Usually, one man’s garbage is another man’s gold, as they say. The rule does not always stand up when the latter pays 20 times more than he should, and there’s so much of it that it can’t be carried from one to another. That’s the case with some Scottish wind farms that just provided too much energy and had to be disconnected recently, but the wind power companies had to be paid anyway.
The UK National Grid paid Scottish wind farms some £900,000, which translates to $1.5 million in subsidies, although they had been asked to stop producing electricity during the windy night of April 5 and 6, since the grid was overloaded.
The issue with this is that the companies had received 20 times the price of the power they would have produced otherwise, and the money had been paid from the taxpayers’ pockets.
However, other parts of the UK didn’t receive enough energy because of the poor electricity transport infrastructure between the farms, located in the north, and users from the rest of England, as John Constable, director of policy and research at the Renewable Energy Foundation, the organization who discovered the abnormal payments, claimed.
Incentives are the latest trend in the field of renewable energy, and by them governments try to encourage people to use more and more green resources by buying solar panels and wind turbines. Germany is a successful example of such policies, but it too confronted with overloads in recent months, so the necessity of a huge European supergrid came into discussion.
Subsidies in energy are nevertheless a good thing, but when they are miscalculated and when big energy companies build on their behalf, they tend to become less profitable, since they had been originally developed for small homeowners. It’s then time to review them, since there are clean signs that the policy reached its goal. Such a review is currently happening in the UK, as Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary announced recently.