British Taxpayers Paying Wind Power Outfits £500,000,000 Every Year To Produce NOTHING!

There’s never been a financial scam that comes anywhere near rivalling subsidised wind power for longevity and audacity.

Stories of the gullible signing up to buy the London Bridge or the Eiffel Tower spring to mind, when it is borne in mind that wind power (which simply cannot be delivered on demand) has no commercial value, apart from the massive and endless subsidies its generators pocket.

One aspect of the so-called ‘business’ is earning outrageous amounts of revenue for doing nothing, that is, being paid to not produce what it is that your business is meant to produce. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other examples that match the profligacy of paying “constraint payments” to wind power outfits, so that they won’t deliver power to the grid when the wind is blowing.

This is not nickels and dimes, either. Up to December 2019, British wind power outfits had collected over £650,000,000 for doing nothing at all.

As Martin Williams notes below, the greatest fraud since the South Sea Bubble, continues without any sign of relent.

‘Staggering’ wind farm switch-offs cost energy customers nearly £1bn
The Herald Scotland
Martin Williams
2 October 2022

Payments to energy firms to switch off mainly Scottish wind farm turbines because they produce too much power have cost bill-payers approaching £1bn in just over five years and are expected to soar to £500m a year.

It has emerged that households who are seeing a doubling of energy bills since last winter are set to face further pain by the “absurd” constraint payments system which is predicted to dole out record amounts in the next four years.

According to an analysis seen by the Herald on Sunday by National Grid ESO, the company responsible for keeping the lights on, all UK constraint costs including gas, wind and coal generation are predicted to grow from around £1bn to an “eyewatering” £2.3bn by 2026.

It means that wind farm compensation payments could reach as much as £500m in a year before energy infrastructure improvement bring the costs down.

Because electricity cannot be stored and needs to be generated at the time of demand, compensation is given to energy firms when they have to reduce their output. With wind farms it involves turning off turbines when the network is unable to cope with the power they produce.

The payments are made by the National Grid ESO but charged to consumers and added to energy bills.

The payments over wind power in Scotland which kicked in in 2010, come when what it generates cannot be exported to England due to insufficient grid infrastructure or because there isn’t the demand.

Official National Grid data examined by the Herald shows that the wind compensation payments have reached £900m since 2017.

The payments have risen to £395m in the last two years – £126m more that in the two year period from 2017. In 2012 and 2013, it is estimated constraint costs were at just £19m.

Industry insiders say that the cost of the inability to capitalise on wind will be even higher because of an “absolutely preposterous double whammy” where further payments have to be made to energy firms to use gas generators in the south to meet demand for energy when wind turbines in Scotland are switched off.

Last year the Scottish Government said that Scotland is home to 60% of UK’s offshore wind capacity and 25% of Europe’s wind resource. It is estimated that Scotland is home to just over half of the wind power generation in the UK.

There is criticism that government is not doing enough to solve the problem by adequately funding a solution to the switch offs – involving the creation of energy storage technologies.

The UK government has provided an initial £6.7 million to 24 projects across the UK to “turbocharge” the development of the storage technology with the aim of “reducing the cost of meeting net zero”. A further £61m will then be awarded to several of the most promising projects – which means many will fall by the wayside.

It is estimated that 80% of UK wind energy curtailment in 2020 was on Scottish farms and the soaring compensation payments comes despite wind power in Scotland flagging in 2021.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy analysis showed renewable power generation for April to June 2021 alone fell 9.6% on the same period last year driven by a 14 per cent drop in wind generation because of lower average gusts, which were substantially below the 10-year averages.

That resulted in a 36% rise in fossil fuel power generation over the same period to meet increased demand.

It has emerged constraint payments including wind are forecast to rise from around £1bn in 2021 to £2.5bn per year by the mid-2020s, according to the National Grid, who also are predicting they will reduce once investment in new technology comes online.

Yesterday, energy bills soared for around 1.5m Scottish households after the government put a freeze on the regulator Ofgem’s price cap on average dual fuel energy bills.

It stepped in after an 80% increase in domestic gas and electricity bills was earmarked for the first half of winter.

A typical annual bill will go up from £1,971 to £2,500 but will be further mitigated by cost-of-living payments.

But prices will still be twice as high as last winter, and charities have said that will leave many struggling.

Fair energy prices campaigner Kenny MacAskill, the MP the for East Lothian and Alba Party deputy leader who has conducted his own analysis of the constraint payments described the huge constraint payments burden to the taxpayer as the “great energy switch-off absurdity”.

He said: “At a time when Scots are struggling to meet their energy bills, renewable energy in Scotland is being switched off.

“Perversely, energy suppliers are paid more for that than for producing energy. As offshore wind comes on stream, the great energy switch off will only increase. The cost to the public purse will soon become billions.”
The Herald Scotland

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. In 2020 we read:

    ‘National Grid said that it regularly weighs up the difference between constraint management payments and the cost of building an asset in a “comprehensive cost-benefit analysis”. It continued that to date it is cheaper to pay for constraint rather than build new transmission.’

    There you have (or had) it.

  2. Reblogged this on whatyareckon.

  3. Of course, the cost-of-living payments come from the public purse. The idea behind them is that hiding your electricity bill in your tax bill makes it go away.

  4. There’s never been a financial scam that comes anywhere near rivalling subsidised solar power for longevity and audacity.

  5. Thanks for highlighting the ludicrous situation in our country, STT. Constraints are the new subsidies, as we’ve said so many times before.

    This year alone – as at 26 October – a smidgeon away from £178 million.

    In Scotland the fox is in charge of the hen coop. The two owners of the Scottish grid – Scottish & Southern Electricity (SSE) and Scottish Power (Spanish despite the name) are two of the major wind farm developers, despite the fact that there are bottlenecks from Scotland to England and Wales, hence the constraints when the grid is in danger of imploding.

    It should also be remembered that the constraints detailed in the piece from the Herald are only those which the public are told about – those under the Balancing Mechanism. There are also Forward Trades – contracts with National Grid, which are kept secret – even though all UK consumers pay.

    In 2011, in answer to a question in the House of Commons, it was established that at that time they were running more or less parallel with those under BM.

    Today? Who knows?

    • Thanks WEA, we haven’t forgotten about our Scots brothers and sisters, but we have had our work cut out with the debacle in Europe and the UK, more broadly, as well as our own brewing disaster. Obliged to have further and better info on what’s really going on. Keep smashing them. STT will 😉

      • We know you haven’t, STT. So much going on around the world – as you say, particularly in Europe and the UK. (Contrary to what you may hear the Scottish National Party say, we Scots are still very much part of the whole UK.)

        We know you will. We will, too.

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