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Isn’t this lovely?

Wind farms were paid to switch off on Tuesday evening at the same time households were asked to turn their lights off to save energy.

Between 4.30pm and 6pm on Tuesday, wind farms were paid about £65,000 to stop producing enough electricity to power 50,000 homes for a day, according to data from the UK Wind Curtailment Monitor.

At the same time, households were being asked to switch off their devices to help save electricity, amid concerns from National Grid ESO, the legally separate part of the National Grid which balances supply and demand, that it would not have sufficient energy supply.

Paying people not to use electricity at the same time as paying people not to produce electricity. Is it any wonder that electricity is expensive these days?

Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, as the country faced strains in energy supply, wind farms were paid more than £1 million to stop producing enough electricity to power 360,000 homes for a day.

16 thoughts on “Isn’t this lovely?”

  1. So the problem is lack of fat enough grid connections between producers (Scotland) and consumers (England). If I were a developer expecting to build lots of houses in a green field down a little lane, then TPTB would expect me to build a new road, or at least pay the Council to do it. Why have we not got a similar rule for wind farmers?

  2. Has anyone else noticed that your government is currently telling people to buy electric cars and paying them money not to charge them? Ditto heat pumps.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Between 4.30pm and 6pm on Tuesday, wind farms were paid about £65,000 to stop producing enough electricity to power 50,000 homes for a day

    They’re doing my head in. There’s no “for a day” in it. We aren’t storing any of that electricity, its power as you go.

  4. @ BiND
    It’s all part of the disinformation campaign. Further down the page it says they were paid £1m for Monday and Tuesday.
    Adam Berman says it’s “the price we pay for running the most efficient electricity system that we can”
    YMBJ “efficient” is Newspeak

  5. BiND/John77

    The “for a day” hornswoggling metric is impressive. I’ve always been happy with the size of Wales or the length of a London bus as a comparitor involving at the most three dimensions.

    That excess electricity? Just stack it over there for now and we’ll use it this evening.

  6. We’re really right through the looking glass now, aren’t we.

    To say you couldn’t make it up doesn’t really seem adequate.

    How much longer can this go on?

  7. Until we kill everybody who believes in the possibility of “zero carbon”, we have no way out. How many MPs voted against Millipede’s climate change Act? How many MPs voted against the imposition of zero carbon targets on British industry? How many parties offer an alternative to zero carbon? How many establishment people supported Trump when he abandoned the Paris Agreement? How many countries in the developed world have zero carbon targets? That includes Spain and Portugal too.

    Where are the lions when you need them?

    Maybe we just ought to move to emerging and frontier economies

  8. Diogenes: Where are the lions when you need them?

    There simply aren’t enough of them. Even St££v£ in another thread is resorting to bleach.

  9. To paraphrase the great philodopher-king arse – sorry – Warhol , every windmill will have it’s 15 minutes of output.

    Shame it rarely matches actual demand.

    I think I’ll launch a startup where it will all be stored on the cloud. Anybody want to invest a few million?

  10. “lack of enough grid connections between producers (Scotland) and consumers (England)”

    That’s odd though. For decades Scotland exported electricity to England because it had proportionately more nuclear electricity (plus a wee bit of hydro and pumped storage) in addition to plenty of fossil fuel stations. Why do the interconnections now lack capacity?

    Separate point: where do the interconnections to Ireland run? Presumably at least one from Scotland to N.I.? One or more from England & Wales to the Republic? (I understand that the grid in Ireland includes both countries.)

  11. Some years ago I commented (not, sadly, on this site where someone might have noticed) that the “wonderful” plan to build an off-shore windfarm near Skye to supply Glasgow required a high-voltage cable passing pretty close to the closed-down hydro-power station that British Aluminium had built near Ben Nevis so it was a complete waste of money. If Glasgow needed power they could just build a cable from Fort William to Glasgow and reopen the hyderoelectric generator. Nobody cared because that didn’t suit the political message of the day.

  12. I believe that, although hydro electricity is renewable energy, it doesn’t qualify in green world due to the fact that it actually works.

  13. dearieme: there are two main 400kV routes from Scotland to England – east and west. There is a planned undersea DC cable running down the Irish Sea as well. That may already be in place. With the proliferation of windfarms in Scotland that may no longer be enough to cope with peak generation.

    I know down here they had to put the feed from Anglia One windfarm in the North Sea ashore at Bawdsey and then go underground to Bramford substation near Ipswich. It would have been a lot better engineeringwise to take it ashore at Sizewell but that capacity (4 X 400kV circuits) is earmarked for Sizewell C.

  14. @Diogenes – January 26, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    How many MPs voted against Millipede’s climate change Act?

    I believe that it was six. Oddly enough they were the only MPs who had scientific or engineering backgrounds.

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