HOUSEHOLDS are facing a huge hike in their energy bills after a record surge in subsidy payments to switch off Scottish wind farm turbines partly caused by them producing too much power, an analysis has found. In the two months of this year, £69 million was paid out in constraint payments, according to research by the Renewable Energy Foundation which described it as an “extreme spike”. This is four times greater than the previous most expensive January-February period on record, which was in 2016. REF said the surge in payments was partly because of strong winds, which means farms are generating too much power. It is also said it was because wider network reinforcement is “unable to keep pace with wind sector growth in Scotland where government continues to approve wind farms in spite of the constraints”. A high-voltage submarine power cable between Scotland and England was supposed to help to cut the figure by allowing energy to be exported south of the border and keeping the turbines on more regularly. But Italian telecom systems firm Prysmian, which manufactured cables for the £1 billion Western Link project, said on January 10 that it had failed. It came back into operation on February 7 but it was the third failure in three years.
Herald 14th March 2020 read more »