New Green Jack New Green Jack

47 responses to “Friday 13th”

    • Rob Allpress

      Dale, when will we be looking at construction and commissioning of the new heckington fen park?
      Good blog, good article

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Rob, We were just talking about that today.

          We have just one real issue to resolve planning wise, which is a condition to mitigate potential radar problems.

          There a couple of promising options for that, which we hope will deliver something concrete shortly.

          And then we’ll just need to raise a bit of cash and crack on.

          Can’t say more than that just now, but we do hope to have a clear timetable in the Spring.

          Cheers.

            • Rob Allpress

              I’m assuming with all your new customers joining the raising cash won’t be as much of an issue now? Would be great to hear your thoughts on all the people seeing the light finally.
              Rob

    • Alan Lee

      Well done Dale, going from strength to strength. We don’t need nuclear, we need more mills, when is the government going to wake up to this. Ecotricity is one company I would love to work for, going to work for BG on the warmup north contract in the next few weeks, but if you do anything in the north east of England, give me a shout 🙂 …

      Well done done again, exciting times for ecotricity.

      Alan

        • Dale Vince

          Thanks Alan….:)

          Good luck with the BG work, sounds worthwhile.

          Cheers.

    • Rod Stevens

      Oh great. So does that mean you’re going to get the three up at Alveston, South Glos for which you’ve had permission for over five years! – and all the rest with similar periods of approvals? Can’t wait!

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Rod, Alveston has been particularly difficult but I’m still hopeful we’ll get it built.

          Which other projects are you referring to?

          It’s been a tough couple of years to raise money for anything, windmills included – but we can see the light at the end of that tunnel now.

          Cheers.

            • Rod Stevens

              Looks a straightforward, flat bit of land to me and according to the info you put out, it was all going to happen. Not one mention of any problems? The silence has been deafening. Also Galsworthy Farm over 5 years. QEH King’s Lynn 3 years. Thought you had £20m from ecobonds raised for the sole, specific purpose of building renewable projects? You can’t have spent all that on the turbines in N.Ireland?

                • Dale Vince

                  If only it were so simple as a flat piece of land being all that is required…….I think Britain would have many more mills right now.

                  Though I get the impression that would not suit you Rod…:)

    • Rod Stevens

      Oh yes. Dalby’s been in the pipeline for quite a time as well. It seems you are extremely optimistic, even misleading, in you Wind Parks Gallery which needs updating and editing badly. By the way if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel it’s because the wind isn’t blowing!

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Rod, We have started work on Dalby and Galsworthy, I think it’s probably just a lack of understanding on your part – as to how long these things take, leading you to incorrect conclusions.

          And yes I am an extremely optimistic person, probably need to be to be doing this.

          Cheers.

            • Rod Stevens

              What does started work actually mean then? Crane pads and a bit of gravel like Alveston for the past five years? Have you put in an order for turbines and booked the contractors yet? Thought that’s what the £20m ecobonds were meant to pay for?

            • Jeffrey Lam

              I don’t want to have a go at anyone, but the construction blogs are incredibly quiet for extended periods compared to previous years. Some of the projects the Rod has mentioned have had no updates for a couple of years now. Plus turbines used to be built much more quickly.

              I’m sure there are valid reasons (such as funding etc), but the construction blogs are completely silent. I do look every so often, but it is disappointing to find absolutely nothing.

                • Dale Vince

                  Hi Jeffrey, I understand, it is disappointing for us too, when we spend years getting planning permission and then struggle to construct at the pace we are used to.

                  I think much of this is fall out from the financial crises of the last couple of years.

                  Be assured we are doing our best and we do expect to build them all – starting with Galsworthy.

                  Cheers.

                    • Jeffrey Lam

                      Hi Dale
                      Thanks for the reply. I hope building resumes soon.

                      The point I was trying to make is that the construction blogs just go quiet for long extended periods, appearing to outsiders like us that someone has forgotten about the construction blogs, or we don’t know what. It would be nice if the blogs say if building is delayed or why, subject to commercial constraints or whatever. You do know which blogs I’m referring to? The ones on the ecotricity website that you can navigate to from the wind parks map.

