Channel 4 Dispatches, green energy and biomass


CHANNEL 4 DISPATCHES...Government subsidies to 'Green Energy', Drax Power Station and forest devastation in the US.
I was very shocked by the information in this programme. Drax is apparently the largest power station in this country earning billions of pounds in Government subsidies per annum for supplying 'green energy'. There was a wealth of very shocking information but the essence of it is they burn wood pellets! The CO2 emissions from this 'biomass' fuel was measured as higher than the coal it replaced by 8%. Can Ovo assure me that they do not use fuel from the Drax power station or any other that uses wood pellets as fuel in my 100% greener energy?

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Can Ovo assure me that they do not use fuel from the Drax power station or any other that uses wood pellets as fuel in my 100% greener energy?

Thanks for the post @Muttley.

I can't comment on the Drax power station or this programme by Channel 4, but we love a debate about green energy!

Our renewable electricity comes from a range of green sources including biomass, but also wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas power sources. More info on our green energy can be found on this page, and more general info on our fuel mix on this page.

What do you think @Bumblebee @Transparent :?
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@Muttley good evening thank you for putting this question to the forum,

You'll be pleased to hear the following;

The electricity OVO Energy sources comes from various generators. Its two tariffs include 33% green electricity, (OVO Better Energy-previously 15% green) and 100% green electricity (Ovo Greener Energy), coming from sources including wind farms in Gloucestershire and North Wales and electricity generated from the burning of landfill gas.

Landfill gas in particular is a brilliant source of energy and being a waste product means using a gas without fracking or drilling.

I hope this answers your question, if you have any more, do please feel free to contact any of us :)

All the best, Bumblebee 🙂
Hi.
Thanks you both very much for your replies. Tim, you mention that OVO use 'biomass' fuels. Are you able to say what this fuel consists of? Surely OVO would know?
Many thanks
Muttley
Are you able to say what this fuel consists of? Surely OVO would know?

Silence speaks volumes Muttley.

The publicly available answer to your question can be found in two places:

https://www.ovoenergy.com/green-energy
"If you’re signed up to Green Electricity, we purchase renewable certificates for 100% of your electricity use from green sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas."

https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-fuel-mix
"If you’re signed up to Green Energy, we purchase renewable certificates for 100% of your electricity use from green sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas."

Notice that the two statements are identical bar one word: biomass. I think somebody forgot to remove it from the first page when Ovo first realised this could be bad PR.

Ovo do not buy direct from generators so cannot control the mix of renewables and therefore they use the standard mix, one of which is imported plant biomass, e.g. wood pellets.

See the following for more information:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729371/Ch6.pdf

I would love Ovo to prove me wrong but I would assert that you and I Muttley are inadvertently supporting the use of wood pellets at Drax. It's not Ovo's fault per se, it's an industry/government con. Any fool can see that burning wood which takes decades to recover and therefore remove CO2 from the atmosphere cannot really be in the spirit of renewable energy.

The only alternative is to find a supplier that can categorically say that wood pellets are not part of their purchases. I'm not sure that's even possible.
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Hey @carfuffle, @Muttley,

We include biomass in our fuel mix at the moment because we have purchased it in the past and we still have a contract to do so should we want to buy again. However, for the last 12 months we haven't purchased any biomass and there aren't any plans to purchase again in the near future.

Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for the info Carfuffle. I had given up on ever getting a comprehensive answer to my question!.... It seems the whole thing is a complete mess...

Thank you too Nancy for your carefully worded reply. It is a shame an answer from Ovo took so long but I'm pleased to finally get one...
So to sum up, it would appear that you can state that I will NOT be funding biomass fuels, IN THE FUTURE, through my payments to Ovo? However you ARE including biomass NOW because you have already bought it? If that is the case I do not know how you can describe your Greener Energy as such.
If I have misunderstood then please do correct me. What a sad state our energy industry is in if I am paying for 'Greener Energy' which includes wood pellets!
....for the last 12 months we haven't purchased any biomass....

Thanks for the reply however I'm getting mixed messages from Ovo. Back in March I asked the biomass question via email after watching the Channel 4 programme and got the following response:

It's not something that is generally tracked by companies, as it's not part of the fuel mix we have to publish. As we guarantee our green energy through certificates, rather than directly through generators, we'll get a mix of all the types of renewable energy that's being produced


I hope you can see that your answer: "We do know what we're buying" doesn't quite line up with that given in March: "We don't know what we're buying".
Mixed messages describes the situation exactly Carfuffle...that and what appears to me to be a lack of real knowledge or indeed even a desire for that knowledge on the part of the energy suppliers!
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Well, @carfuffle, I'd like to find out who told you that and where the information came from! Send me a PM with your account number, full name and DoB so I can trace it back.

I've also asked a couple of departments for clarification on this so I can give you some more detailled info.

Thanks
Thanks Nancy, for chasing this up.

I PM'd the details to you.
Can I ask that you put the detailed info on this thread when it's available please Nancy?
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Can I ask that you put the detailed info on this thread when it's available please Nancy?

Once I've got some more info, absolutely.
Here's the information I received by PM:

"If you’re signed up to Green Energy, we purchase renewable certificates for 100% of your electricity use from green sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas. As I confirmed previously, we haven't bought any biomass energy in the last year and we're focusing our efforts into other more efficient sources of renewable energy. Though, as indicated in the government document, biomass does fall under renewable sources that can be certified as green"
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Sorry, @carfuffle - should have posted that myself! Thanks for doing that 🙂

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