Ecosia to invest €250,000 in UK renewable energy project and calls on private sector to invest in green energy transition during cost of living crisis

29 September, 22
Ecosia, the green search engine which uses 100% of its profits to reforest the planet and fight the climate crisis, is today announcing an investment of €250,000 into UK renewable energy infrastructure via Ripple Energy.

Ecosia, the green search engine which uses 100% of its profits to reforest the planet and fight the climate crisis, is today announcing an investment of €250,000 into UK renewable energy infrastructure via Ripple Energy. Ripple enables individual households and businesses to part-own a large scale renewable energy project, such as a wind farm and solar park, and have that low cost, green energy supplied to their home.

Ecosia is no stranger to renewable energy. The purpose-driven company has spent over €7 million on solar power since 2017 which enables all of its users’ searches to be powered by 200% renewable energy as part of its mission to be carbon negative. In March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ecosia invested an additional €20 million into solar projects in Germany to highlight the need and opportunity for Europe to move away from dependence on fossil fuels.

Beyond its own investments, Ecosia is also calling on like-minded businesses to join it in investing in the green energy transition to expedite the over-reliance on fossil fuels across the UK and Europe to build a climate safe future.

Investing in low cost green power in the UK

Ecosia has long had a presence in the UK, with 2 million active users who have planted millions of trees both around the world, and in the UK, by using the search engine.

Ecosia’s ability to support renewable projects in the UK followed Ripple’s opening of the UK’s first consumer-owned wind farm in Coedely, South Wales. The wind farm was crowdfunded in 2021 by 907 people who raised £2.2 million for its development. They each get their share of the wind farm’s output with savings applied to their electricity bill as a result. It is estimated that Ripple members will save about 25% on their energy bill for the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan. Ecosia will now buy a share of Ripple’s third project which over 7,000 people across the UK have already reserved their place in.

The economic and environmental case for fossil fuels is over

Even before the geopolitical events of the past year, the growing fuel crisis that has been affecting both the UK and Europe caused the import price for fossil fuel energy to more than double between December 2020 and December 2021. In total, Europe spent €78 billion on gas imports in the first half of 2022, a fivefold increase.

In contrast, renewable energy such as wind and solar is largely insulated from external geopolitical threats. Moreover, investments in renewable energy within Europe are estimated to lead to savings of almost €2 trillion from not importing fossil fuels, as well as preventing 60 billion tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. If $25 billion was invested annually by businesses around the world in renewable energy, this would help speed up global transitions to greener energy and help limit the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.

With the window of time for adaptation in the face of the climate crisis rapidly closing, delaying the transition to green energy and the associated reduction of carbon emissions will result in irreversible consequences for the world.

Calling on businesses to invest in renewable energy

Ecosia’s call for other businesses to join in investing proactively into renewable energy therefore comes at a crucial time. A recent reversal of the Government’s attempts to block onshore wind in the UK and with energy prices continuing to rise, a significant opportunity now exists for new consumer-owned wind farms which enable people and businesses to benefit by receiving lower bills and green energy directly.

For these reasons, and in the run up to COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh this November, Ecosia is now calling on the private sector to take urgent steps to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy through green investments.

Sophie Dembinski, Head of Policy & UK at Ecosia, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Ripple to demonstrate the benefits that renewables can have as a local, low-cost and green source of energy for consumers and businesses alike. It’s clear that this Government is prepared to allow fossil fuel companies line their pockets with profits of historic proportions while millions of UK citizens fall into an energy crisis and ultimately irreversible climate crisis. In the absence of effective political leadership on energy and climate policy, we urge other like-minded businesses and organisations to join us in being part of the solution and to reach out for more information if you’d like to know how to join this effort.”

Sarah Merrick, Founder & CEO at Ripple, said: “There’s never been a better time for consumers to own a bit of a renewable energy project – be it a wind farm or solar park. It can help protect them from spiralling power prices, as well as shrink their carbon footprint. We’re delighted that a global green tech company like Ecosia has recognised the value of what we’re doing. It’s great to have them on board. We can’t wait to work more closely together and bring democratically owned, affordable green energy to even more people.”

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