                      Cheers

                        • Dale Vince

                          Thanks Jeffrey, did get your point and I do know the web pages you mean.

                          We’ll take a look see if there’s anything more we can say. it is a difficult balance to strike.

                          Cheers.

                            • Rod Stevens

                              Not difficult at all. Just tell the truth and eliminate the spin. Don’t you owe it to ecobond holders and your customers whose bills are supposed to being ‘turned into mills’ to tell them that most of the turbines you say are being built, aren’t?

                            • Rod Stevens

                              I’m simply going on your website and the Wind Parks Gallery. The Building section is largely wishful thinking. Why isn’t it updated? Take a look and you will see what I mean.

    • Dave

      Ecotricity really is the only thing that helps me feel empowered in the face of a government which is privatising our most precious remaining public services and destroying our communities. So thanks for that.

      Can I ask a couple of questions.. the case to join Ecotricity is so compelling now…
      1) The LOWER energy bills.
      2) The £400 investment per house per year in building clean energy. Cleaner air, cleaner water & cleaner soil.
      3) The investment in a more energy independent, less conflicted Britain with more insulated & less erratic energy pricing for British consumers.
      4) The investment in a safer, less conflicted, less war hungry planet with a lower rate of consumption.
      5) Oh.. and as a bonus there’s tackling that thing called climate change!

      The main problem is people don’t know this stuff. Many people still don’t even know Ecotricity exists and many others don’t fully understand the case for renewables. Can’t you not put this stuff in a TV advert? Or put bullet pointed, billboards up around London? Maybe a full page advert in the Metro?

      With about 4,000 people per year dying from air pollution in London, I think we’re more acutely aware of what dirty air is and are primed for change.

      Also I think now is a great time to re-vamp your ‘refer a friend’ campaign. As a passionate customer, I find it difficult to convince friends to go for an unknown when they’re convinced green always means expensive. For the first time I can actually tell them it’s cheaper. Can we have new codes and freebies please? 🙂

        • Dale Vince

          Thanks Dave, useful thoughts.

          I’m going to pass your suggestion WRT our refer a Friend scheme on to our marketing team, it’s due a reveamp.

          Advertising is a very expensive way to gain customers, TV the most so. But billboard in London might not be a bad idea, we’ll look at it. I think we did once try the tube.

          With our new – just one 100% tariff and lower prices we probably will appeal to a wider audience, we certainly hope so.

          Thanks again Dave.

            • Phil R

              Just signed up to ecotricity and am quite excited about it all.

              Bit of a blue sky idea: In the same way that electricity is generated centrally distributed and then charged as per the customer, could you not do a green oyster card in London. For every journey I make on the tube, that percentage of electricity is supplied by ecotricity to TFL?

    • Alex

      Well done on holding your own in a mess of an industry. You’ve done well to grow and develop with all the government uturns and bizzare demands. Big 6 are not just getting rid of green tarrifs its the resources as well, billions in investments gone with no explination or reason why so carry on building the turbines you wont have much competition going foreward. You just need to solve the carbon fibre problem; by changing to hempcreate (carbon fibre cannot be recycled so goes to landfil and your going to build tonnes of it) so change to hempcreate and you can truly call wind sustainable energy.

      So whats the future for ecotricity products? Are you going to develop any new industy changing ideas? We have seen nothing new in over a decade; there are lots of wind turbines and solar panels on offer but people want 24/7 power they can afford. The industry needs some game changer of a plan, something that will provide affordable, sustainable energy 24/7 that can vary with demand so any ideas?

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Alex, we have three things that might fit into the category of future products.

          Our Urbine,a 6kW vertical axis windmill, in R&D and going through MCS accreditation soon.

          The Searaser, a wave device currently going through detailed design and modelling.

          And the Black Box – which goes into trial at our offices next week.

          There’s some info on all of these on our web site – but not so much. We update on them in our annual reports – which are also on our website.

          I can’t offer much more info than that at the mo.

          Cheers.

    • Chris

      That sounds like all very positive stuff Dale. Good work!

