This is bad enough, but it is where the money goes to that undermines government claims.
The £1.2 million will go to a Norwegian company which owns 60 turbines in the Scottish Borders.
The National Grid asked the company, Fred Olsen Renewables, to shut down its Crystal Rig II wind farm last Saturday for a little over eight hours amid fears the electricity network would become overloaded.
The problem was caused by high winds buffeting the country in the wake of Hurricane Katia. Read the full story here.
Just take a look at ownership of Britain’s Wind farms. Forgetting the intermittency and the subsidies for a moment, the single most compelling argument for the current rush to invest in renewables in the UK today is the balance of payments.
The argument goes like this:
- the price of oil and gas is forecast to rise dramatically in the next 10 years
- at the same time, north sea oil and gas production will dwindle (it already has)
- the UK will then be faced with a huge bill for importing its energy and the money paid for this energy will leave the country
- when a county has home-grown sources of energy the money paid to the company that produces and supplies the energy “stays at home”
- by investing in (subsidising companies to build and supply) wind energy now, we will have home-grown energy to replace north sea oil
- when the price of oil goes through the roof, wind power will be able to compete without subsidy
- because this is ‘home-grown’ energy the money will ‘stay at home’ – in both taxes and profit – to be spent within our economy
Well it seems from this Telegraph article that most of our wind farms are owned by foreign companies and, while there might be some British money in there somewhere, it certainly looks like the “keeping the money at home” argument is going pear-shaped too.
Someone tell me I’m wrong – please.