- Sector: Green
- Region: South West England
Bundle of energy
There are plenty of firms offering renewable energy today, but Ecotricity can say it has been there from the very start. The company, which was founded in 1995, claims to be the world’s first green-energy company. It now supplies almost 200,000 customers across the UK from its growing fleet of wind and sun parks. “We focus on sustainability, particularly across the three biggest sources of carbon emissions, transport and food,” says Ecotricity Founder Dale Vince.
“We will expand the Electric Highway as electric vehicles replace the internal combustion car”
The company got its first opportunity from the liberalisation of the UK’s energy market in the 1990s. Recently, it has been taking advantage of advances in electric vehicles to expand into the transport sector.
“We built our own electric super car, the Nemesis, to show how cars without oil could look and feel,” says Dale. “We’ve since built Europe’s most comprehensive charging network – the Electric Highway – allowing electric vehicles to travel the length and breadth of Britain.”
The Electric Highway network now consists of around 300 electricity pumps, and the company plans to continue expanding the number of charging sites to meet growing demand from electric car owners. “We will expand the Electric Highway as electric vehicles replace the internal combustion car,” says Dale. “A big part of that will be powering transport with renewable energy, using home-scale battery storage and the interconnectivity between renewable energy, storage and transport.”
- 300 - The Electric Highway’s charging network boasts this many electricity pumps
Ecotricity seems determined to stay at the forefront of innovation and is eyeing up a number of other opportunities, including innovation in the water sector. The company is also committed to making ‘green gas’ from grass and in October last year the company received permission to build its first green gas mill in Hampshire.
“The coming years will be all about technology enabling a very different type of energy grid,” says Dale. “We are moving towards people making their own power at home. The old top-down model is dead.”