      I wanted to ask your techy team a question if at all possible. Despite being a big fan of EV’s, I can’t decide whether or not to take the plunge on my next car. I have to admit to being somewhat of a slave to range anxiety!

      I live in a flat and so would have to rely heavily on the 1 public charging point in town. If someone else was using it at the wrong time, it could leave me up the creek!

      I know you can get back up battery packs for smart phones (Google ‘Anker Astro E4 13000mAh External Battery Charger ‘). So you can carry ‘top up’ charge in a seperate pack and use it to keep mobiles active when erm ..camping or something.

      Can’t this relatively simple technology be scaled up for EV’s? An external pack in the boot could prove invaluable. I’m guessing the only limiting factor would be the bulk of it – perhaps the reason it’s not been done. But even if it only had enough power to do 15 or 20 miles, it could be enough to cure the anxiety of getting stranded somewhere. Could save calling the AA and my workplace don’t have plug sockets near the car park.

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Chris, I’m sure weight is going to be the big problem with that idea.

          Can’t see it happening myself.

          Understand your issues not having access to off street parking to be able to charge yourself, that’s an added obstacle to EV take up – probably quite a (more) common issue in cities.

          I guess only the emergence of more and more charging posts is going to help that – as long as they outstrip the rate of new EVs on the road.

          No easy answer to that.

          One answer is if you can charge your car at work, which is what we’re looking at enabling (at ecotricity) now.

          Cheers.

    • Lex

      Hi Dale,

      Great work! Just wandering whether you still have plans on the solar front? Ecotricity were leading the way before having the Government support for large scale solar pulled almost overnight. However production costs have reduced considerably since then and big solar is again commercially viable.

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Lex, You’re right we did have big plans until the government cut the FIT rate for Big Solar, and since then equipment costs have fallen far enough to re balance things, to a degree.

          We do have several projects under consideration.

          Unfortunately, the front runner of those has become victim of the lack of grid problem in the SW. It’s a 10MW consented scheme attached to a wind project that had a super cheap grid connection cost and now has a super expensive one – which killed it.

          There does seem to be a lot of solar activity about, in the SW it’s absorbed all the available grid – often before it’s even got planning, which is unfortunate.

          Solar is still part of our plan though.

          Cheers.

    • Ex

      I have to say that I share the concerns of Rod and Jeffrey. And I’m coming at this from the point of view of someone who understands the industry and buys green electricity. A great deal of money has poured into the company in the past 2/3 yrs, thru bonds, and yet construction of new ‘mills’ remains limited to just the 2 in Northern Ireland. I love the slogan ‘turning bills into mills’, but I just don’t see it happening… building enabling works on sites to keep the planning consent active does not constitute actual building Dale. And that’s fair enough, times are hard for everyone in the industry, but that’s not the message that is portrayed.

      I think that not investing in sites that are consented is not a great PR-win for the industry and provides ammunition for anti-groups, which we could all well do without in these difficult times. I’m not sure that the priorities of the company are really set on the building of wind mills, again, this is fine, but not the message that is portrayed. Can I suggest ‘turning bills into balls’ for Forest Green perhaps?

      I very much hope that Galsworthy goes ahead and this marks a new start of building works at Eco! We need strong, local, alternatives to the big 6, but ones that are serious and upfront about their intentions. To do otherwise is to hurt a very fragile industry, which we all agree can form the basis of UK growth for the next generation.

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Ex, As I said to Rod, his opinions appear to be based on a lack of understanding of the construction process and our actual communications to customers and bond holders – of which I doubt he is either, and so that would explain that. He has not responded on that point.

          Your concerns seem similarly uninformed – though I stand ready to be corrected.

          You are mistaken to suggest that the bond monies we have raised have only seen the building of two windmills in Northern Ireland. If you were a bond holder you would know better than that.

          It’s OK to be uninformed, it’s less OK to jump to conclusions – as you have, based on that.

          As I have said here before – the rate of building has been slower than we would like, that’s a fact. It’s also an industry wide problem from the figures I have seen (and you should know this if you have industry knowledge) , vast amounts of consented but as yet unbuild capacity exists in the system.

          But we are intent on building everything that has planning consent.

