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Optical/IP

BT Gets Windy

1:00 PM -- Prepare yourself for the telecom equivalent of "Man Bites Dog," courtesy of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA).

The British operator has reversed the trend of utility firms expanding into telecom by announcing a £250 million (US$511 million) wind farm project to generate renewable energy. (See BT Unveils Wind Power Plans.)

So is this a new money-making scheme as well as a green project?

A BT spokesman says that, "as things stand, BT would consume all the electricity the wind farms would generate. This is primarily about securing our own source of renewable energy supply and not about selling any surplus."

BT is a major power consumer -- about 0.7 percent of the U.K.'s entire electricity output is used by the carrier -- and, as part of its ongoing campaign to reduce its carbon footprint and become a "greener" company, BT is keen to secure a dedicated source of renewable energy before demand outstrips potential supply.

But there's still an outside chance that BT would see this as a way to generate some extra revenue, too. When asked whether it was possible BT might sell on some of the power generated by the planned wind farms, he said BT "couldn't rule out the prospect of that ever happening."

BT isn't the only carrier that's been talking up its green credentials this week. (See Telstra Makes Green Claims.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Carbon Footprints Editor, Light Reading

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:00:31 PM
re: BT Gets Windy I don't know anything about Britain's electricity industry. Is deregulation in play (whatever that means in this context?) CA's experiment with this revealed there probably isn't such thing as an open market and that traders will drive the prices all over the map while market ideologues attempt to regulate into existence their utopian view of the world.

http://www.h-net.org/~business...

Large users of energy may be smart to roll their own particularly if greenies will pay for it and if the utopians are busy jury rigging the rules which will drive prices through the roof.
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:00:31 PM
re: BT Gets Windy What do folk think of this? It's almost surreal.

But as BT is worried about not being able to secure the renewable power it needs from the open market, it feels this is a more viable solution.

Are there any green energy experts out there with any thoughts?
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:00:30 PM
re: BT Gets Windy
Just be careful. Forcing people to pay the highest price bid for energy is not a good form of market management. That is the way CA works (note it is still deregulated).

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