MANY readers of the North Devon Journal will be aware of the large subsidies that wind farms receive for producing electricity, paid for by electricity consumers.
As the cost of producing onshore electricity is roughly double, and the cost of offshore electricity roughly treble, the current wholesale price of electricity, wind generated electricity would not be viable without these subsidies.
Your readers may not, however, be aware of the large payments that wind farms are now receiving for not producing electricity, as a result of the growth in wind generation capacity outstripping the ability of the National Grid to use it. On August 3, for example, a total of almost £1.9 million was paid to a total of 36 wind farms not to produce electricity to "spill wind".
Even this amazing figure was exceeded on August 17 when daily payments exceeded £2 million for the first time. Indeed, over the weekend of August 17-18 payments totalled almost £4 million.
As wind generation capacity is currently increasing faster than the grid is being upgraded to use it, payments not to produce electricity are bound to increase further, they could well cumulate to several hundred million pounds over the next few years.
Is this not a totally scandalous waste of money?
Of course when applications are made for wind turbines, promising that so many tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved, or so many thousand households supplied with "clean electricity", all these calculations assume that all available wind will be used.
The priority now should be to upgrade the National Grid to make full use of the wind capacity that we already have plus what is in the construction pipeline.
Our MPs should be demanding a moratorium on further construction of wind turbines and on planning approvals until the National Grid can demonstrate it is able to make full use of existing capacity.