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You Pay When It’s Windy, You Pay When It’s Not Windy, And Now You Pay When It’s Too Windy!

December 26, 2013

By Paul Homewood




We pay them over the odds when they work.

We have to pay for proper power stations for when they don’t work.

And we have to pay for them to switch off , when they produce too much power.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wind turbines.


From the Mail:


Wind farms have been paid a record £30million this year to stand idle in bad weather.

The cash, which comes from household bills, is paid when the National Grid is unable to cope with the extra power produced during high winds, or during periods of low demand.

The ‘constraint payments’ have reached £30,424,169 this year, compared with last year’s £5million.

Wind farms have been paid £30million this year to shut down in bad weather

Wind farms have been paid £30million this year to shut down in bad weather

In just one weekend at the start of September, around 40 wind farm firms were paid £2.4million to switch off. The energy they would have produced in that time could have powered up to 10,000 homes.

Another windy weekend in August saw £3.1million handed to energy firms for doing absolutely nothing. Up to 30 wind farms were paid.

John Constable, of the Renewable Energy Foundation charity, which compiled the figures from official data, said: ‘The scale and pricing of wind power constraints in 2013 clearly shows that the full system cost of wind power is much higher than government is willing to admit.

‘Unfortunately, there are no cheap solutions, and, ironically, paying wind farms not to produce energy may actually be cheaper than building more grid.

‘At some point government will have to face the fact that wind power is simply too expensive to provide more than a minor share of UK electricity.’

Under EU law, Britain’s energy consumption from renewables needs to reach 15 per cent by 2020 – meaning thousands more wind turbines may be built. There are already 4,000 on land and a further 1,000 at sea.

Onshore wind farm turbines next to the coal fired Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire

Onshore wind farm turbines next to the coal fired Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire

Wind farms – especially those offshore – are heavily subsidised, with ministers saying turbines need public support to help them ‘scale up’.

But Peter Lilley, a Tory MP on the Commons energy and climate change committee, said: ‘Paying wind farm operators not to produce electricity adds insult to injury. It’s an added problem that enthusiasts for wind farms tend to ignore and will increase proportionally the greater the number of wind turbines we subsidise by taking money from the pockets of poor people to subsidise rich landowners.’

National Grid said the payments had been higher than in previous years, partly due to weather conditions, but those paid to wind farms only made up a small proportion of all constraint payments.



As wind still only supplies around 5% of of the UK’s needs, this problem is still a minor, manageable one. Just think of the problems when wind is up to 30%, or more. The effects on the Grid will be huge.

Welcome to the bright New World. Alice would have found more sense through the looking glass!

  1. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 27, 2013 5:03 am

    If we categorize folks into 3 economic groups, namely not doing well, middle, and upper, these things being done in the name of saving the world amount to a transfer of wealth from the middle group to the upper while making worse those already not doing well. In addition the leaders are deliberately not addressing real problems that all could support. The landscape is being destroyed. Governments are showing themselves to be senseless and incapable of justifying citizens approval.

    Meanwhile, here in my corner of the world (Washington and Oregon) the erratic wind has gone bye-bye. Check out this chart:

    The green line went to near zero from late Monday to late Tuesday of this week. There is almost no wind and none in the next week. No wind. No wind power.

  2. Brian H permalink
    December 27, 2013 5:45 am

    Well, UK has extra. Borrow some of theirs. “The wind is always blowing somewhere.” LOL

  3. cornwallwindwatch permalink
    December 27, 2013 1:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

  4. Andy DC permalink
    December 28, 2013 1:08 am

    How are the turbines doing with the hurricane force gusts this weekend?

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