The April Wind Farm Robbery

On the 6th-7th April, over a period of a few hours we were all collectively held to ransom and robbed of nearly £1 million.

I expect that nobody told you of this crime. Believe me, there are a lot of people who want it to be kept quiet.

I know I tend to drone on about how hopeless wind turbines are, but this is not simply about the "normal" over-payment.

This is about legalised extortion.

Over a few hours on the night 5-6th April you paid approximately £1 million to a group of windfarms simply to get them to stop generating.

Under normal circumstances, wind farms get paid a stupendously generous £55 per MW/hr when they actually manage to produce power. Normal generators get about half that.

But on 5-6th April they were asked to stop generating, though they would get paid for the lost production. One wind generator demanded (and was paid) £800 per MW/hr simply to put the breaks on and stop generating.

This extortion was, of course, legal. An ordered theft. As is always the case when the common folk get screwed over by rich exploitative bastards who can manipulate the system.

Here is the list of shame.

All of these wind farms demanded payment many times what they would normally get paid simply to shut down generation. They demanded it in full knowledge that the Grid had no option except to pay because they could not close down any more traditional generation.

Why couldn't they shut down other generation?. Because it needed to stay on line in case the wind stopped blowing. They had to keep reliable generation on line. It would have been dangerous to do otherwise.

So how and what exactly happened?

On the 6th of April the wind began to blow unexpectantly. It began to blow in the night. As it was in the night, nobody wanted the electricity. But legally, the grid has to absorb the energy from wind turbines whenever they produce power. So on April 6th the National Grid had to absorb the power whether it was needed or not.

Normally any other form of power generation has to book slots where it guarantees to produce a certain amount of power. If it fails to produce that power, then an auction takes place where others step in the make up the short fall - at a price. The defaulting generator has to pay.

On the other hand, if more power is being generated than is needed, a generator can be paid to shut down or reduce output. This is also decided at an auction where the lowest bid wins. Most generators actually bid less than their typical charge per MW/hr as they save on fuel and wear and tear on the plant.

But wind power is different. Due to their intermittency, they simply could not compete in a true market so they do not have to book slots. They are allowed to sell power whenever they are in a position to produce. If the wind fails to turn up, they get out penalty free. But if the wind turns up when nobody needs the power, then somebody else has to shut down.

Because wind power is so unreliable, the grid has to be able to provide backup (or spinning reserve) at a moments notice, just in case the wind stops blowing. On the 6-7th April, the grid was suddenly inundated with wind generated energy. At that time they were also coping with a sudden increase of power from hydroelectricity due to a sudden heavy rain fall. The Scottish grid had wound down the traditional power plants to an a safe minimum. They could not safely reduce traditional power generation any more, because they always have to be able to guarantee supply.

But somebody had to shut down or the grid frequency would dangerously rise. Some of the wind farms, which had caused the crisis, were asked to reduce power. Consequently they were asked for bids in a power reduction  auction. They knew that nobody else could shut down. Greedily, their bids ranged from 180 -1000 per MW/hr.

Remember, the bids in the above table are the winning bids. They were the lowest. Others were even higher.

Essentially these bastards, having caused the problem then set about extracting as much money as they possibly could from the people trying to rectify the situation.

Because of the wind turbine carpet baggers privileged position, you can guarantee this will happen again and again and again. Each time the grid will be held to ransom. At the end of the day it is you who will pay. The more wind generation that gets put on the grid, the more this will happen.

Get used to being screwed.

The carpet baggers will be back for more.

The full story is HERE on the Renewable Energy Foundation.
How the ROC subsidy works is explained HERE

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