Our fuel mix

Good Energy’s fuel mix

At Good Energy, we source all our renewable electricity from solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power and biofuels.

We always have done and we always will. No other UK energy supplier can promise that.

Switch now

What does a supplier's fuel mix mean?

Over the course of a year, energy suppliers must purchase sufficient electricity to feed into the national electricity grid to cover the amount their customers take out. This is done by trading electricity on a market with generators, or by taking from suppliers’ own generation capacity - like our wind farm in Delabole, for example.

At the end of each year, suppliers must disclose their fuel mix (the percentage of electricity they have procured from each power source - coal, gas, nuclear and renewables) to OFGEM. This is published annually to help consumers make informed choices about their electricity supplier. At Good Energy, we ensure that all the electricity we sell to customers each year is matched 100% with electricity sourced from renewables. 

The average kWh of electricity in the UK results in 360g of CO2 emissions and 0.007g of radioactive waste.

As a 100% renewable electricity supplier, the electricity we supply contains 0g of CO2 and no radioactive waste.


Solar power

Solar photovoltaic systems, more commonly referred to as solar or PV, convert energy from the sun into electricity. 

For domestic properties, solar PV is usually the most common form of renewable technology as it can be the cheapest and easiest to install, and provides ‘free’ electricity when the sun is shining (once installation is complete). In the UK, more than 750,000 PV systems have been installed since 2010. 


How does it work?

PV panels are made up of a thin layer of semi-conducting material, sandwiched between a sheet of glass and polymer resin. When sunlight hits the solar panels, the semi-conducting material 'energises' and produces electricity. The electricity created is direct current (DC). This means that before it is used, it needs to be converted to alternating current (AC), which is much safer. This is done using an inverter.


Why does Good Energy like it?

Contrary to popular belief, solar energy is very well suited to the UK climate. Solar panels work from sunlight rather than heat, so can actually be more efficient in the UK than some places in Southern Europe. Solar is a low profile technology which can be integrated directly into buildings and homes (not requiring any additional space), requires next to no maintenance once it’s installed, and makes no noise or pollution - perfect for both urban and rural sites. Good Energy are proud to have a number of solar farms all over the UK.

PV is also the technology which has been racing towards grid parity – the cost at which it’s as cheap to generate at home as it is to purchase from an energy supplier. As a comparatively new technology, PV is well ahead of the curve, and is expected to be the first technology to achieve grid parity status. When tax breaks and subsidies are removed, solar power will be an energy source that established and conventional fossil and nuclear generators simply cannot, and will not, be able to compete with.


Hydroelectric power

River and weir power

Harnessing the power of water, hydro energy sites use the force or energy of falling water to generate power. When water flows from rivers or weirs, the water is channelled through turbines, which in turn spin to create electricity. With thousands of miles of river in the UK, we are in an excellent position to take advantage of this natural source of power. 

Hydro electricity can be an incredibly efficient method of producing renewable electricity. However, detailed planning and site selection is vital for a successful hydro site. The capacity of the generator will depend on the 'head' of the water (the height of the vertical drop), and the 'flow rate' (the speed of the water’s movement), which varies heavily depending on the water source, the season, and the drainage conditions in a particular area.


How does it work?

There are three different types of hydroelectric power:

  • Storage - Where a large amount of water is held in a dam, for example, and released when necessary to drive turbines and produce electricity.
  • Pumped Storage - Where a large amount of water is pumped to a higher reservoir and then released when necessary to drive turbines to produce electricity
  • Run-of-the-river - Where water runs naturally downstream of a river or weir, and drives turbines to produce electricity. All of Good Energy's hydro power sources are this kind which can be less obtrusive on the natural environment and ecosystems

Why does Good Energy like it?

Hydro power can fit in beautifully with natural surroundings and - although upfront costs can be high - hydro is often a predictable and good investment. 


Wind power

Using the power of the wind, turbines located both onshore and out at sea are used to generate renewable electricity - the UK’s leading source of homegrown energy.

In fact, the UK is blessed with the most wind resource in the whole of Europe, and is therefore perfectly positioned for a thriving wind energy industry.


How does it work?

Wind turbines operate using a simple principle. The energy in the wind is used to turn the blades of the turbine, which turns a shaft inside the nacelle, the box at the top of the turbine. A generator, built into the turbine, then converts the rotational energy into electrical energy, which once converted to a suitable voltage can be connected directly to the grid or a local site. Wind turbines, big and small, on and off-shore, generate electricity in the same way. 

