Friday, June 25, 2010

British wind farms paid not to produce electricity

Just when you thought the wind energy madness couldn't get any nuttier, it does.

In Britain, "Energy firms will receive thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing...

The National Grid fears that on breezy summer nights, wind farms could actually cause a surge in the electricity supply which is not met by demand from businesses and households...

Whereas coal and gas power stations often pay the National Grid £15 to £20 per megawatt hour they do not supply, Scottish Power was paid £180 per megawatt hour.

It raises the prospect of hugely profitable electricity suppliers receiving large sums of money from the National Grid just for switching off wind turbines...

Earlier this year, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidize wind farms and other forms of renewable energy...

Professor Michael Laughton, emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the University of London, said: 'People will find it very hard to understand that an electricity company is getting paid the market rate plus a subsidy for doing nothing. It is essentially a waste of consumers' money.'"

Britain is ahead, if you can call it that, of us in forcing wind power on its already overburdened citizens. It probably won't be long before utilities here are paid for not producing wind power. When it becomes a large enough source of power to matter, its inherent unreliability means it will not be producing power when we need it, and producing too much power when we don't need it.

If you were planning a new industrial facility, would you pick a country that is going to increase electricity costs by 300% to 500% using unreliable wind and solar power, or a country like China that is building reliable new low-cost coal fired plants at the rate of one a week?

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