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United Kingdom

UK wind curtailments fall dramatically

UK: Payments to UK wind farms to stop operating at times of high wind and low demand have fallen dramatically over the past year.

Less wind curtailment on UK network following grid upgrades
Less wind curtailment on UK network following grid upgrades

UK network operator National Grid spent 77% less in 2012-13 less than the previous year on wind constraints: £7 million (EUR 8.2 million) was paid out, which accounted for 4% of total constraints, compared with £31 million — 9.5% of total constraints across all forms of electricity generation — in 2011-2012.

The amount of wind constrained dropped from 206GWh to 67GWh. That is about 0.5% of all electricity generated by onshore wind over the year.

There is less need to constrain wind thanks to reinforcements made to the transmission network, a spokeswoman for National Grid said.

Also, a change of wind farm licencing rules has driven down the average price paid per megawatt hour of wind constrained to £113 in 2012-13, compared with £165 in 2011-12.

National Grid does not reveal data on payments to individual wind farms. However, according to anti-wind organisation the Renewable Energy Foundation, RWE Npower's Farr wind farm near Inverness, Scotland, has received the most money to shut down so far: £4.8 million to stop operating for 25,124MWh.

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