UK faces blackouts and blistering costs but still has to pay wind farms £1b to do nothing

By Jo Nova

Imagine an energy system so broken that the government forced The People to buy generators that only work (randomly) 30% of the time and told them they would still have to pay the generators even when their product was useless.

The UK has been squandering an estimated £1billion a year in energy as the National Grid’s infrastructure cannot handle the volumes of clean power currently being produced.

By ANTONY ASHKENAZ, Express

Wind farm, RET, Renewable Energy Target, Imagine that the government told The People that this would make their electricity cheaper (and people believed them!).

In the UK people are being forced to pay unreliable generators extra money when they produce surplus electricity at a time when no one wants it or can afford to store or use it. No doubt this was built into the contract from the start to stop investors from fleeing.

Imagine an investment so bad that the seller has to pre-arrange payments for all the times their product is useless or it wouldn’t be worth building in the first place. There’s a message in that. The madness should have stopped at the start.

And to put arsenic-icing on this cake, the wind farms that are paid to do nothing are allowed to turn around and sell their electricity to a third party down a private line if they have a buyer, thus earning payments twice for the same electricity. And by golly, if someone happened to put a big battery on a private line to soak up that electricity, the public will pay for the wind farm to charge the battery, and then they’ll pay for the electricity from the battery back to the grid later. And these are batteries that the grid wouldn’t need at all, if it weren’t for the unreliable generators. So the first payment is for electricity they can’t use, and the second is for electricity they didn’t need.

Even as energy bills soar to unaffordable levels, and the UK faces the threat of blackouts this winter, the country has been effectively wasting millions of pounds worth of electricity every day, Express.co.uk was told. Over the past year, Britain has been gripped by a major fossil fuel energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent wholesale gas prices to record levels. While the Government is looking to tackle this crisis with a major investment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, experts warned of a critical lack of battery storage facilities, which means that much of the cheap, green electricity that can be used to power British homes, is being wasted.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Andy Willis, the CEO of Kona Energy, warned that the UK has been spending millions of pounds a day to ask wind farms to stop generating electricity.

He said: “Over the last couple of years, [the amount spent] has been about £1billion pounds a year, and that is worth caveating by saying quite a complicated calculation. It’s not just the cost of paying wind farms to turn off, but it’s also the cost of paying the gas-fired power station to turn on somewhere.”

It’s just subsidies piled on legal loopholes all the way down

Andrew Montford couldn’t figure out how Moray East wind farm was earning money, and why investors had built it in the first place. Their costs appear to be somewhere north of £125 per megawatt hour and a constraint payment is only worth £60. Then he realized that they could receive “constraint payments” (for switching off during an oversupply) but turn around and legally sell the same power off grid.

Andrew Montford, GWPF, NetZeroWatch

How were Moray East’s developers hoping to make up the difference? The income had to come from somewhere. The revenue stream from selling power to customers appeared not to be the answer. Customers look after themselves. But the amount of time Moray East is spending switched off got me thinking. The windfarm developers must have known that they would be constrained off a lot – they exhaustively analyse wind speeds, turbine design and the capacity of the grid to take their power. They must also know that the rate of payment for being constrained off was not that high. I started to suspect that they had found a way to get game the system to their advantage.

Montford tracks through planning documents and maps and figures out that there are plans for batteries nearby, and there is already a giant flywheel which mysteriously declares that it gets “some” electricity from the grid — meaning it must get the rest of its electricity from an alternate unknown source.

So we know that electricity is finding its way direct from the windfarm to industrial users without touching the transmission grid. However, this observation comes with a caveat. We don’t know for sure that these are megawatt hours of electricity for which the windfarms have received constraint payments. But we do know that it would be completely within the rules for them to do so (there is no suggestion of lawbreaking), and that it would be highly profitable too.

Read it all…

And if wind farm investors could legally do this, why wouldn’t they?

Thus the renewables grid is Communist-electricity by stealth — by definition the unreliable generators can’t afford to run in a free market, so the government subsidizes them. Then they rattle the rest of the system, and impose all kinds of costs and burdens, and the government has to subsidize the rest of the sector to make it worth their while — so they can earn the same amount for producing less, and pretty soon you’ve got the Soviet Union of Electricity.

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November 11, 2022 at 01:26PM

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