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15 responses to “Does ‘Good Energy’ cause new generation to be built?”

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Hi Dale,

      Obviously I agree with your stance else I would not be buying “New Energy Plus” from you, and I point other people to Ecotricity for the same reason: actually doing it directly rather than hoping to maybe encourage someone else to starting thinking about possibly doing it when the cat has been flossed next year… B^>

      But I’m still itching to hear your “why microgeneration power is no use (to power companies such as Ecotricity)” writeup. I understand the issues in general and I have been reading the various BERR/Ofgem/etc papers too.

      So the question is I guess, *is* there anything that could be done to make microgenerated power a usable practical tradable commodity?

      I also asked National Grid about attaching storage to such microgeneration to assist (in a tiny way) with balancing (, and again it’s apparently the million-fold difference between total demand and an individual microgenerator output, plus the non-dispatchability on the face of it, that seems to be the killer.

      On the other hand, Germany’s lights haven’t gone out with GW of non-dispatchable solar and wind power…



    • nommo

      Hi Damon,

      I am keen to hear the FITs part 2 too – looks like Dale has his work cut out with answering comments! (I too chose Ecotricity for the same reason – and pass the same message on to family and friends – “let’s do something now!”)

      Anyway – in the meantime – I was surfing around the other week and came across this blog post (I was looking into Oldbury Nuclear power station I think)… I posted something in my usual flippant manner, and he did in fact pay attention to what I was proposing and did some maths. Fair play to the guy (must be thanks to his education ;-)).

      I haven’t had time to go back and do a follow-up comment – but he went and created a whole new post about my ramblings.

      I actually think that with some kind of swappable battery/capacitor for Electric Vehicles (with one at home as a spare), that the nations cars could play a part in Microgen and the smoothing of demand/supply curves… in theory at least… he knows more about this stuff than I do though – I am just a slightly green geeky utopian fish 😉

    • Adrian

      Hey! I agree, we need to take responsability ourselves to reduce each of our consumption! I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and I especially like’s carbon calculator ( I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).

    • Ricardo

      Going back to the original Question about Good Energy, Although I agree that creating the renewable energy like Ecotricity does is best (thats why I chose Ecotricity) I found that Good Energys use of a range of renewables was quite attractive. And wondered if Ecotricity had ever thought of diversifing into Hydro or Bio mass like this one.

      I think that its great that ecotricity champions wind power but at the end of the day I think sustainable energy will only come by having a range of renewables. So it would be great to see Ecotricity branching out into other forms of renewables. But of course the temptation must be to stick with what you know and do best.

    • paul


      Just a heads-up in case you are watching this thread but haven’t subscribed to the RSS feed for the site yet… Dale has just posted up the FITs part 2 post.


    • Peter Simmons

      Really the answer to the question is in the fact that microgeneration gets premium price paid; therefore, correct me if my logic is faulty, more people will consider investing their time and money in it as there’s a guaranteed ready market.
      I think there’s room for both methods of energy supply, Good Energy providing stimulus to renewables generally, and Ecotricity forging ahead with wind and gradually increasing the wind side and it’s own portfolio. The sensitive point is where power has to be bought from the non-green sector to make up the difference, which slightly jars with the whole Ecotricity image, for some.
      But if Ecotricity behaved like Good Energy, we’d wait an awful lot longer to get there.

    • Peter Simmons

      An addition to the previous:
      When Good Energy started, as Unit-e, there was no demand from the others, they had no interest in renewables. Just because they’ve all jumped on the bandwagon, and I agree it just PR, doesn’t mean Good Energy should pack up shop. I doubt they are big enough to move into build, but the big ones certainly could and should.

    • Peter

      Thanks Dale for the correction. As I discover UnitE before hearing of Ecotricity, I had assumed they were first in the field.
      Perhaps they could be persuaded to part finance solar roofs with guaranteed purchase of surplus; a deal with building firms for instance.

    • Uncle B

      If I get solar electricity from a desert plant in the American south west, and I live on the east coast, I’ll get peak power in the evening won’t I? What effect would a solar plant in Florida have on the same grid? How about one in Mexico, or Texas? Doesn’t the time zone thing have some effect, as we are all attached to the same grid?
      I would love a little battery powered two seater carbon fiber commuter car, especially if I could get exchangeable recharged batteries from stations wherever I go! Cool way to extend range!!

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Cross-timezone grids should be very good for shifting (especially) solar power to local peak demand elsewhere. Google for global grid or hypergrid or whatever. It probably even helps a little between the UK and France with our 2GW intertie (and another 1GW to NL and the rest of the European grid on its way).

      I’m not convinced that the US has a very good national-level grid capable of shifting much juice around for one reason or another. It’s difficult enough for individual states to get new powerlines put in to shift new renewables, never mind crossing company and state and regulatory boundaries.



    • JCRM

      I chose the new energy plus tariff on the basis that increasing renewable demand would encourage “the market” to invest in construction of new renewable generation (accepting the risk it would also encourage the speculators t start playing around with the prices)

      But you call the new energy tariff the greenest.

      What proportion less per unit are you able to invest in construction from New Energy Plus compared to New Energy?