          Galsworthy is underway right now – turbines are ordered, grid offer accepted, basic groundworks in hand – should be up and running Q3 next year.

          Dalby will follow. Two quarters later hopefully.

          If it was easy more people would do it and more capacity would be built already. Sniping from the sidelines is something anyone can do..:)

          Cheers.

    • Rod Stevens

      All I was going on was the unfounded optimism you display in your Windfarm Gallery which is largely undiluted propaganda to attempt to keep your unsceptical customers and bondholders happy. I see you’ve tinkered with the gallery webpages a bit, but despite saying you will be getting turbines up and running years ago, the reality is that you have not got any on to those sites, some of which have been in the pipeline for over five years. You say nothing about Alveston which you have boasted about for years. Let’s see what happens at Galsworthy and Dalby – but we’ve seen it all before.
      I think Ex was on the right track saying very astutely that you were not turning bills into mills but extremely expensive balls at Forest Green Rovers – trouble is you seem to have been dropping most of them. Pity they are such a lost cause at the moment, especially as at the outset you got rid of the loyal servants of the club, thinking you knew more about football than them. What goes around, comes around.

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Rod, I would argue that our ‘optimism’ is actually well founded and that same gallery of wind parks you refer to is proof of that – over 60 MWs of proof.

          And if our customers and bondholders are ‘un sceptical’ as you say – why would we need ‘undiluted propaganda’ to keep them happy – that does not add up.

          I think in your rush to criticise you’ve overlooked logic.

          Your comments about FGR simply betray an ignorance of the facts (or is it that you just don’t care) – and not for the first time..:)

          Cheers.

        • paul

          Hi Rod – it’s been a while!

          When I helped set up the Stroud5050 blog a few years ago, you were VERY vocal against our proposed wind park in Berkeley Vale.

          I am curious why you are now so keen for us to build more?

          Cheers,
          Paul

    • Rod Stevens

      Where exactly did I give that impression? Just wondering why turbines given the go ahead five and more years ago haven’t materialised – at this rate you’ll be taking longer than it takes to get a nuclear power station built! (If it goes ahead, the Hinkley Point power station will push out more carbon free electricity than all the onshore and offshore wind turbines in UK combined – and occupy 600 times less land). People are beginning to realise it’s a no-brainer. When even The Sun is writing persuasive articles about the windfarm scam, I think you’re in trouble – which all contributes to making it less likely that your future projects will come to fruition. I imagine you’ll be desperate for the lights to stay on this winter, when we have long periods of high pressure and dark windless days, otherwise your industry will be bread – the toaster won’t be working!

    • A brain owner

      Rod, give it a rest fella. Your confused, misguided and angry. Angry at what I have no idea. If your upset about the cost of generation, you shouldn’t try and trumpet nuclear. The whole point of renewables is that that they are there to decrease emissions not provide base load to the grid. Yes nuclear power stations create low carbon electricity but when you take into account the carbon payback period for a 1,500MW twin set reactor its around 16 years. And then you’ve got to figure out what your going to do with the high level waste. The committee for that was set up in 1968 and they still haven’t come up with a conclusion. And then you have to pay to decommission the site. I’m not anti nuclear, but it is the most expensive form of generation you can get at around £5m a MW installed (not taking into account decommissioning). The cost of decommissioning Sellafield is now £70bn (source: NDA 2008). The whole cost of circa 8,000 MW of installed capacity from renewables is less than £7bn (DECC).

      I would of thought someone with a closed right wing mind like yours would love decentralized, local generation. But perhaps not, perhaps the centrally planned, top down dictatorial approach that you have no say in whatsoever, is what you prefer.

