Skip to content

Sturgeon’s wind turbines cost UK £90m a year – to stay SWITCHED OFF

November 22, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


h/t Philip Bratby 




Last week I revealed that subsidies to Scottish renewables were costing £718 million a year, equivalent to £135 for every man, woman and child in Scotland, if they had to pay the bill themselves. 

To this figure it seems we can add another £90 million, for constraint payments! 


From the Express:


EXCLUSIVE: Nicola Sturgeon’s Government has rubber stamped controversial wind farms which are costing UK energy customers up to £90million a year – just to stay SWITCHED OFF.


In the latest blunder in Ms Sturgeon’s “critical” energy policy, a plant with 11 wind turbines was shut down after just two WEEKS because they weren’t needed.

Energy customers have already funded £10,000 in subsidies to keep the 110 metre-tall turbines on Assel Valley Wind Farm in Ayrshire switched off due to an energy surplus– after opening on October 28. can reveal Ms Sturgeon’s Government, who intervened to grant the application of the wind farm 30 miles from her home town, has overseen the approval of upwards of 200 large scale Scottish onshore wind farms.  Of these no less than 36 have been paid £248m since 2010 and £87.8m in 2015 alone from customers to switch off.

The bungling SNP energy policy comes just a week after Ms Sturgeon personally visited the offices of a Chinese firm, owned by the communist government, which has bought two of the country’s largest offshore facilities in Scotland despite one of those facilities under performing.

According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, the latest project Assel Valley Wind Farm in Ayrshire reduced its output on November 11 2016.

It has been the focus of fierce criticism from the local community who were furious the Scottish Government overruled the local council to grant permission.

Local resident Kim Terry said recently: “Everyone in the village is devastated by the decision and we are starting to wonder why we even bother now.

“This goes completely against the council’s decision so we feel completely powerless. I genuinely feel there is no democracy in Scotland anymore.”

The Renewable Energy Foundation says this latest revelation is just the tip of the iceberg and something is seriously wrong in the decision making process in Scotland.

Their report states: "On the 28th of October, Falk Renewables announced that its newest wind power station, Assel Valley Wind Farm in Ayrshire, had begun generating.

"Two weeks later, on the 11th of November, Assel Valley wind farm had to reduce output on instruction from National Grid in order to cope with the on-going problem of Scottish wind farms generating surplus electricity which can neither be used in Scotland, because of low demand, nor exported to England because of the limited interconnector capacity between the two countries.

"The speed with which a new wind farm such as Assel Valley was constrained off almost immediately after commissioning, shows that the overbuild of wind power in Scotland has now reached critical levels, levels that even very expensive grid expansion will struggle to address.

"The consumer is getting a very bad deal, and the further cost is added to what were already expensive emissions savings, well in excess of the social cost of carbon."

Last year Ms Sturgeon slammed David Cameron after UK ministers scrapped subsidies following complaints, mainly from England, about the impact of wind farms on the countryside.

She revealed that as many as 70% of planned wind farms are set for Scotland confirming they are out of proportion.

She fumed: "Your Government’s decision to cut planned support for renewable energy sets an extremely bad example to other countries, will put at risk Scotland’s renewable energy targets, and also runs counter to your manifesto commitment to cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible."

However the news of this latest failure has been criticised by the Tories in Scotland, a spokesman said: “It’s no wonder people are so fed up with windfarms when details like this emerge.

“Turbines don’t work when the wind isn’t blowing, and now it seems they don’t work when it actually is blowing either.

“While wind energy most definitely has a place, it is too intermittent and unreliable to depend on completely.

“That’s where the SNP is making an expensive mistake which could risk our ability to keep the lights on in future.”

The Scottish Government said: "An appeal was lodged with Scottish Ministers following the decision by South Ayrshire Council, at which point a reporter from the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of the Scottish Government was appointed by Ministers to consider and make the final decision on the appeal.

"The decision was based entirely on the planning merits of the case."

  1. November 22, 2016 10:56 am

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Nobody ever said it would be cheap to save the planet;-)

  2. November 22, 2016 11:18 am


  3. November 22, 2016 11:26 am

    It is difficult to get ones head around the insanity of energy policy. It appears that a Government appointed reporter (equivalent to a Planning Inspector in England) thinks it is a good idea, based solely on planning grounds, to approve a wind farm for which there is an inadequate grid connection and for which there is no demand.

