The latest controversy in the energy sector has a great number of English energy customers in and uproar over the amount of money being paid to Scottish wind farms for energy they are not producing. Not only are they getting paid for energy they are not producing but it is widely held that the Scottish government is asking them to withhold producing electricity, knowing that the money is coming directly from English consumers.
Why Wind Farms Are Asked to Stop Producing
Originally, wind farms were established to pump electricity south of the border into England to provide a sustainable source of energy. Unfortunately, the plan was not thought out as the grid is incapable of handling the huge amounts of power being generated by these subsidised wind farms. The plan would have been wonderful if the grid had been updated to handle the larger amount being produced.
The Root of the Controversy
No one has a problem with asking for a halt in the production of more than can be used and fed into the grid. The problem is that English energy customers are paying those wind farms a staggering total of £170,000 per day which is up from £11,000 within just the past two years. Utility bills in the UK have a charge that was originally intended to pay for the production of electricity. Now that the grid link is unable to handle that large of a capacity, customers south of the Scottish border are still paying them, but paying them to do nothing.
Scottish Government Being Blamed
Energy experts are accusing the Scottish government of being, in their words, irresponsible because government has been encouraging those wind farms to generate an amount greater than the grids can handle. Of all monies paid to wind farms, 95% goes to Scots.
According to the director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, Dr John Constable, Scotland is constructing a ‘silly’ amount of wind farms. He states that the Scottish government drove construction of these huge wind farms too far ahead of what the grid can handle at a cost that is reasonable. It was this rush to construct those farms that drove payments up so high. He further claims Scots have been irresponsible because they knew that Scottish voters wouldn’t be footing the cost but rather English energy customers would as well.
The only answer coming from the Scottish government to these attacks is that everything is being misrepresented and that those payments are not being made to wind farms but to the fossil fuel generators. They further state that wind farms are only paid if they offer the lowest cost in generation of electricity.
However, if those wind farms are not getting compensated, where is the money really going that English consumers are being asked to pay?