    • Rod Stevens

      Getting personal and a poor grasp of grammar simply undermines your case.
      The problem has always been what happens when the wind doesn’t blow on winter’s days when there are only a few hours of light? Conventional power stations kept on spinning reserve have to take up the slack – until these power station operators decide it’s not worth swimming against the rigged renewables tide any longer and close down, as they are threatening to do in Germany.
      It is instructive to see what is happening in other countries. Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania and the Czech Republic are either reducing or eliminating subsidies for renewables. Australia is rapidly reining back on its green obligations and USA’s consumers and industry benefit from cheap energy by developing their unconventional gas and oil fields. Even in UK, green levies are now being questioned. Most of the rest of the world still relies on coal, gas and oil to power their homes and industries.
      The following recent quotes from Der Spiegel Online International (a highly respected German main-stream magazine) put the weakness of the case for renewables into stark relief.
      “Germany pretends to be a pioneer in the green revolution. But its massively expensive Energiewende has done nothing to make the environment cleaner or encourage genuine efficiency….. Renewable energy and the coal boom are causally linked. The insane system to promote renewable energy sources ensures that, with each new rooftop solar panel and each additional wind turbine, more coal is automatically burned and more CO2 released into the atmosphere……..German law stipulates that renewable energy always has priority in the grid. When gaps emerge in the electricity supply, though, they have to be bridged by conventional power plants. Unfortunately, these are usually not gas plants, but ones burning cheaper coal. As long as there are no storage facilities for green electricity, every wind turbine and every rooftop solar panel will cast a dark shadow.” (Alexander Neubacher, Spiegel Online International , October 25th)
      Maybe with such revelations becoming more widely aired and debated, renewable sources of energy will be increasingly questioned and scrutinised. It may even explain, in part, why Ecotricity’s turbine building programme seems to have stalled.

    • Nick

      Perhaps the slow down in the rate of Ecotricity’s build of subsidy farms is a combination of three factors;

      1. The subsidy is steadily reducing making these farms a less attractive way of making money – and with growing public awareness of the scale of subsidy then, the pressure to reduce that subsidy can only increase.

      2. The cost of grid connections to subsidy farms is now at a realistic level which reduces the financial return considerably.

      3. The UK is gradually waking up to the fact that the whole premise of subsidy farms is flawed. If the reduction of CO2 is the objective, then these schemes are simply not the answer due to the need to keep CO2 generating plants as spinning reserve. Sadly, the only reliable way to generate CO2 free electricity in the quantity needed is nuclear. This will not be cheap and it will always have a risk attached, but for the next 20-30 years it is all we have.

      Lots of people don’t like the idea of nuclear power, but, if CO2 is the greatest problem that the world faces then as even George Monbiot acknowledges, reducing CO2 must be the overriding objective and nuclear is currently the only answer.

      Furthermore, if we move to widespread use of electric vehicles in the next 20 years the we will need even more generating capacity than today and once again, nuclear seems likely be the only CO2 free way of coping with that massive increase in demand.

      However, there is an alternative to nuclear. We could be pragmatic and accept that the UK contribution to CO2 is so tiny compared to China/USA etc that if we switch back to coal as Germany has done, then it won’t make any substantive difference to global emissions. That would certainly be cheap and easy and would guarantee that we didn’t suffer blackouts. It would also have the massive benefit that our energy intensive industry could remain competitive. Unfortunately, the previous and current governments have committed the UK to a reduction in CO2, irrespective of the huge negative economic impact on the country and despite the reality that reducing our already low level of CO2 emission will be dwarfed by the increases from China in a few months. The reality is that even if the UK stopped emitting CO2 entirely, the increase from China would offset that decrease in around 12 months. This is an option for a future government, and one that should be seriously considered. It would mean removal of subsidies from all energy, wind, solar and nuclear, and whilst the wealthy companies who receive those subsidies would complain, squeezing them until the pips squeak might be good for the economy as a whole as it would reduce our energy costs dramatically.

      So, the reduction in building by Ecotricity could be because investing in these farms just might not give it the guaranteed long term subsidy-dependent profit stream it desires.

        • Joe V

          Nuclear Nick is back with another diatribe, (wish that began with a silent n).

          I see his job for EDF as targeting competitors to spread misleading anecdotes – to breed immunity for his company’s shortcomings.

          Now he joins a dwindling number of desperate denial diehards to suggest that Britain ignores Climate Change and invest in dirty coal. Astonishing. He obviously has no compassion for the millions affected by the ongoing extreme weather.

          This country must develop and invest in new technology not revert back to the soon to be superseded, white elephant of nuclear.

