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It’s the bit at the end of that …

Comment posted Pilots concerned on wind farm generated air turbulence by HansBlix.

It’s the bit at the end of that piece which suggests ALL the UK consumers will happily pay for all this wind nonsense.

By the way, re the subsidy. When the first gov climate change levy was announced in 2000, I asked Scottish Hydro from whom we were buying more than £m of power how they felt about being a tax collector (especially as it appeared to be the fossil fuel levy by another name). We agreed that there was sod all we could do about it.

HansBlix also commented

  • I’m finding it quite difficult to get the replies to correspond …

    Doc DM: ROC’s are, of course, bought and sold. I was away wandering …

    The important point with UK demand is that it is falling. A 3% drop is 2 big power stations knocked off peak demand. More than one Scottish gov minister has assumed that rUK would need our power but that can not be taken for granted.

    Tim M: It isn’t only “some” windfarms that are experiencing trouble. More than half have grout problems and half (6 out of 15) have Siemens 3.6MW turbines which have corroded bearings. There are about 200 of these in the field and it can not be coincidence that the Gunfleet farms produced virtually nothing last year. The loss for just these two is £60m. SSE are suing Fluor for £300m over Gabbard’s mono-piles and that farm has still not produced anything. For perspective, the banks have all but taken over Vestas for Euro 300m to keep them afloat so the financial and reputational damage done to Siemens is considerable in a market which doesn’t have far to seek its troubles.

    That destroys the business case for scaling up.

    The one bright spot is the Beatrice Demonstrator Project. 2 x 5MW Siemens’ turbines on completely conventional 4 leg jackets – just looks like a drilling platform – in 40mtrs on the Smith Bank in the North Sea. 4 piles hammered into each leg of a jacket made in Methil with the Siemen’s turbine and pillar put together at Nigg in 2007. Nice sandy bottom … 42m cost with some saving from using the Beatrice AP platform for routeing the power ashore.

    Other than SSE planning a 1GW farm near Smith Bank using either 3.5 or 7MW turbines instead of 5MW, the Demonstrator Project seems a success from beginning to end … a bit expensive maybe.

  • I’ve not heard of it as a ‘nominal’ price before. It is the actual and is rather important.

    What I thought you were saying was that the value of ROC in Scotland was negligible when compared with, say, the recently delayed fuel escalator. This is patently not true in the future when the subsidy will rise very rapidly. If this is not what you were saying, you might like to do some elucidating yourself.

    You misrepresent the position of offshore farms. It isn’t a market failure. It is a technical failure. They aren’t reliable.

    You have (at least) 2 problems with Scottish demand and supply: firstly the average temperature of the UK has risen and electricity consumption dropped 3% last year and secondly, to be relevant, you have to turn on the wind supply between 4 and 6pm; any other time, forget it. The rise in temperature is also, I presume, occurring in Europe and is bound to impact gas prices and even those coupled to oil prices must be dropping – or should.

    If you’re experienced in International law and believe that then I can’t argue the matter but ROCs aren’t bought so I’m not sure there either.

    We would make a dreadful mistake if we were to trust he power companies to even tell the correct time of day. SSE have publicly made their position clear and you can safely assume that applies to all others. There are 2 ways of looking at what they’re saying; the easy and I believe incorrect view is that they’re taking a swipe at Salmond and independence. This misunderstands what drives them. For example, the regulated side of SSE’s business is huge. They intend that the uncertainties over Scottish independence be used to extract a higher price for their regulated business from Ofgem. Investment in their liberalised business will continue, why shouldn’t it, but not for the long haul stuff like offshore.

  • For one who has written so much on the subject, you seem to know remarkably little. The ROC value in 2010/11 was £51.34 and is the sum of 2 components: the government buy out price of £36.99 and the non-payment or recycle payment of £14.35.

    Your context is wrong, completely so. Fuel consumption will never increase in the way that generation of electricity by wind farms is planned to. The Tiree Array alone would add £400m in ROC subsidy. You will get to well over £1.5bn in Scottish ROC wind subsidy quite quickly.

    Fortunately, none of this will happen. Nobody, not even the clowns in the City of London, will invest in offshore wind given the problems that beset more than half of the current wind farms which are half the (turbine) capacity of future installation.

    Your other context, post-independence, is another ‘aspiration’. There is every reason to suppose the UK consumer will oppose having to pay for constrained wind power in Scotland whilst paying for rUK wind power. You are asking them to pay twice for heavily subsidised electricity. Nor is there any reason for Scotland’s surplus wind power to be purchased at anything greater than at the margin.

  • To both you and the Doctor, Malcolm is about right. ROC wind subsidies to Scotland are running at £400m pa. Your figure of value per ROC is wrong (there are 2 components which vary but are typically £50 per MWhr in total) and your 0.1 ROC? I can’t understand where that figure comes from. Other than the 2 Robin Rigg farms which together receive over £40m in ROC, there are no other offshore farms in Scotland.
  • Negative? The wind industry is doing that fine themselves without any help from anyone on here.

    And the airport’s in the centre of he island with the main runway aligned NE SW almost directly downstream of the wind farm

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