100% renewable energy ~ correct me if I’m wrong!

November 2, 2007 at 10:43 am | Posted in Carbon footprints, Discussions, ecotricity, Electricity, Good Energy, Google group, Hydro-electric, Renewable energy, Solar, UK, Wind | Leave a comment

Over at the new Google group to discuss ideas for reducing our UK carbon footprints, things are heating up …

Dear Tom,

Thanks for scoffing at my comment. It is a pity you misrepresented one of my points by taking it out of context.

The context is, as basak stated initially:

“This (Google carbon calculator) gadget is missing a major ACTION!!! One of the recommended actions should be to switch to a greener electricity supplier. For example, my home supplier is Good Energy which is 100% renewable energy.”

Then I supported that point.

My electricity is from 100% renewables. However much electricity I use, I do not increase my carbon emissions. I am not, however, recommending we all use as much electricity as possible. My comment was in relation to the way the carbon calculator works, i.e. it does not make sense for me to enter the price I pay for electricity, with the carbon calculator basing my emissions on that cost, because there are no emissions associated with my energy use. That is why I used the example. It is a shame you described it as “laughable”.

This is what I said:

“P.S. I went back to the carbon calculator and entered zero cost for my electricity bill. That gives, I think, a more realistic result for the actual carbon emissions for my proportion of our household.However, using 100% renewable energy must skew the other calculations as well as the recommended actions supplied to me, somewhat. I mean, if I leave all the lights on from now on, I will still have no carbon emissions associated with that: my use of electrical energy looks like it is zero, though my bills would hit the roof! Somehow, there has to be a better way of calculating this to reflect the reality of a zero-carbon supply … “

My points are still valid. You misunderstood the paragraph.

Your explanation further justifies my point: 100% renewables, no less. My first post above explained:

“As far as I can tell, the single most effective way to reduce personal household carbon footprints is for as many people as possible to demand energy that comes 100% from renewable sources. 100%, and no less.There is no point in giving suppliers “wiggle room” on green percentages: homeowner commitment to renewables needs to be total so that companies and the government see that there is demand for this kind of solution, and that demand is the best way to increase supply way beyond government targets.”

Good Energy is the only 100% green electricity company in the UK at my time of writing.

That means Good Energy does not have any customers who are *not* on a green tariff. So, when you tried to argue this:

“You are using up more of the fixed percentage of your power company that comes from green sources so that the energy of the customers *not* on a ‘green’ tarif will be more from non-renewable sources.”

your point does not apply to my example.

Good Energy has no involvement with fossil fuels. That’s another point in its favour; here are a few more:

Good Energy has a Home Generation scheme, which allows homes and businesses to connect their small scale generators to the grid and get paid for the renewable energy they contribute.

Also, Good Energy is owned by a company that specialises in investing in the renewables industry, and is committed to supporting independent renewable generators. This is a different approach from investing in building their own plant.

Lastly, in addition to meeting government targets, Good Energy sets aside extra renewable energy certificates (ROCs). This helps to generate extra demand for renewable energy sources.

When you compare suppliers, it is helpful to find independent sources of information. The one you provided, WhichGreen, is not independent. WhichGreen is an ecotricity initiative (i.e. marketing tool for ecotricity):

About WhichGreen

It is easy for ecotricity to tell you that “the best way to judge supplier is … [fill in the blank] …” in a way that makes ecotricity look good. (That is what marketing is all about.)

I am not arguing against ecotricity, or any other supplier of 100% renewable energy. They all play important roles in this market. We need all these different suppliers. However, I am still glad I chose Good Energy, as their approach helps to break the mould of large-scale suppliers controlling energy resources.



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