Our electricity is 100% green – made from the sun and the wind. We generate about 12% of it ourselves and the rest is certified green energy we buy from other green generators or via the wholesale market.
What really makes Ecotricity different from other energy companies, including the ‘green’ ones, is that we turn our customers’ bills into new sources of green energy. We’re building new wind and sun parks across the country, so we’re increasing the amount of renewables in Britain rather than just trading what already exists.
Plus we’re always researching and developing newer, bigger and more efficient ways of generating green electricity. Our goal is to completely replace electricity made by burning fossil fuels.
Green energy from the wind
We’ve been generating 100% green electricity from wind energy since 1996.
Britain has 40% of Europe’s wind source and it won’t ever run out – it’s an incredible natural resource and there’s enough of it to power the country several times over.
Over the past 28 years we’ve built 24 wind parks all over the country. These wind parks are home to 74 beautiful windmills, generating enough green energy to power over 56,000 homes.
The environmental benefit of our windmills is huge, saving over 31,000 tonnes of CO2 each year in the fight against the climate crisis.
The wind blows day and night, so we’re currently building our first grid scale battery project, designed to store green energy generated when demand is low, for use at peak times. Innovations like this are essential in our mission to end fossil fuels.
Turning wind into electricity
All our windmills create electricity in the same way, even in a gentle breeze. The wind turns the blades, which are connected to a spinning shaft in the body of the windmill.
A generator converts this motion into electricity, which is passed through a transformer to bring the voltage up so it can be sent to the National Grid.
Green energy from the sun
It may be hard to believe sometimes but Britain gets plenty of sun, more than enough for solar energy to contribute significantly to our national electricity supply.
Our first sun park was 1MW in size, occupying almost five acres of land with over 5,000 solar panels joined together. A sun park like this generates enough green electricity to power about 250 homes.
We’ve built two new solar parks using the latest panel technology, a total of 16.5MW.
They’re next door to two of our existing wind parks in Leicestershire and Devon, sharing the same connection to the grid, which is a really efficient way of doing things.
Turning sunlight into electricity
Whatever the weather, solar energy is generated when photons from the sun create a flow of electricity in the solar panel, which is why you’ll sometimes see them referred to as photovoltaic panels.
The technology has come on in leaps and bounds – the newest panels generate 500 watts compared to around half that 10 years ago. Another exciting development is bifacial solar panels, which we’ll be using in our new solar parks.
Bifacial panels make electricity from the underside as well as the top face, from light reflected off the ground – overall, they can generate around 7 to 10% more electricity than conventional panels.