Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Dale Vince trounces Nigel Farage in debate about renewables (Mar22)

If you want to understand why investing in renewables makes sense listen to this. Nigel Farage interviews Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, who calming and effectively explains why Nigel’s perspective is ill-informed and wrong.

Some of the highlights for me are below – this is more or less what was said:

Landowners getting rich

NF: Rich landowners are being paid thousands of pounds ever week to have wind turbines on their land whilst ordinary people pay.

DV: The rent landowners have from windmills is no more than for mobile phone masts and other structures. This kind of economic envy is a distraction from what’s happening. We spend £50bn per annum importing fossil fuels into this country. Far better if we spent that on renewables.


NF: Can renewables work without subsidies?

DV: Not only can it but it does. It’s paying the government for generation. But billions of pounds are being pumped into the North Sea to fund fossil fuels.


NF: Nuclear is the greenest form of reliable energy working 24/7, 365 days a year. Do you see nuclear as part of the mix?

DV: Nuclear is part of the mix right now, but it is the most expensive form of energy ever. We’re spending £120bn per annum just containing what we have. We should max out what we’ve got but not build any more.


NF: What solutions are there for intermittency?

DV: Concept called the ‘smart grid’. Nuclear has to have a base load – it can’t do peaks and troughs. Now we can control demand – turning things off at peak times, grid-scale battery storage, gravity, tidal lagoons. There are many ways to do this. Currently 40% of our electricity is green but in 10 years it could be 100%.

Making money

NF: Are you making loads of money?

DV: We’re not here to make money but to put what we earn back into making energy – we’re a mission driven company.

My conclusion

Please send this video to your MP, to government ministers and anyone you think might need to understand the case for renewables – not fossil fuels and not new nuclear. Whether you’re worried about about climate change or the threat from Russia the answer is that we need to invest in renewables, energy efficiency and smart grid technologies.

Ironically, perhaps the Barrage the Farage interview with Dale Vince could actually be a very effective promotion on why and how we should be going net-zero!

Also, see Good Business summary on why we should not be listening to Nigel Farage on this topic.

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