London, 9 November – High costs and the unreliability of renewable energy are the single largest obstacle to climate policies and are at the heart of the resistance of developing nations to follow the EU and UK’s favoured Net Zero plans at COP26.
This fact has been put in the spotlight by the revelation that the official electricity supplier to COP26, the Griffin wind farm in Scotland, has been paid substantial constraint payments during the conference.
Griffin wind farm
The Griffin wind farm in Perthshire is the official electricity supplier to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, though of course the conference buildings actually rely on the grid mix of electricity generation, including nuclear, gas, and even coal to guarantee security of supply.
Even more embarrassingly, it now transpires that the Griffin wind farm has been receiving large payments to reduce generation due to low local demand and weak grid connection between the wind farm and the majority of the grid’s consumers.
The Scottish edition of the Daily Express has revealed that the wind farm has received about £500,000 during the conference to reduce generation.
Such payments are highly anomalous in the electricity market, since wind farms lose their subsidy when they are “constrained” off, and this means they demand to be compensated.
Due to the difficulties such wind farms cause the system operator they are able to ask for more than the subsidy they are losing. Consequently, and as a matter of fact, wind farms actually make more money per MWh of electrical energy constrained off than those generated and sold normally to consumers.
Dr John Constable, the energy editor of Net Zero Watch said:
“Wind farms are a low quality generator requiring very costly grid management actions to maintain security of supply. The constraint payments to the COP26 official wind farm are typical of these problems, and a good example of the very high costs that deter the majority of the world from abandoning fossil fuels.
“At some point the green lobby is going to have to chose between sustainable emissions reductions and their failing pet technologies, wind and solar.”