( The Scotsman HERE ) ( Telegraph HERE )
Luckily for us, wind turbines are so pathetically incapable of actually generating on a reliable basis that the need for curtailment payments are relatively rare.
Take this scatter graph from the National Grid Winter Consultation 2011 ( HERE )
Each dot represents an individual wind farm output (y-axis) against actual demand (x-axis) The line National Grid have drawn shows where curtailment payments may have to be made. Inevitably these are at times when turbine output is high but demand is low. In other words the turbine power is being generated when it is not needed. Yet they still have the nerve to claim huge curtailment payments.
This scatter graph also confirms two other shocking truths about wind power. The majority of the time the output is actually well below the capacity factor. It is only the occasional high wind occurrence that bigs up the capacity factor to the (still derisory) value of 20-25%.
Also it confirms the rather obvious flaw in wind power in that there is absolutely no correlation between wind turbine output and demand. Look to the right hand end of the x-axis and you will see plenty of evidence of turbine output being well below 10% while demand was near maximum.
But still, there are occasions when for operational reasons, during periods of low demand and high wind that the grid needs to get turbines to shut down. When these occasions happen the turbine owners go into a feeding frenzy. They demand and get payments many times the value of the electricity the could have produced - just to shut down.While other generation technologies can also get curtailment payments, they all seem to have more of a sense of moral responsibility than the massively subsidised wind turbine cartel.
These shockingly greedy payments demanded by the wind turbine operators are at least open to inspection.
But the REF (Renewable Energy Foundation - HERE) have discovered that as well as these outrageous payments there are a set of secretive extra payments made to turbine operators which are actually even more extravagant. ( SEE THIS REF LINK ) also (Power Engineering Magazine HERE).
Even so, all these payments get dwarfed by the massive ROC subsidy turbine operators receive. But these greedy claims for yet more cash are perhaps a clearer indication of the predatory and ruthless motives that drive the wind turbine gravy train.
Morally there is no reason a massively subsidised wind turbine should get even a sniff of a constraint payment. Bearing in mind how much of the time they have to rely on other generation to pick up the shortfall caused by their intermittency the occassional call to shut down should go unrewarded.
My original piece on the Great Wind Farm Robbery is HERE