The waste of wind power adds forty pounds to the monthly energy expenses of households, according to a think group.

According to estimates provided by Carbon Tracker, this number may rise to 150 pounds in the year 2026.

If there is a lot of wind, the grid will not be able to handle the additional power that is created. Gas-powered stations are compensated to turn on, and wind farms are compensated to turn off their turbines. Consumers are the ones who end up paying for it.

The time it takes to construct energy networks that are able to accommodate additional wind power will be cut in half, according to the government, thanks to big improvements.

In November, the energy regulator known as Ofgem issued new regulations that it claimed would speed up the process of connecting to the grid.

Congested area

The majority of the offshore wind farms in the United Kingdom are located in England; the largest of them is located off the coast of Yorkshire and is called Dogger Bank. The majority of electricity is consumed in south-east England, despite the fact that Scotland is home to approximately half of the world’s onshore wind farms.

According to Carbon Tracker, the most significant obstacle in the process of delivering power to the locations where it is required is a backlog in the transmission between Scotland and England.

“wind curtailment” is the term used to describe the process of turning down wind farms and increasing the number of power stations. According to the report, the expenses of this practice are passed on to the customers.

The influence of climate change on financial markets is the subject of study conducted by Carbon Tracker. It was stated that wind curtailment payments had cost £590 million since the beginning of 2023, which adds an additional £40 to the average customer bill.

Due to the fact that wind farms are being constructed at a faster rate than the power cable that is required to transport the electricity, it was warned that these prices were going to climb to add £180 per year to bills by the year 2030.

There are not enough wires, which is the source of the problem. According to Lorenzo Sani, an analyst at Carbon Tracker, the most reasonable approach would be to construct additional grid infrastructure.

He continued by saying, “It’s not even that expensive,” in comparison to the rising costs associated with wind curtailment.

The organisation RenewableUK, which represents the industry, stated that grid limits “reflect a chronic lack of investment in the grid.”

Barnaby Wharton, who is the director of future electrical systems for RenewableUK, stated that “we need to move from an antiquated grid that wastes power to one that is fit for purpose in the 21st Century as quickly as possible.”

However, in the past, it has typically taken anywhere from ten to fifteen years for new transmission lines to be acknowledged and approved.

In a statement, the Energy Networks Association, an industry body that represents network operators, stated that “urgent action is needed to address planning challenges.”

People who live in close proximity to newly constructed pylons and electricity substations are eligible to receive a discount of up to one thousand pounds on their monthly energy bills for a period of ten years, and the government is also providing funding to local councils for projects in their respective communities.

An undersea cable connecting Peterhead, which is located in Aberdeenshire, and Drax, which is located in Yorkshire, was one of the four projects that Ofgem approved in the previous year to help alleviate transmission concerns.

However, Carbon Tracker cautioned that the capacity of wind power generation in Scotland was expected to increase by a factor of four by the year 2030, but that present plans only call for the cabling to double during that time period.

The phrase “zombie projects”

In November, the government announced a plan to cut the amount of time it takes to construct new infrastructure from fourteen years to seven years. The proposal aims to “speed up grid connections, support thousands of jobs, and reduce electricity bills for households across Great Britain,” according to a spokeswoman for the government.

According to Ofgem, the energy regulator, there is a “long queue” of energy projects that have the potential to create over 400 gigawatts of electricity, which is significantly more than what is required to power the whole energy system in the United Kingdom.

The watchdog stated that the updated regulations “will allow stalled or speculative ‘zombie’ projects to be forced out of the queue, meaning viable projects can be connected quicker” .

According to Mr. Sani, who works with Carbon Tracker, it is not obvious how much of a difference these projects will make until the year 2030.