last in this series of courses will take place between the 10th and the 13th November 2017, you can book a place by phoning 01654 704 966. This course will show you some of the fundamentals in laying foundations for a tiny home, installing hot water systems and using a compost toilet.

CAT also have a range of course available for children for visitors out of term time. To find out more about these and any other course available phone 01654 705983.

Weekend breaks and longer stays at CAT

The Centre for Alternative Technology have a range of accommodation options available for short term visitors to sample life in one of their renewable buildings

Welsh Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE) –  A visit to the Wise building will cost you just £35 per person per night to stay in B&B accommodation, from which you can explore the beautiful surrounding countryside as well as trying one of their courses and seeing their visitor centre. The WISE centre is an educational and conference centre including accommodation that you can book for the duration of your stay. Contact Becky on 01654 704973 to book your stay.

Group Visits – If you are travelling to CAT with a large group then you should consider booking a Self Build. These timber frame houses were build by participants on the courses and can accommodate groups as large as 16 at just £240 for the whole house per night. It is ideal for extended families or school visits.

Eco Cabins – this is the most basic accommodation option but also the one that is most in line with the ethos of CAT. Water that flows down from the surrounding hills is collected in a reservoir and is heated with solar thermal panels to provide hot running water for your showers. A woodstove can be used for heat. There are 18 beds per cabin and the price to book for a night is £280. Contact CAT about booking a cabin on 01654 705982.


As well as providing speakers for conferences around the world, CAT have their own annual conference on-site and organise  several others around the UK. This year the CAT conference took place between the 6th and 8th of October with the focus on how to make Britain Zero Carbon. It also featured key speakers from Repowering London, and Chris Blake from Green Valleys hydro who encouraged growing organic vegetables using sustainable energy sources. For more info on the Centre for Alternative Technology’s annual conference or any other conferences that they organise phone: 01654 705 988.

Venue Hire

The Centre for Alternative Technology have several options available for hosting your wedding, party or group activities. To enquire phone CAT on 01654 704973.



If you wish to contribute to donate to CAT or would like to help them in their fundraising efforts then contact them on 01654 704950. You can also phone this number to enquire about leaving them money as a legacy in your will.


CAT offer a range of consultancy services to business, schools and other educational institutions. These services include teaching about sustainable architecture true and building management and how to successfully develop organic food programmes. For educational consultancy services phone 01654 705983 and for advice on natural resources, water and sewage call 01654 705989.

CAT Shop

The Centre for Alternative Technology has a shop on site that sells various souvenirs and books and products that provide information about alternative technology. Contact them on 01654 705933.

CAT Publications

CAT author a range of publications including books and journals that encourage alternative and sustainable means of building, eating and growing foods. One of these its the Clean Slate magazine which provides a forum for volunteers to outline their work at CAT and also gives information on upcoming courses and conferences. Contact the publication team on 01654 980.


Press enquiries can be made over the phone on 01654 704986.