Change Alley

information, opinion, conversation

Pssst! Wanna Buy Some Green Energy?

with 4 comments

Private Walker

The Observer reports that Britain is running out of renewable energy, as a surge in demand from businesses has outstripped the supply of electricity generated from ‘green’ sources. Firms’ interest in reducing their carbon footprint has far exceeded new capacity coming on-stream. This leaves companies which have pledged to become ‘carbon neutral’ with a sizeable headache. EDF is ‘prioritising’ existing customers, Npower says the amount it can supply depends on how much customers can pay, and Good Energy, a renewable-only electricity supplier, is turning away very big orders.

What some might consider a surprising popularity of renewables in the business fraternity is being led by large companies, who are obliged to pay the climate change levy on electricity from fossil fuels. The situation isn’t helped by the snail’s pace of the UK planning system, with wind energy projects which could supply one in six British homes mired in bureaucracy.

So much for the power of the market.

‘Business runs out of green energy supply’


4 Responses

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  1. So, two government policies, the Climate change levy (demand for renewable based electricity) & the Renewables obligation (the supply of) are not working at the same speed. Hardly surprising really, the latter involves huge building projects and the former is only an economic instrument on paper.


    December 10, 2007 at 5:17 pm

  2. And companies like REH who should be investing in the UK’s generating capacity are buying wind farms in Poland.

    Pete Smith

    December 10, 2007 at 6:38 pm

  3. Yes, that is silly if it’s being caused because of planning backlog in the UK.


    December 11, 2007 at 6:52 am

  4. Probably a combination of things: more relaxed planning, land prices, labour costs.
    I wonder who gets to use the electricity.

    Pete Smith

    December 11, 2007 at 10:14 am

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