Wind Turbines: The Subsidy

Few people realise the extent or extravagance of the subsidy given to the large corporate operators of wind turbines.

A recent article in “Private Eye” and reproduced on the DART website here displays the sheer amount of money (your money) being sloshed about.

First, a little seed capital gets slopped in the direction of the land owners.

The traditional reward of 30 pieces of silver for selling out your neighbours is somewhat less generous than what is currently on offer. Today the payment amounts to about £10,000 per turbine per year. So for four turbines, over 25 years, this amount to a cool £1 Million.

While this yearly payment has sometimes reached £17000 per turbine, it is pathetically small when compared to the money that gets funnelled in the direction of the corporate owners of these monsters.

A wind turbine, rated at 2 MW (which averaged over a year actually only produces about 0.5MW/yr) will be paid about £250,000 for the electricity produced . But on top of this there is a subsidy of £220,000. So for a 4 turbine installation, over the 25 year lease period, the operating company will get no less than £22 million in subsidy alone.

Currently, with only a fraction of the planned insanity in place, we are paying over £1 Billion a year in subsidies. (See Here)

That is a guaranteed profit. Paid for by the government. As to the true operating profit, that will be little, nothing or even negative. The operating margin on the electricity produced alone would never be sufficient to finance these turbines.

Truly, the apple on the tree is the subsidy.

The emphasis will not be on producing useful electricity. The emphasis will be on maximising the amount of electricity produced irrespective of whether it is needed or not.

Electricity generated at 3 am (when nobody wants it) gets the same subsidy as electricity generated during peak times. So do not expect the operators to be doing their maintenance other than 9-5. If a turbine breaks down in winter when wind speeds are low, do not expect it to be repaired in a hurry. The chances of noisy turbines ever being replaced with quieter, less environmentally unfriendly versions is nil.

In real power stations the maintenance and repair schedules are ruthlessly based around getting generation back on line to support periods of maximum use. Do not expect this from wind turbine operators, there is no incentive.

For the luxury of feeling “Green” we are actually fuelling inefficient power generation and rip-off electricity utilities. The stupidity of those who queue up to support the likes of Aon, NPower, Centrica and Scottish & Southern beggars belief.

But truly the real evil in all this is the foolish concept that we can force our way to a greener environment by simply throwing money at a technology that has already proven that it is simply not up to the job.

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