Oh, what a lovely scam!



This is a very interesting piece from National Wind Watch which in turn was gleaned from an article in the Sunday Times. Considering the number of new applications for wind farms happening all over the country, I wonder how similar the situation is in Ireland and how much the consumer has to pay to essentially stop wind farms from operating?


Turbines spread amid £127m bill

Credit:  Scottish wind farms are the main beneficiary of compensation as the network is unable to cope with the power produced | Mark Macaskill | The Sunday Times | December 29 2019 | www.thetimes.co.uk | [text provided by 3rd party source] ~~


Scottish ministers have been accused of an “irresponsible” dash for green energy as new data reveals that wind farms have expanded while being paid record sums of money to power down turbines.

This year, the operators of 86 wind farms across Britain were handed more than £136m in constraint payments to reduce output and discard surplus energy, a new annual record and £12m more than was paid in 2018.

Most of the compensation (£127m) was paid to Scottish onshore wind farms, including several that have either extended in recent years – with the Scottish government’s approval – or are seeking permission to do so.

The disclosure has prompted disquiet among opposition politicians and environmentalists who said compensation payouts should be a key consideration in whether to allow wind farms to be built or extended.

Energy firms are compensated for turning off turbines when the network is unable to cope with the power they produce. Such constraint payments are paid out by the National Grid but ultimately charged to consumers and added to electricity bills.

Analysis carried out by the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity that monitors Britain’s energy use, shows that in 2019, six onshore Scottish wind farms received about 50% of the £127m bonanza. They include Fallago Rig in Berwickshire, which received £7.8m in constraints this year, yet is seeking an extension to add a further 12 turbines.

The Clyde wind farm was completed in 2009 but permission to extend the site with an additional 74 turbines was granted in 2014 and completed in 2017. Its operators, which includes the energy giant SSE, received almost £15m in compensation this year.

The big six also includes the 96- turbine Kilgallioch wind farm in South Ayrshire, which was extended in 2017. Its owners, Scottish Power Renewables, is seeking to extend the site by up to 11 turbines.

Whitelee, Europe’s largest wind farm, opened in 2007 and added a further 75 turbines five years later. Since 2013, it has received £106.5m in constraint payments, including £12m this year.

The Stronelairg wind farm near Fort Augustus went live a year ago and received more than £11m in constraint payments this year. Critics have questioned the wisdom of proposals to build two neighbouring wind farms.

“The probability of constraint payments is not given any significant weight in the planning system when considering applications for new or extended wind farms, with the result that the Scottish government is needlessly, and some will feel irresponsibly, contributing to the constraint problem and to UK consumer bills,” observed Helen McDade, the Renewable Energy Foundation’s Scottish policy adviser.

Alexander Burnett, the Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, said: “The fact that the SNP are still allowing windfarms to expand despite this staggeringly high level of constraint payments already in operation is astonishing. Indeed, this absurd situation simply demonstrates the foolishness of the SNP’s renewable energy policy.”

Since 2010, when constraint payments were introduced, more than £600m has been paid to Scottish wind farm owners. Because of a rapid growth in onshore wind, payments have increased steadily, in spite of grid reinforcements and upgrades such as the £1bn Western Link between Hunterston and Deeside, which was built to export Scottish power. The foundation claims that some wind farms lie behind grid bottlenecks, yet are given ministerial approval for upgrades to generate more power. The charity points to increases in turbine heights at the extension to the Gordonbush wind farm, near Brora in Sutherland. The original wind farm has been paid more than £16m to reduce output since it was commissioned in 2012.

Paul Wheelhouse, the energy minister, said constraint payments will fall as investment in the grid increases. “Adding more demand load onto the grid, as we electrify Scotland’s own transport and heating systems, will also reduce the need for constraint payments. The importance of continued grid investment to facilitate transmission cannot be overstated and this need featured in our Networks Vision Statement which we published earlier this year.”


Source:  Scottish wind farms are the main beneficiary of compensation as the network is unable to cope with the power produced | Mark Macaskill | The Sunday Times | December 29 2019 | www.thetimes.co.uk | [text provided by 3rd party source]

About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
This entry was posted in EU Renewable Energy 2020 Target, Planning Permission; Extension; Planning and Development Act, Wind Farm Guidelines, turbines, flicker, noise, distance, Denis Naughten and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Oh, what a lovely scam!

  1. Richard Mann says:

    It is well past time to turn off Turbines due to known and documented health harm. Please ask anyone who denies health harm of Industrial Wind Turbines to watch this presentation. University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario Canada.

    Title: “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise: Physics & Cells, History & Health”
    Speaker: Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira
    Location: University of Waterloo
    Date: September 12, 2019

    Video archive of presentation:

    Dr. Alves-Pereira’s research profile is at www. researchgate.net/profile/Mariana_Alves-pereira

    Note; there is approx 2 mins of dead air at the beginning. The talk is ~50 minutes, followed by a long Q&A.

    • Neil van Dokkum says:

      Thanks Richard. Mariana visited us in Ireland. I was impressed with her very thorough methodology and reliance on facts. She is a lovely person as well.

  2. Nigel de Haas says:

    Today’s Guardian (Monday 6th Jan) reports on renewable energy with Irish characteristics:
    “By 2028 data centres and other large users will consume 29% of Ireland’s electricity, according to EirGrid, Ireland’s state-owned transmission system operator. Worldwide data centres consume about 2% of electricity, a figure set to reach 8% by 2030. Few countries, if any, will match Ireland’s level.
    A report by the Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) has estimated data centre expansion will require almost €9bn in new energy infrastructure and add at least 1.5m tonnes to Ireland’s carbon emissions by 2030 – up 13% spike on current electricity sector emissions.
    Google and Amazon representatives also said their Irish data centres were energy efficient and entirely supplied by – or soon would be – renewable energy. Earlier this year Amazon Web Services announced backing for a 91.2MW windfarm in Donegal and a 23.2MW windfarm in Cork.
    The boom will exact a price. Ireland is one of the EU’s worst carbon emission offenders and faces fines of more than €250m for missing 2020 targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Missing later targets will trigger steeper fines.”

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