Wind can power Scotland, but only occasionally and at what huge costs
On 7 August, wind farm owners trumpeted that the windy conditions had produced 106 per cent of Scotland's domestic electricity consumption need.
What they have been less willing to publicise is the £3.1 million they received in one day for switching their machines off.
Of course Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Nationalist minority government claims that building more giant pylons across the fast diminishing Scottish countryside to sell it to England would solve the problem, whenever the wind blows enough, that is. The 50-plus million electricity consumers in England already pay through the nose for this so-called “green” electricity produced by massive wind turbines operated by people only interested in the profits to be made.
How can anyone, Nationalist or otherwise, support such a parcel of rogues?
On Sunday 7 August it was so windy that the National Grid, fearing it would be swamped, paid for wind turbines to be switched off.
Lang Banks, of WWF Scotland claimed that high winds on that day were strong enough to power the equivalent of all of Scotland’s electricity needs for the day. He said that this wind power generated 106 per cent of Scotland’s needs but is silent about the other 364 days. Wind turbine operators are paid compensation when the electricity is not needed – on 7 August they were paid £3.1 million.
This compensation fund, established in 2011, has paid out more than £235m across Scotland. These costs are added to our electricity bills so no wonder they are high.
Mr Banks also said consumers should cut down their use of electricity but the high price is already forcing them to do so.
Springfield Road Linlithgow
Imagine the scenario. The wind is blowing. The wind turbines spin faster. It is getting close to when the turbines should be shut down to protect them from damage.
A game of dare ensues. If the National Grid order the windfarm to shut down to protect the grid from blowing it will be enriching the wind operator by 30 per cent or so more than if it had been generating normally and funnily enough we pay for it – the huge subsidies, the eye watering constraints and the grid upgrades.
We see monster “sub” stations to cope with power surges on the few occasions wind generates anything like its installed capacity. Most of the time it doesn’t but the grid has to be enlarged to gigantic proportions just in case it does.
The tedious trumpeting by the wind industry, the Scottish Government and the likes of “energy adviser” Lang Banks of WWF when wind manages to supply Scotland’s energy needs on a warm balmy Sunday, when the country’s needs were low, is ludicrous.
Luckily it was that Sunday. Cooking the family roast and watching the Olympics may well have saved the grid from blowing and even more constraints being paid!