THE TRUTH BEHIND RENEWABLE ENERGY

Published on 16/02/2020

We’ve been supplying renewable energy to our customers since we launched in 2017. Recently, one of the questions we seem to be asked more and more often is where our energy comes from and how we prove that it’s the genuine article.


First, a bit about REGOs

Across the UK there are hundreds of renewable energy generators producing electricity from sources such as wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy. These range from independent, small scale operations to vast wind farms and solar plants, generating millions of kilowatt-hours of energy every year.

What they all have in common is that for every megawatt-hour of electricity they produce (that’s 1,000kWh – enough to power a UK home for around four months), the generator receives a Renewable Energy Certificate of Origin, usually called a REGO, from our regulator Ofgem.

The REGO is a guarantee that the energy produced by the generator is renewable and complies with Ofgem’s requirements under the REGO scheme.

If you’d like to read more about Ofgem’s REGO scheme, you can find out more here.


Our renewable electricity

As an energy supplier, there are two main ways of sourcing renewable energy.

The first is by setting up Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs with energy generators. This allows a supplier to source electricity directly from these generators, which they do by forecasting the amount of energy they believe will be needed for each year and agreeing a price accordingly.

The second way of accessing the market is by purchasing energy from wholesalers, who will work with a portfolio of renewable energy generators, often from large scale projects to single turbine schemes.

We work with a wholesaler called Smartest Energy, who source the energy which we supply to our customers. When we purchase renewable energy from them, the REGOs which accompany it are transferred to us, allowing us to evidence the source of the electricity we sell.

Working this way is really scalable. This means that as we grow, we can be confident that we’re able to support the increasing volume of electricity our customers need. Also, working with a wholesaler means we’re able to offer 100% renewable electricity to our customers at a price which is often less expensive than the ‘brown’ energy supplied by many of our competitors.


The renewable energy tap

Ok, let’s clear up one common misconception. There is no renewable energy tap, no switch that changes your home or business to renewable electricity and no cable which is plugged into a wind turbine to direct lovely renewable energy into your mains supply.

Unless you’re generating your own, everyone gets the same electricity. What this energy is made up of varies from month to month; in the third quarter of 2019 for example, renewable electricity accounted for 40% of the UK’s total energy output. Generally, renewables will account for around 35% of the UK’s fuel mix.

So, I hear you ask, if it doesn’t affect the energy I receive, what’s the point of choosing a renewable energy supplier, like Gulf Gas & Power?

Well, it’s all about demand.

The more renewable electricity that the UK needs, the more investment will be made in renewable energy generation, from both private companies and the government. By choosing to use renewable electricity, you’re not just supporting the generators that produce it, you’re also helping to increase the renewable electricity proportion of the UK’s energy mix.

Could we ever go 100% renewable? Have a read of our blog article where we discuss if this could happen…


What about green gas?

Green gas is generated by turning organic matter – such as plant or animal waste – into gas. The gas produced is called biomethane and is generated from around 500 plants across the country. Right now, we don’t supply green gas, but we’re working with our wholesaler to create a green gas product for our customers.

Although we don’t supply green gas, we’ve made sure we’re doing everything we can to minimise the impact that the production of natural gas has on the environment. To do this, we off-set the carbon produced by the gas our customers consume - you can find out how we do this here.

 

Like the idea of great value, renewable energy for your home or business? Visit our home energy and business energy quote pages to get started..