            • nick

              Joe,

              If you read my post (rather than just bashing out a knee jerk response) then you would see that I advocate a subsidy free market. Yes, I really did mean that there should be no subsidy for nuclear as well as stopping the current renewable gravy train that transfers wealth from the poor to the rich. Some companies and individuals have become very wealthy indeed on the back of these green levies; indeed at least one person has built a personal net worth of over £50m (as featured in the FT) due to this transfer from the poor.

              We should accept that what the UK does in terms of CO2 will have no impact on the world’s emissions as a whole – we are a pimple in volume terms and even if the UK stopped emitting CO2 entirely, that gap would be filled within 12 months by increases from other countries. Let other countries ruin their economies by stopping energy use and in the UK let the market decide how to make and sell electricity. Those people who feel that reducing CO2 is important will no doubt wish to pay any premium for CO2 free renewable electricity and those companies who supply it will be able to charge enough to make a profit. Those people who can’t afford that premium (or who understand the negligible impact of the UK reducing CO2 output) will be able to buy cheap energy from coal etc. Those who want CO2 free nuclear can sign up to long term contracts at a high price and agree to fund the clean up – no tax payer involvement.

              The rest of us can enjoy cheap energy from coal and gas (no doubt fracked gas will come on stream at some stage if the costs are low enough) and we can reopen the coal mines and enjoy the economic benefits of new jobs and energy security in one go.

              However, the vested interests of the old (nuclear and government) and new (global warming gravy train lobby) establishment will never let that happen and so we are faced with the current reality of the government and the EU continuing their misguided drive to massively increase energy costs by subsidising CO2 free electricity. Given that this subsidy will be continuing and that there are too many vested interests to enable the UK to see sense over energy policy, then the only reason that subsidising nuclear is better than subsidising wind is because it provides security of supply – wind is just too variable to be viable as anything other than a sop for people to feel that ‘something is being done’. Of course, these are the people who don’t have to live next to these subsidy farms and don’t suffer the damaging effects of the noise, the visual intrusion or the housing blight.

              However, I don’t suppose for one moment that rational argument will persuade Joe or anyone else with a livelihood that depends on the global warming industry that they might be barking up the wrong tree and I can’t say I blame them – after all, which turkey would ever vote for Christmas?
              PS Joe, I don’t work in the electricity supply industry myself, but I do have an engineering degree and studied power generation and transmission by the CEGB 30 years ago, so I do have a broad understanding of how this stuff works. I’m self employed and work in Gloucestershire – no big business or subsidy gravy train here, just someone who resents that fact that we are all being conned by people who rip us off – either by big business to whom it’s a way of life or individuals who have a keen eye for an opportunity to get rich of the back of a government scheme. There have been loads of these scams over the years (remember learning credits?) and renewables is just the latest way to get subsidised for doing something. As just one example, there was an advert in the local paper this week looking for farmland (20 acres minimum) for solar farms – how can it make sense to do this on land that should be producing crops? Put solar on warehouses and offices – empty space that is unused is surely where these things should go. That way, they will in towns and cities and the power transmission loss will be close to zero. When will people understand that putting a solar subsidy farm in the countryside means having to build yet more ugly pylons to ship power to those same towns and cities?

    • Rod Stevens

      This recent article concerns an appropriately named wind farm company in Germany of all places!
      “The German wind energy giant Prokon filed for insolvency on Wednesday, leaving tens of thousands of investors worried about their money. The company advertised itself as a safe bet offering eight percent returns…… Prokon, which builds and manages wind parks, has been a leading player in Germany’s ambitious plan to switch to renewable energy. It managed to attract 75,000 investors through a successful advertising campaign.
      But after months of speculation that the company was close to ruin, Prokon filed for insolvency. Investors had reportedly pulled €227 million of a total investment of €1. 4 billion, leaving the company far short of the 95 percent capital investment it needed to stay solvent……. Prokon offered investors so-called “participation rights,” which – while offering high returns – did not entitle them to any part in decision-making.” The Local 24th Jan 2014
      The problem with renewables is that you eventually run out of other people’s money!
      If this can happen in ultra green and efficient Germany – what price there could be similar insolvencies in UK?

