London, 25 November – The daily cost of balancing the electricity grid rocketed to £63 million yesterday, smashing the old record of £45 million, set just three weeks ago.
Wind farms were performing poorly yet again, delivering only 20% of their theoretical capacity.
The Balancing Mechanism, which ensures that supply and demand are in balance hour by hour, was forced to pay up to £4000/MWh to get the coal-fired Drax 5 unit to switch on, at the same time as paying wind farms to switch off.
Net Zero Watch’s Dr Benny Peiser said:
The tens of millions that the grid is having to throw at the growing problem of unreliable renewables on days like yesterday are astonishing. £1 million to wind farms to switch off. £5 million to get a single coal-fired unit at Drax to switch on. This is unsustainable.”
The annual cost of the so-called Balancing Mechanism has quintupled in just three years, reaching £1.8 billion in 2020/21 driven primarily by the vagaries of wind speed.
But Dr Peiser warns that figure that is likely to be comfortably surpassed in the current year.
The Government has done nothing to address the energy crisis – our huge shale gas resources remain untapped while they burden consumers with billions in absurd transfers for bailing out inept wind farms.
The soaring costs show just how precarious the UK electricity grid is becoming, and it’s only going to get worse. This winter could be catastrophic for households struggling with rapidly rising energy bills.”