Renewable Energy Foundation

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The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), founded in 2004 by UK TV personality Noel Edmonds,[1] is a United Kingdom-based registered charity with a stated aim of promoting the development of sustainable energy technologies. Their funders include Barclays Capital and Calor Gas.[2]

REF believes that the issues of climate change and energy supply are complex and closely intertwined. REF's primary activity is commissioning and writing reports to provide information on energy issues. The REF has frequently argued against wind farm expansion.

Since 2006, REF has published a comprehensive set of statistics, describing in detail the performance of renewable energy generators in the UK that are registered under the Renewables Obligation.[3]

On 2 February 2011, REF released a report critical of wind power, saying it would lead to higher prices for consumers.[4][5]


There have been critics of REF's agenda, in particular Juliet Davenport, chief executive of green energy provider Good Energy, and Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, who both accuse the organisation of using a deliberately "misleading" name. Vince says "They are not a Foundation for Renewable Energy, as their name says and as any reasonable person would conclude from their name – they actually exist to undermine Renewable Energy – in that respect their name is a deceit."

Other critics such as Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, a trade body that represents more than 600 wind and marine energy firms, says the Renewable Energy Foundation's true purpose is diametrically opposed to the interests of the wind energy industry. "It is an anti-wind lobbying organisation," she told BusinessGreen. "I'd like to know where the renewable energy part of their remit is. They don't foster or promote or develop, they just try to undermine the case for wind energy all the time."[6]

In 2011 it was revealed that it had been in discussion in April 2008 with the Charities Commission about its possibly overly political nature.[2]


  1. ^ mirror Administrator (8 June 2008). "Noel Edmonds on how the Government is ignoring the energy crisis". mirror.
  2. ^ a b Leo Hickman. "Will the real Renewable Energy Foundation please stand up?". the Guardian.
  3. ^ REF Website
  4. ^ John Ingham, Environment Editor. "Houston family 'saddened' by cause of death ruling". maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Who are the Renewable Energy Foundation?".

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