Queen Elizabeth Gets Rich(er) Thanks to Wind Farms

CC BY 2.0. frankieleon

The money is going to help Buckingham Palace go solar too.

Regardless of their views about monarchy, TreeHuggers everywhere had reason to celebrate when the Crown Estate—Britain's biggest landowner, and holder of the Queen's property—got seriously into offshore wind. Not long after, the UK's offshore wind capacity grew 80% in just one year and, at one time, the country had more installed offshore wind farms than all other countries combined.

But these moves weren't just about cutting emissions. They are also increasingly looking like a sound fiscal move too. In fact, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports that the Crown Estate just had a record year in terms of income, thanks, in large part, to those offshore turbines. Specifically, wind energy brought in a whopping £27.7m (US $35.3 million), making energy holdings the estate's best-performing sector. (The Crown Estate has also gotten into solar, and is exploring marine power, too.)

While much of the money will be returned to the UK government, the Telegraph article explains that the Queen still receives a quarter of the Estate's income—and a significant portion of that money will go toward financing a major green retrofit of the notoriously inefficient Buckingham Palace, including solar panels, lighting upgrades, and energy efficient boilers too.

In other green news from the Royals' finances, the Prince of Wales' Duchy brand of organic foods also reported a record turnover.