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15 responses to “Let’s cut the Green Crap”

    • zag

      The ITV interview was very one sided but they had a point. Subsidies should indeed come from central taxation rather than on energy bills.
      As for advertising in the guardian, why? Their readers are fully converted 🙂 You need to advertise in the Telegraph or Mail. The fossil fuel vested interests have been funding those papers for years, its time to start convincing their readership instead. You might be surprised that the right wing also want energy independence.

        • Dale Vince

          Fair point Zag.

          Ad was probably the wrong description, it’s main purpose was to flag up the event and celebrate the role that wind energy already plays.

          That said, not all Guardian readers are with ecotricity yet.. 🙂


        • Gavin Tester

          The right wing don’t act like they want energy independence. Eric Pickles blocking onshore wind farms wherever he can. The government agreeing to massive on going subsidies for Hinckley point that will go to French and Chinese companies for the next 35 years.

            • Neil Carmichael

              Hinckley point will be used for decommissioning old nuclear materials from weapons etc, so whilst not ideal, its an important job taking that stuff out of circulation and turning it into something useful

                • Joe V

                  And what is the useful stuff it will be turned into?

                    • Dan Ashcroft

                      It’s this new thing called “electricity”.

                        • Joe V

                          Taking old nuclear materials & turning it into “electricity.” And how exactly will that happen? Still no answer on what the useful stuff is?

                            • Kester Ratcliff

                              The volume and level of radioactivity of the waste will be far less. All mining activities leave waste too, including mining for Indium and Gallium to make solar photovoltaic cells. No option is environmentally risk or cost free. All the renewable options are a matter of balancing costs and benefits, just like the rest of the world.

                • emma

                  Hi, I am interested to know where you get the information from that Hinkley will be fuelled by decommissioning old nuclear materials from weapons etc. As I understand it, plutonium from weapons could only be burned in fast breeder reactors, which have never worked, or by turning it into Mox fuel, an exercise which has proved to be totally disastrous at the Sellafield plant.
                  There has been quite a lot of hype about higher burnup fuel. Whilst it may be that the fuel results in lower volumes of waste, the waste will be hotter and more radioactive.
                  According to an excellent blog by Pete Lux “The only way to increase the amount of energy from the same amount of fuel is to increase the number of fission events in that amount of fuel. This is mainly achieved by increasing the amount of enrichment of the fuel (from about 3.6% to 5%). However by increasing the number of fissions for a given amount of fuel you also proportionally increase the number of radioactive fissile products and hence decay heat. i.e. if you double the amount of energy you get from a given amount of fuel then you double its radioactivity and its decay heat.”

                  Only about 4% – 6% of fuel in a fuel rod is turned into useful electricity. The rest becomes a 100,000 year nuclear waste problem.

    • Richard

      The £112 cost doesn’t account for the savings incurred since 1994, when we started paying for energy efficiency on our bills. I’m not sure what the figures are, but something like half the homes in the UK have had energy saving measures installed since then which would offset the current green costs if viewed as a whole. therefore we could view the green cost as closer to zero or perhaps even negative. If we don’t account for the savings in the net cost, energy efficiency will always appear as a cost.

    • Andrew Gillett

      What form do the fossil fuel subsidies take?

        • paul


          Here’s where we got those figures for fossil fuel support:

          Reduced level VAT = £3.9bn
          Other support (PRT Oil Allowance, Tariff Receipt Allowance, Inherited Coal Mining Liabilities) = 0.28bn (Based upon 2011 Data)

    • Kester Ratcliff

      A bit tangentially related, but it was actually what I first thought it would be about when I saw the headline-

      Has Ecotricity done or do you know of and could you post some links to research on Life Cycle Assessments or similar of renewable energy alternatives (+nuclear for comparison, and coal as a baseline)?

      I am pro renewable energies in principle, but more than a bit skeptical about some of the technologies and where they’re applied or located, and whether the net environmental impact is actually positive or not. I don’t think it’s okay to just assume that.

      I’ve seen a lot of ‘Green’ enthusiasm about domestic renewable energy technologies, and some of it seems to be companies marketing and playing off the hype and do-gooder vibe to effectively con people into paying for alternatives which aren’t necessarily better if applied in the wrong places.

      Any LCAs or similar impact assessment research you’ve published or read that you could link, or write a blog post summarising with links?


      P.s. I am an Ecotricity customer. Dw, I am on your side, I’m a very sympathetic moderate skeptic about the details, not about the general aim of replacing and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

    • Paul Lockett

      I disagree with the idea that energy bills should be just for energy. If we have to fund government expenditure, it makes sense to fund it by taxing those activities which place negative externalities on others, so fuel duties, land value taxes and natural resource taxes absolutely should make up the bulk of the tax base.

    • mary omnes


      I wish the cost/household of all those subsidies mentioned in the article were more widely known by the general public. You couldn’t put them on the front page of The Sun or something?

      While Eric Pickles is in charge of any decisions related to the environment I just feel we’re fighting a lost cause. it’s depressing.

      I find myself listening more and more to radio 3…..

      Best Wishes,