To get the best from a wind turbine, it needs to be positioned in the most optimum position. Ideally, a site would be at the summit of a hilltop, with lots of open space surrounding it. As with any infrastructure project, planning for wind sites goes through a rigorous planning process, along with consultation with everyone from the local community - from engineers, to town planners, to politicians. Wind turbines are only installed after this consultation process is complete. Offshore wind must go through the same consultation process.


Why does Good Energy like it?

Onshore wind power is the cheapest low carbon energy source in the UK and can compete with new fossil fuels and nuclear power stations today. However, all new build power generation requires support, as they have to compete with existing power stations that have paid off all their capital investment long ago. 

Almost 80% of the UK’s population strongly support onshore wind developments. Good Energy source power from wind sites all over the UK, and are proud to own, operate, and supply electricity from our own wind farms in Delabole, Cornwall, and Hampole, West Yorkshire.

Depending on wind speed, turbines will produce electricity around 70-85 percent of the time, and average around 30% of their maximum output over the course of a year.


What is it?

Biogenerators are fueled renewable generators - ones which burn living matter or the waste produced by organic matter to generate electricity.


How does it work?

Biomass is organic material which has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy. As a fuel, biomass can include wood, wood waste products, straw, manure and many other by-products from agricultural processes. This stored chemical energy is combusted, resulting in high pressure steam, which is fed through a turbine to generate electricity.

A good, sustainable source of biomass is one which is sourced locally and does not compete with other industries - such as food production.


Why does Good Energy like it?

Behaving much like a conventional generation plant, biogeneration is great as the electricity generated is consistent and can be readily controlled based on how the generator is fueled - unlike many other renewable technologies which rely on weather or environmental conditions to generate power.

While biogenerators do release carbon, when we account for the carbon cycle of biomass - that is, the carbon that has been captured in the growth of the organic matter - provided that the fuel is carefully and sustainably sourced, transported and burned, it is a carbon neutral technology. When working with any form of bioenergy, Good Energy adheres to its stringent Biogeneration Procurement Policy.


Tidal energy

Tidal energy converts wave power into energy. It’s an incredibly consistent form of renewable energy because we know exactly when the tides will come in and out.


How does it work?

Twice a day, every day, the tide comes in and out. The tide is created by the gravitational pull of the moon. As the water moves in and out with the tides, it rushes through turbines, generating electricity. Two tides a day consistently give many opportunities to create electricity. If the generation site is built in a lagoon, electricity can be generated four times a day. This electricity can be supplied locally and nationally so you don’t need to live by the sea to benefit from this technology.


Why does Good Energy like it?

The UK has some of the highest tidal ranges in the world, and as we’re surrounded by coastline, this means we’ve got a huge but currently untapped potential right on our doorstep. That’s why Good Energy has invested in the Swansea Tidal Lagoon to show support for this technology, which we hope will fuel a brand new UK industry. 


After the energy has been generated: Electrical storage

What is it?

Storage is the capture of energy for use at a later time. In the case of electricity this can be viewed as a battery.


How does it work?

Energy storage converts energy from forms that are complicated to store into more conventional forms. Some technologies provide short-term energy storage, while others can endure for much longer.

There are numerous electricity storage technologies available, with the dominant ones including:

  • Lithium - the dominant technologies are batteries similar to the ones used in our laptops and mobile phones, and are typically lithium-ion. This technology provides excellent volume of storage based on its mass
  • Lead-acid - like those used in conventional automotive transport, which delivers an excellent maximum output based on its weight. 
  • Pumped-hydro - where water is pumped to reservoir and then released when necessary to drive turbines to produce electricity.

Other technologies include the compressed air, flywheels, supercapacitors, flow batteries and pumped heat storage.


Why does Good Energy like it?

Storage will help support greater levels of energy self-sufficiency in the UK. It isn’t a generation technology, but it’s an enabling technology. 

Storage will help the UK to reduce the stress placed on the electricity grid by reducing periods of peak generation and consumption. It will also help facilitate better utilisation of renewable electricity generation - giving the flexibility for generators to export power into the grid when it’s most needed, rather than just when it’s generated.

For individuals that are generating their own power, it will help them maximise their self-consumption of generated power, reducing their need to export to or purchase electricity from the grid.


*For further information on the UK average fuel mix:

Coal (toxic air pollution): http://www.ukhealthalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/UK-Health-Alliance-A-Breath-of-Fresh-Air-Final-Report.pdf
Gas (emits CO2): https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter7.pdf
Nuclear (radioactive waste): http://ukinventory.nda.gov.uk/about-radioactive-waste/how-is-radioactive-waste-produced/


Ready to switch?