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Wind Farms (Payments)

Volume 585: debated on Thursday 4 September 2014

In 2012 the Government introduced new licence conditions to prevent generators profiting unfairly from transmission constraint. That has enabled National Grid to halve the average amount paid per unit of electricity to wind farms to reduce output. In the medium term, planned network upgrades will reduce further the overall level of constraint costs.

On one day in August, the Government spent £2.8 million on wind farms that were not producing electricity. “Money for Nothing” might be a good pop lyric, but it is not a good policy for a Government who are short of money. The Minister of State, when he was a Back Bencher, said that payments to wind farms should be drastically cut. Would not reducing these absurd payments to zero be a good start?

Constraint payments have been in place for many years, and those for renewable energy are no different from those for other types of energy. They are part of making sure that we have the right amount of power in the grid. The Government have halved the amount paid per unit of electricity, so the hon. Gentleman, rather than harping, should stand up and say, “Congratulations. Can we do some more?”