back to article BT blows £250m on wind power

BT is investing a whopping £250m in a series of wind farms that will generate 25 per cent of the firm's energy requirements by 2016. BT currently accounts for almost one per cent (0.7 per cent) of the UK's entire energy consumption, making it the biggest single consumer of power we have. The move has been welcomed by the …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    Makes more sense for McCain

    Potatoes, catapult, windfarm, chips.

  2. Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton

    example energy saving - use green computers. carbon trading.

    A simple example way for large companies with a massive IT infrastructure to save energy and reduce recycling impact is to use tiny PCs, such as those by koolu, linutop, fit-pc, zonbu, or any other 5 to 15 watt PC, of which there are an increasing number.

    depending on the requirements, and especially when used with google apps, a 5 watt 500mhz AMD Geode system such as the koolu or linutop is perfectly adequate for basic SOHO computing, including multimedia due to some simple on-board video decoding. if that's really not enough, 10-15 watt VIA-based 1ghz systems or even Pentium-M systems can be found. all of them can be found in under 6in square boxes, and some, like fit-pc's offering and many of the Geode-based industrial PCs, come in a 4.5in square box.

    one of the main incentives to large companies to take energy-saving measures in large steps is due to carbon trading. the E.U. provides tokens based on a company's carbon footprint, reducing the available tokens every year. companies with a negative carbon footprint can sell available tokens on the open market.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Core Business ?

    Whatever happened to "sticking to the knitting" and focusing on "core skills".

    BT is not in the Energy Business. The arguments of sticking to the core business were used to slim down the activities of the R&D labs (in Martlesham) and to then rely on manufacturers to provide equipment rather than to design and build prototypes and be involved in the process.

    Surely BT could come to a commercial relationship with an energy company to provide renewable energy ?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I wonder how much energy you'd get by burning it?

  5. Matt Webster

    Lotus too!

    Lotus in little old Mulbarton, Norfolk is currently planning on doing the same... Only being held up by local protestors complaining about everything from noise to spoiling the view!

    I imagine BT will face the same problems! No they don't take up much space and they are a damm site more attractive that coal stations yet you'll still find some locals who are all to happy to use electricity - just not happy with the production!

    Its like meat eaters who wouldn't be able to kill their own food!

  6. Alex

    perhaps they should site it... to their customer services over in India? that seems to be one of the worlds most dependable sources of hot air!

  7. Chris G Silver badge


    Matt Webster is absolutely right and what is interesting is the same people moaning about a windmill in their own back yard are usually the same people who shout loudly about pollution and global warming and `they´should do something about it.

    The fact is windmills are not that intrusive in one and twos and in larger numbers are still not that objectionable. I used to live in the south of Spain near Gibralter where there are large numbers of wind farms, they are rather peaceful and make a soft whooshing noise. Hardly something to keep you awake at nights. Also a lot cheaper to build and maintain than tidal projects and a smaller environmental footprint.

  8. Jonathan Fitt
    Thumb Up


    I think they look quite nice even in the rolling countryside; a testament of our efforts to keep the countryside the same. Also the noise is not that bad unless you're really close, especially compared to a traditional power plant.

    However, you wouldn't want to have one between you and the sun. The shadows of the large turbines in the winter can be quite large ( any when they're turning you get a 1Hz-ish flicker which is not nice.

  9. Thomas Kenyon

    Poncy middle-class gits.

    I think I agree with what I believe Marcus Brigstocke said.

    People who protest against the construction of windfarms should be made to have nuclear power plantd in their lofts.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ core business

    Why give a third party a potential stranglehold over your energy supply ? If you needed to power something in your home using a dynamo, would you get a professional cyclist in ?

    What I'm getting at is that energy production and use is OUR responsibility, and we should own the process. If nothing else, if you find that you can't generate the amounts of energy that you need, then you look at ways of reducing your requirements. Having off the shelf energy sources is fine, but too often gets accepted as a cost, without proper scrutiny for savings. When you accept efficiency as a core part of your business, then you must be in control of the whole process or you find that you start making compromises.

    I think BT are making a shrewd move here, that initial outlay will pay dividends later on when the government mandates renewables, and most companies don't have the facilities to do it themselves.

    The outlay is pretty modest too, considering BTs profits were £136 per second back in 1999. Using those figures, they could pay for this in less than a month, small change these days. I wonder what their monthly electricity bill is like in comparison.

  11. Richard Boyce

    Risk management

    A lot of companies pay others to take the risks out of price changes. If BT becomes an energy producer as well as a consumer, it's partly insulated against price rises and can reduce its costs in this area.

    The government probably considers BT's network of national importance and may well be subsidising this. GCHQ got a scare with the floods recently.

    Then add the value of the PR, and it's not so surprising that BT has decided that it makes sense to go into the energy business.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Noisy

    Anyone who thinks a modern wind turbine is noisy has never stood underneath one!

    I've heard far noisier desktop machines!

    They're quite fun to stand underneath and look up at the blades.

    It makes you dizzy!

  13. Ben
    Thumb Up

    Wind Turbines are cool .

    I live a couple of hundred yards fom one , on a ridge which all sorts of birds

    use for wave lift (crows) hunting (hawks)aerobatics(swallows)

    close to a large ( very large at certain times in the year ) colony of geese .

    If the threat to them is as evidenced , minimal , then what possible objection

    can i have ?not being a member of the wave of "rich" incomers worried

    about the value of their investment, none.

    When a single turbine or group is planned locally , the developers seem

    to mailshot me and neighbours , questionnaire & invitation to a

    presentation usually included , figuring ( i , suppose , perhaps mistakenly )

    that we live with one already , we may be a source of positive comment

    at public meetings helping to swing the project .

    So far , none of these companies are wholly uk owned.

    If wind turbines ARE going to happen , wouldn't it be nice if they were

    engineered in the UK and owned by UK companies , rather than a bunch

    of people who have a pocket sewn into the back of their suits for the fin .

    Silly me i appear to be living in the seventies , when people in the UK

    actually(gasp ) made things ............

    Incidentally , the resistance to turbines from the spotless jap 4x4 and Audi

    brigade seems remarkably robust , that glowing self righteousness smells

    more like Magnox than Vestas.

    I'll stay with the bird brained , that glow in the dark/leukemia look is so USSR.

    And finally , if you ever want a scary feeling , find a reason to be on site at a nuclear WILL know the difference between it and a wind turbine , i PROMISE.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PB and a green footprint?

    Considering they created the most disastrous oil spill on the Alaskan coast? Perhaps they are trying to wipe oil off their feet. jccampb

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