  4. November 22, 2016 11:26 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Like the old sailors say, “The wind is free, but everything else costs money”.

    However, in this case the “wind” costs even when there is none!? Think about that for a minute.


  5. November 22, 2016 11:38 am

    I wonder if anybody has traced back the origin of the introduction of an insane of policy on electricity generation and distribution. Some energy minister at some time in the 90s must have decided that decisions should not be made by power engineers and that generating and distributing electricity in the tried and trusted manner (using a transmission grid and distribution grids) was a thing of the past.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 22, 2016 12:12 pm

      And was that minister told about “Smart Meters”, and how they would (supposedly) allow this brave new world to operate? Because if not, the decision was doubly insane…

  6. tom0mason permalink
    November 22, 2016 11:58 am

    The forecast for Scotland still doesn’t look good, OK for today then in the doldrums for 7 days —

    Scotland will be relying on the rest of Britain for power again Ms Sturgeon.

  7. AlecM permalink
    November 22, 2016 12:07 pm

    We need to put in phase switches at the border in order to ‘persuade’ the Scots’ fascists to stop raping the English poor.

    We then make it very clear that those switches will become active on day 1 of real trouble with this fishwife who appears, with Stalinist Hosie, to be going insane as their dream of Independence slips away.

    The renewables Mafia, including Lib Dem Lord Stephens, will very quickly learn to control their tactics.

    • AlecM permalink
      November 22, 2016 12:17 pm

      PS behind Sturgeon’s insane ranting is a simple fact of political life. 200 Scots’ fascists, mainly Highland windmill owners, put Salmond in power. The SNP then got the Scots’ Labour vote by claiming independence would with high oil prices give the unemployable Glasgow and Dundee benefits’ supplicants more money.

      However, oil has crashed. The windmills were to be the replacement income stream but that is only possible if Scotland remains part of the UK. So, Sturgeon and Hosie are raving because to pay for Salmond’s policies of no University fees, the Scots’ poor are being shafted. Something has to give because Labour will return on a policy of continued Union plus no cuts in benefits so long as the Scots renew obeisance to UK Parliament.

      My prediction is that very soon, Sturgeon and Hosie will be carted off to an asylum. It will be a joy to behold because both are nasty opportunists hoist with their own petard. Salmond escaped but is equally culpable.

      • AlecM permalink
        November 22, 2016 12:33 pm

        PPS Phase switches ON means the Scots’ Grid fails about third of the time.

  8. Dave Ward permalink
    November 22, 2016 12:09 pm

    “A plant with 11 wind turbines was shut down after just two WEEKS because they weren’t needed”

    But don’t forget the blades will need regular turning to avoid damaging the shaft and bearings. We all know where the power to do that will come from…

  9. Peter MacFarlane permalink
    November 22, 2016 12:29 pm

    I live near this “wind farm” (read “subsidy farm”), There are at least three or four others planned for the immediate vicinity, all currently going through the “consent” process. Anyone betting against them going ahead? Anyone?

  10. November 22, 2016 1:26 pm

    Apparently Trump is considering Harold Hamm for U.S. Energy Secretary. Harold Glenn Hamm is an American entrepreneur primarily involved in the oil and gas business who is best known for pioneering the development of the large shale oil resources of the Bakken formation.

    Imagine that. Trump is choosing people who have actual experience in what they would oversee. A novel idea never practiced by the left. No one in the Obama “administration” had any experience in the business world, but plenty of experience in the Harvard faculty lounge. We noticed.

  11. November 22, 2016 1:30 pm

    We have some lovely examples in the Scottish Borders:

    Fallago Rigg, 48 x 125m turbines on the Duke of Roxburghe’s Lammermuirs grouse moors, was approved by the Scottish government against local planning policy and the recommendation of Scottish Borders Council. It opened in May 2013.

    By the end of October this year, official figures show that it had received £17,240,298 for dumping over 201,000 MWh of power. Its operators were paid an average of £84/MWh for this dumped power, about twice the average wholesale price.

    EDF, it’s French-owned operators, are, unsurprisingly, seeking to expand this white elephant. Few local people doubt that the Scottish Government will again ignore the formal objections of both Scottish Borders Council and the neighbouring East Lothian Council and will rubber-stamp the application.

