• 3 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 5 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 6 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 3 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 3 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 4 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 5 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 5 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 6 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 6 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 6 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 6 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 7 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 7 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 7 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
Can India Overtake China In The EV Revolution?

Can India Overtake China In The EV Revolution?

India wants to drastically increase…

Oil Markets Fear Iraqi Escalation

Oil Markets Fear Iraqi Escalation

The military operation by Iraqi…

British Wind Farms Generate More Electricity Than The Grid Can Handle

British Wind Farms Generate More Electricity Than The Grid Can Handle

Wind farms often are dismissed as a Quixotic idea for generating electricity. Some even argue that every turbine should be equipped with a conventional power plant in case the weather is calm.

Not in Britain. During the first 10 months of 2014, the National Grid has shelled out nearly $67.3 million to wind farms to shut down their turbines, mostly in Scotland, where most UK wind farms are situated.

Scots’ demand for electricity isn’t as high as the amount of electricity generated by their wind farms. The answer should be to ship the juice south, but the cables to do the job aren’t ready yet. So in order to balance supply with demand, the Grid makes “constraint payments” to the wind farms to stop their turbines. The money comes from surcharges to customers’ energy bills.

Related: Renewable Energy vs Natural Gas – How The Costs Stack Up

The Grid may be stringing cable as fast as it can, but the problem is getting worse, not better. The $67.3 million paid out during the first 10 months of this year is more than 30 percent higher than the total constraint payments for all of 2013.

Here’s one example of the power of wind: Last month, Scotland had an “outstanding October for wind energy,” generating on Oct. 20 a one-day record of 24 percent of the Britain’s electricity needs, according to Renewable UK, a British wind industry association.

The Scottish affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently reported that during October, Scotland’s wind farms generated 982,842 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power more than 3 million houses, or 126 percent of the power needed for all of Scotland’s homes. The report was based on data from WeatherEnergy, which gathers data on renewable sources of power.

Lang Banks, the director of WWF Scotland, issued a statement saying, “While nuclear power plants were being forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s wind and sunshine were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country. … [I]t really was a bumper month for renewables in Scotland.”

But it also meant that the Grid was forced to pay several record daily constraint payments in October, including a one-day outlay of $4.8 million to turn off turbines at 33 wind farms on Oct. 26, according to the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), which has been critical of subsidies to wind farms.

Related: UK Renewables May Be Turning The Tide

Further, if the wind farms generate more electricity than the Grid can handle, the national utility then must pay generators elsewhere in the UK to generate more additional power.

The Grid is busy upgrading Scotland’s electrical network in hopes of reducing such costs eventually. But the program is costly, and some wonder whether the effort is worthwhile.

One is REF Director John Constable, who told The Telegraph, “Avoiding constraint payments is not necessarily the cheapest option. It would have been cheaper to avoid building so much wind in remote locations in the first place.” Besides, he said, the subsidies paid to wind farms are “too high.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News