    • Rod Stevens

      This recent article concerns an appropriately named wind farm company – in Germany of all places!
      “The German wind energy giant Prokon filed for insolvency on Wednesday, leaving tens of thousands of investors worried about their money. The company advertised itself as a safe bet offering eight percent returns…… Prokon, which builds and manages wind parks, has been a leading player in Germany’s ambitious plan to switch to renewable energy. It managed to attract 75,000 investors through a successful advertising campaign.
      But after months of speculation that the company was close to ruin, Prokon filed for insolvency. Investors had reportedly pulled €227 million of a total investment of €1. 4 billion, leaving the company far short of the 95 percent capital investment it needed to stay solvent……. Prokon offered investors so-called “participation rights,” which – while offering high returns – did not entitle them to any part in decision-making.” The Local 24th Jan 2014
      The problem with renewables is that you eventually run out of other people’s money!
      If this can happen in ultra green and efficient Germany – what price there could be similar insolvencies in UK?

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Rod, your post doesn’t make more sense just because you posted it twice..:)

          But seriously – You’re trying to suggest that the bankruptcy of one renewable energy company is somehow indicative of a sector with fundamental problems……..?

          How about Fukishima then, does this make all nuclear power stations inherently dangerous and hugely expensive to contain when they inevitably get out of control…….actually maybe it does…..:)

          Or try the banking crisis – how many banks went down, how many more were bailed out with public money, how much investor money was lost there – is the banking sector inherently unstable, or is it money that we simply can’t rely on…….?

          And then there are car companies, how often do they fall over and or get bailed out – are they inherently wrong, or are cars just unreliable…?

          Of course these problems in banking and car manufacturing occurred recently in the ultra business like and money focussed US – if it can happen there it can (and of course has) happen anywhere – to parody your final line..:)

          Great entertainment value Rod, but little else.

          Cheers.

        • Joe V

          Three main points struck me about the recent Rod Stevens comments:-
          Firstly, I would imagine that almost all businesses would struggle to remain solvent if a sixth of their capital was suddenly withdrawn. Secondly, Germany is not ultra-green. It has a right-wing government with an illogical energy policy – just like this country in fact. Thirdly, he appears to be gloating about the potential loss of 480 jobs.

          So, not only ill informed but also quite nasty, and with those qualities I’m sure he would make an ideal employee for one of your larger competitors, Dale 😉

          But I am in a dilemma here. Whom do I believe? Do I put my trust in Sir Bob Watson and the thousands of other eminent scientists who have studied Climate Change or do I believe a nobody who tells me that it has stalled?

          Hardly a week goes by without a news report, “the (driest, wettest, windiest, deadliest) (month, event) since records began somewhere in the world.

          Frankly, he has as much credibility as a Flat-Earth advocate, so I consider his statement to be politically motivated. Justice will prevail when his children and grandchildren despise him as a conniving fool on a par with the shame felt by the slavery legacy.