    Fallago Rigg is only No. 5 on the constraint hot-list, being paid some £345,000 per turbine to date. See:

  12. Mike Jackson permalink
    November 22, 2016 1:38 pm

    This is precisely the set of circumstances that alienate politicians from the people and have led to Brexit, Trump, and more to come.

    And the more you dig into this alienation the more you find that the causes can frequently be traced back to some connection to climate policy. It seems that more than any other single policy, governmental response to the environmental lobby on this subject is what is setting the people against their leaders, who are — in effect — not leading their people, not listening to their people, not even following their people.

    Sturgeon’s comment quoted above demonstrates the problem in a nutshell: the function of government at all levels is to serve the people who elected them and not to “set examples”, good, bad or indifferent, to the rest of the world. We are not the world’s moral guardian and in case you hadn’t noticed, Nicola, sweetheart, the rest of the world isn’t bloody listening anyway.

    Sooner or later the message will get through that riding roughshod over the wishes of the people will not end well. The push-back has started and this article in the Express will only add extra impetus. One of these days the opposition to government by diktat will become overwhelming — most especially when people fully understand that their “leaders” have either been conned by the green lobby and their useful idiots or that their “leaders” are the useful idiots and have themselves braced the con enthusiastically.

    The British people will put up with a lot if they believe their burdens are in the interest of the nation as a whole but no-one takes kindly to being played for a fool and the light is just beginning to dawn. Politicians north and south of the border have overplayed their hand for years and have suffered for it once this year already. There is certainly more to come.

  13. theguvnor permalink
    November 22, 2016 2:14 pm

    And don’t be fooled by the ecobubbles claim that it’s all for the benefit of the poor because they are not requesting false gratitude…..all they modestly aspire to is a good education, healthcare and jobs:

  14. November 22, 2016 2:19 pm

    No doubt a considerable proportion of that 700million makes its way back into SNP pockets.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      November 22, 2016 3:02 pm

      Based on what Nlys said, I wonder if its possible to find a record of funding for SNP – and see if EDF are mentioned (but, knowing the G Brown’s brother works for EDF perhaps they fund Scottish Labour?)

  15. Max Sawyer permalink
    November 22, 2016 2:46 pm

    If only a government, any government, had had the guts to send the environmental lobby away with a flea in its collective ear when all this nonsense first started. Too late now, I fear – the virtue signalling is now far too deeply rooted and there are far too many who benefit financially from “greenery” – politicians, energy providers, scientists who toe the party line, campaigners. The whole sorry business is a triumph of groupthink over evidence – and we, the taxpayers, are paying for it all.

  16. John Peter permalink
    November 22, 2016 4:34 pm

    I wonder whether Phillip Bratby or Paul Homewood can explain how these superfluous wind farms can get approval from the UK Government to actually be connected to the grid and receive payments whether they supply energy or not. Surely Theresa May’s new energy secretary (or whatever he is now called) can stop connection to the grid and payments. With the constraint on building on shore wind farms in England I just do not understand how this charade can continue in Scotland. Sturgeon & Co. clearly don’t know all these costs will fall on Scottish users in case of a successful Indyref2 or perhaps she simply does not think that she could succeed with the deficit currently at £15 billion p.a. The UK Government surely could stop this if they wanted (or dared?). Maybe they are afraid of Sturgeon?

    • daveR permalink
      November 23, 2016 4:00 am

      In UK terms, Scotland has control of renewables policy via earlier devolution agreements ie, it’s not a reserved part of UK gov energy policy. Since then and the subsequent roll out of big wind, it’s been nothing but a succession of government-led clawbacks overturning local democracy. What used to left to local planning consent and their rightful objections is now overturned by A.N. Administrator Somewhere Central.

  17. November 22, 2016 8:27 pm

    The Western Link interconnector between Scotland and Wales/England is due to open in 2017.

    ‘National Grid and ScottishPower Transmission have come together in a joint venture to build the Western Link, a £1 billion project which will help to bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in Wales and England.’

    ‘The link is capable of transmitting 2,200 MW (megawatts) power – sufficient electricity to meet the immediate needs of around two million people, or a city four times the size of Liverpool.’

    Presumably this should help reduce existing oversupplies of wind power in Scotland.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: