Feeds

Climate change blows out eco-boss's record bid

Wind farm firm's spin-inflated rep

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

But by golly, Vince isn't skimping on the windmills: "One in six of all the wind projects in England today were planned and built by Ecotricity. Or looking at in another way, we produce more than 12 per cent of England's wind energy..."

Or you could look at it still another way. The British Wind Energy Association says there are over 2500 megawatts of wind plant operational as of going to press. Ecotricity admits that it has 50 megawatts of wind farm capacity to date, providing 15 megawatts output averaged over time - that is to say, less than two per cent of the UK's wind energy.

Being big in England is not a big deal in UK windfarm terms. After 12 years of effort, Ecotricity remains an insignificant wind provider - and wind provides only a tiny fraction of British energy. The company is a small minnow in a small pond as regards renewables, though it seems quite a profitable little energy-trading operation.

Nice. Who said you can't produce big, significant numbers using spin machinery?

Well, we seem to be looking at about 130 million units pa of green 'leccy from Ecotricity's windmills, which we're told was a quarter of what it sold last time it added up. The total annual units flogged must thus have been 520m odd, indicating revenues in the £50m range at current retail prices*.

For the 06/07 year, wholesale leccy was going for approximately 4p a unit on average, so buying in brown juice to resell will have set Vince back say £15m, leaving him £35m ahead. He spent £20m of that on new windmills, he says, leaving £15m for the Greenbird, running costs and whatever else was deemed appropriate.

In reality, for every pound you give Ecotricity, it will not spend a pound on windmills. Broad brush it will spend around 30p on buying brown 'leccy, 40p on windmills, and keep the rest like any other energy firm.

Forty per cent of what you pay on new windmills is still far and away more than any normal electricity company would spend. If you really really like windmills - though there are those who offer cogent reasons not to - you should surely give your money to Dale Vince so that he can buy himself some more.

Just check everything he tells you, like, rilly rilly carefully, man. Dale Vince talks the talk of a righteous hippie eco-peacenik vegan dude, but he walks the walk of The Man. ®

*Vince has a reputation for hardnosed bargaining with his corporate clients, and they don't have to chip in a penny on development for their onsite PR-bonanza wind turbines. They probably wind up paying close to retail rate; and anyway this is a minority part of the business.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.