When we interviewed Dale Vince, of UK green energy pioneers Ecotricity (whose collaborations with Lotus and Ben and Jerry's have previously made the pages of TreeHugger) , he was pretty scathing about other renewable energy suppliers. His main complaint was that most suppliers simply buy up existing green energy supplies, rather than supporting new generation capacity. Here's what he had to say:
"Many companies have set up to sell green energy and they do so on the premise that by buying it consumers can reduce their carbon emissions - its marketing led and not fully honest. What's been happening is that companies have been buying up sources of green energy to bundle into 100% tariffs, in the process taking that green power from the current user to sell it to a new one. Before liberalisation we all had about 3% renewables in our fuel mix (in the UK) - following liberalisation and the rash of 100% tariffs - we now all typically have 0% in our fuel mix and a few people have 100%. So its a redistribution of green and of carbon."
It seems that one of his major competitors, Good Energy, may have been paying attention, as they are making major investments in new generating capacity. The company has announced a major plan to over haul one othe UK's first wind farms. Under the slogan Repowering Delabole, Good Energy are planning to completely replace the aging turbines at Delabole Wind Farm in Cornwall with larger, state-of-the-art turbines. Juliet Davenport, Good Energy's Chief Executive, explained more:
"Our aim is to prevent over one million tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into our atmosphere. The repowered Delabole wind farm will enable us to do this over its lifetime. We hope there will be wide support for the project, but understand that not everyone might will like the idea of bigger turbines. We hope that those people will be able to see the bigger picture, and balance what they perceive as negatives with the wider environmental benefits."
The company is offering anyone interested in green energy a chance to cisit the existing turbines, and to learn more about renewables, sustainability and climate change, by playing host to the Delabole Wind Fair, a free event to be held on the 18th of August. ::Good Energy::