Renew On Line (UK) 41

Extracts from the Jan-Feb 2003 edition of Renew
These extracts only represent about 25% of it

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy Review: White Paper

2. PIU on Waste

3. Green Energy- the good, the bad and the ugly

4. Tidal and Wave Power move ahead

5. EAC takes on PIU- and Wilson

6. Taking the high road: 40% of power from Scottish Renewables ?

7. After ARBRE

8. Wind backlash: Over the sea..

9. Coal use grows: UK Renewables move only slowly

10. Regional Renewable Rivalry

11. World Roundup: WSSD aftermath,

Thailand, China, USA,Australia, Canada ,Germany

12. Nuclear Economics: Wilson, and the public, on Nuclear

3. Green Energy- the good, the bad and the ugly

By September 2002, around 60,000 customers had signed up to green power retail schemes in the UK, with over 45,000 offerings accredited by Future Energy and total annual sales of 250GWh, worth over £15m p.a..

The latest addition to the range of a schemes on offer has come from Ecotricity, the pioneering independent renewable supplier, who, having serviced business users for many years, has now opened up a domestic consumer service, which is being marketed by the Body Shop.

The Body Shop itself has been powered by Ecotricity since 2000, but the new initiative enables customers to sign up either at home or in stores in England and Wales, which are displaying Ecotricity’s Freepost registration postcards, with the slogan ‘A breath of fresh air for the next generation’. Customers can complete them on the spot and post them into the shop’s ‘Action Stations’. According to the blurb every person who switches to Ecotricity is helping to create new sources of environmentally friendly electricity, now and for the future’.

It is a zero premium scheme, with, it seems, a fund element, providing investment into new projects, so that customers will get 10% of their electricity from new wind turbines every year’. So it seems that they have resolved the issue of providing power from ‘additional’ capacity, over and above any claimed for the Renewables Obligation.

However, not all suppliers are doing this. Some power companies are in effect double charging business customers for green energy, according to research conducted by Platts and Friends of the Earth. Some suppliers have increased their conventional power prices to accommodate the renewables obligation, as they are allowed to under the rules, but are also charging a premium to customers who want 100% green power to get exemption from the Climate Change Levy. Basically the suppliers are using these sales to help meet their 3% quota, thereby earning Renewable Obligation Certificates, whereas according the the rules, they are only meant to charge extra for green power that in additional to that claimed against the Renewables Obligation.

Platts publications European Utility Retail, Power UK and Renewable Energy Report teamed up with Friends of the Earth to survey green power suppliers and compile a ranking of the tariffs on offer. They note that business customers can choose from a range of tariffs, of varying degrees of "greenness" which can earn customers an exemption from the climate change levy. But the research found that only one green tariff offered to business customers on the British mainland, created additional demand for green energy above the 3% requirement. Unit[e] topped the green tariff ranking as the only supplier that creates additional demand by ‘retiring’ (i.e holding back) some of the ROC’s associated with their green power sales.

New entrant Bizz Energy, an online energy supplier, topped the levy-exempt ranking for using 100% new renewable sourcing (wind and landfill gas) and investing 80% of proceeds from its non-premium product to fund new capacity. Some of the others were using less than green options like waste combustion, and the report urges businesses that want to use renewable energy to choose their suppliers carefully.

See which also covers the story that Npower has had to amend its advertising to make it clear that its was not supplying green power direct to consumers via its Juice scheme. But whoever thought any such scheme could supply green power direct? Meanwhile the Future Energy accreditation scheme has been wound up, so there is no independent body charged with checking out any infractions- although OFGEM oversees transactions related to the CCL and the RO

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