            • Rod Stevens

              When you start slinging mindless insults around it shows the paucity of your arguments, a reluctance to debate and a lack of insight.
              You tell me I am ill-informed but fail to counter the points I made concerning what is happening to the green agenda in other countries. Have you noticed the backtracking away from greenery in the USA, Australia, Canada and Spain as well as virtually all of the new EU accession countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, which have never been convinced by the green movement? Coal supplies 90% of Poland’s energy needs for example.
              Germany’s energy policy is in a total mess – it is now increasingly relying on coal to keep the lights on. Its industry is screaming at the government that it can no longer compete with countries with far cheaper energy costs (i.e. those having less reliance on expensive, intermittent, unreliable and often doomed renewable programmes). Indeed some energy intensive companies have either closed down or are migrating to USA and other countries and many more are threatening to do so. This is a double whammy as many of those countries have little or no taste for curbing carbon emissions, so the companies are relatively free to pollute, which had they stayed in Germany would not have been the case, even with far more relaxed rules on carbon emissions. Also the EU is now reining back its emissions targets somewhat, since for similar reasons the clamour for a more level playing field from virtually every EU country is deafening.
              It is surely more instructive to look at the far wider picture than a few jobs in Gloucestershire!
              You mention all the current superlatives about the weather. I can remember the floods of 1953 when more than 300 people were killed, mainly in North Kent and South and East Essex. In1952, 34 people were killed in the floods in Lynton and Lynmouth, North Devon, with hundreds made homeless. Compared to those events, the current flooding of the Somerset Levels appear almost negligible. Tens of thousands of people were killed or died prematurely, because of the severe prolonged cold in the winters of 1947 and 1963 when sub zero temperatures continued without pause for months. The sea froze at Herne Bay and Ramsgate on both occasions. There were many climate records made then, which still prevail today – deepest snow, prolonged cold period, coldest February day etc.
              So there have always been periods of bad weather around. The difference is that these days everyone has a camera, the media is out in force and there are dozens of TV channels all desperately trying to outdo their rivals by trying to scare us the most. Sixty years ago there was one grainy black and white TV channel seen by less than a million people. There were relatively few images of these extremes and disasters. Few had a camera and people were stoical, shrugged their shoulders and got on with life in far more trying times.
              If these measured comments make me a Flat Earth advocate, a nobody and a conniving fool to be despised by my children and grandchildren, then I leave others to judge my accuser.

    • Rod Stevens

      Hopefully this will only appear once. I think there was a gremlin in the system.
      You seem to be employing diversionary tactics, referring to banks and the car industry. I thought we were discussing the wind industry? Maybe it gives you some solace though? And Fukushima was the result of an act of nature.
      Despite huge subsidies and sweeteners a large number of US renewables companies (solar panels producers) such as Solyndra, have gone bankrupt. The same fate has befallen many companies elsewhere, including Q-Cells in Germany and the huge Suntech in China.
      What is happening in green-loving Germany is interesting and that is why I quoted from the article. Nuclear closures may appease the greens but renewables can never take up the slack and have to be hugely subsidised. So Germany is planning to build at least twenty of the most polluting coal-fired power stations using mainly locally available lignite. In this energy topsy-turvy La La Land, the USA which didn’t sign up to Kyoto is reducing its carbon emissions largely thanks to shale gas, while many of those countries which did are increasing their emissions, some of which are now importing American coal! You couldn’t make it up.
      It is becoming increasingly clear that Europe can no longer keep to its carbon emission targets if it wishes to attempt to stop its energy intensive industries emigrating and provide affordable power for its citizens. Indeed, targets are about to become non-binding – which make them virtually meaningless. Countries formerly sympathetic to the green agenda are now cooling their enthusiasm and advocating a more level energy playing field and questioning and reining in subsidies while giving an approving nod to the coal industry and – in time – to shale gas, which now seems to have the tacit approval of the EU. Even Germany is about to reduce subsidies – the lifeblood of the renewables industry. So confidence is draining, investment will be increasingly squeezed or even dry up and the fact that global warming appears stalled are all contributing to an extremely uncertain future for the wind industry. No wonder there is a high profile bankruptcy of a large wind farm company in the offing. More will follow.
      The problem with renewables is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

        • Joe V

          The main problem with the nuclear industry is that they never run out of other people’s money. Our government just pumps in some more of our taxes.

    • ALEX

      If you look at the companies in America going broke and closing it’s purely down to the cheap crap they have produced. Solar products from Germany and China are far superior and American companies cannot compete on global markets. The European government has decided to reduce substances purely because the industry is now well out of its initial set up period and we’ll established so there is no need to further the money given out. Have a look into superconducting cables and magnets the new technology will enable a wind turbine to generate multiple times what it does currently. The American coal association is famous for being desperate and they directly fund anything against renewable energy with the usual American propaganda so don’t believe everything you read and research for yourself to see if something is true or not. In Europe the funding cuts are nothing to do with the green energy market running out of money it’s purely down to they have achieved what they wanted and made renewable energy common practice and created a growing demand. If you can’t compete you go broke and close it’s simple business practice, look at RYE from Germany closing nuclear power stations all over Europe in favour of renewable energy generation billions of euros will be invested to keep the power on and coal is only a small part.