Green Power boss calls for windfall tax on North Sea firms after enjoying £ 20bn boost from rising gas prices


Energy tycoon Dale Vince has called on North Sea operators to hit the windfall tax after enjoying a £ 20 billion boost from rising gas prices.

The millionaire founder of green energy supplier Ecotricity said the levy on gas generators should be used to reduce the burden of rising fuel bills, which are expected to skyrocket this year.

Gas extraction companies have increased revenues as global wholesale prices rose nearly ten-fold over the past year.

The crisis has forced 26 suppliers to bust since August, when the UK’s energy price limit could not transmit to consumers. Families are supported to raise annual fuel bills to £ 2,000 after the cap rises in April.

Vince said levy on gas generators should be used to reduce the burden of rising fuel bills

Vince told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is our North Sea. This is happening in our area. To use the Brexit language, let’s control it. Let’s say the windfall tax. This will help spread the cost of the bill price shock over the next few years.

‘About 40 per cent of our gas this winter is from the North Sea. The cost of extracting it from the North Sea has not increased, but we have paid ten times more than we used for that gas because it is associated with global prices.

Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng said last year that the one-off windfall tax was one of the options to deal with the energy crisis. Windfall taxes are sometimes seen as a left-wing tool for corporations benefiting from crises.

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a North Sea tax in 2019 and Lib Dem leader Ed Davey last week urged the introduction of such a levy.

However, Margaret Thatcher’s government imposed windfall taxes on North Sea oil and gas companies and banks in the early 1980s.

Opponents say such a tax would slow down renewable investment. In recent years, oil and gas titans such as BP and Shell have retreated from the North Sea.

A large number of companies operating there are now backed by private equity firms, overseas governments and small listed players.

Vince, a former New Age passenger, founded Ecotricity in 1995 with a single wind turbine

Vince, a former New Age passenger, founded Ecotricity in 1995 with a single wind turbine

However, Shell has maintained significant operations and last week declared its profit to be ‘significantly higher’ due to market conditions.

Vince said: ‘Those guys didn’t expect that money and they couldn’t do anything with it. We should not allow the North Sea operators £ 20 billion out of our economy.

He said: ‘The price is going up. All the government has done is delay and in half process the bankruptcy of the energy sector.

Former New Age Traveler founded Ecotricity in 1995 with a single wind turbine. The business now serves 200,000 customers.

Ecotricity’s losses expanded to £ 6.5million last year, but Vince said it will return to black this year, helped by the sale of Electric Highway – a charging network for electric cars.

The effort to buy rival Good Energy, which owns 25 percent, failed last fall and Vince admits he was cold on the deal as the energy crisis unfolded. “It is a blessing for us to fail,” he said.

Vince said the government’s plan to convert homes from gas boilers to heat pumps would be ‘half-baked’ and cost £ 300bn. “Instead of dismantling everyone’s boilers, our alternative is to make gases out of grass and put them into the gas grid.”

Ecotricity will launch a new system trial in Reading next year that will mimic the cow’s stomach, turn the grass into gas that will power 4,000 homes. He says the venture could be boosted to create 100,000 jobs in the rural economy.

Vince said Chancellor Rishi Sunak should abolish the collection of green taxes on suppliers – which include a renewable liability fee for a feed-in tariff designed to accelerate investment in renewables.

They believe these levies are being transferred to an additional £ 9 billion or £ 300 a year in bills. Instead, the energy industry should be subsidized by central government funding, which does not rely on industry tariffs, he said.

Vince said the Chancellor Rishi Sunak should abolish the green tax collection on suppliers

Vince said the Chancellor Rishi Sunak should abolish the green tax collection on suppliers

He said: ‘It is a worthy contribution from the government to remove it. Why is the government taxing our fuel bills like this?

“We are putting crores of money on trains, but we don’t have the cost of a train ticket. We subsidize agriculture to make food cheaper but not taxing people at supermarket checkout.

The entrepreneur believes that Westminster’s energy market understanding has been accelerated by the fall of the bulb, backed by government debt when managers are looking for a new home for buyers or its customers.

They say the bulb will blow up and others have given the green energy industry a bad name. ‘They used the illusion of the lowest price to attract customers who had benefited from the lowest prices, but they suffered losses and went bankrupt.’

Vince’s collection of business ventures includes designing an electric supercar, running a football club Forest Green Rovers and selling ‘carbon negative’ diamonds.

He launched the SkyDiamond brand, which sells lab-grown diamonds online and will soon unveil a deal with London designer Jeweler.

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