1. It may be thought that excess capacity has no adverse impact but the figures for constraint payments to wind farm generators detailed below shows the adverse effects of excess capacity between 2013 and 2023.
  2. The table shows constraint payments between 2013 and 2023.These have increased every year except 2016 and 2021 (where unusually poor conditions for wind power generation led to sharp falls in energy generated by renewables). The rate is the amount paid per KWH. It varies on a daily basis and affects the headline figure for cost. I have no idea how that figure is calculated.

YEAR              COST                          CAPACITY                 RATE
2023               303,408,874             4,265,957                 71
2022               227,048,475             3,897,178                 58
2021               142,922,632             2,342,145                 61
2020               274,161,002             3,696,019                 74
2019               139,115,025            1,941,177                 72
2018               124,649,106             1,724,187                 72
2017               108,247,860             1,542,865                 70
2016                 81,861,075             1,134,627                 72
2015                 90,738,134             1,276,264                 71
2014                 53,261,058                659,350                  81
2013                 32,707,351                369,817                  86

  1. The figures for 2023 are the highest recorded in terms of money paid (£300 million), capacity constrained off (over 4.2 million MWH) and the number of schemes involved (107). The cumulative amount paid is a staggering £1,595,385,922 and the total capacity constrained off is nearly 23million MWH


  1. This waste of money and the extra costs falling on consumers are undesirable but SG’s obsession with windfarms makes them blind to the obvious. Further windfarms are being encouraged when they will inevitably cause constraint payments to rise.
  2. This scenario arises almost entirely from over-provision of capacity in Scotland so are adverse effects of all Scottish schemes. SG (and developers) dispute this but in his PLI report on Pauls Hill II David Bullya clarified the position (at 5.49)
    SWM regards the cost of constraint payments to be a negative socio-economic effect of any windfarm development that ought to be weighed against its benefits. I agree that this is a material consideration.
  3. The cost is currently met by consumers throughout the UK but if Scotland becomes independent the whole cost would fall on Scottish consumers.


SAS Volunteer

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John Tulloch · January 3, 2024 at 8:58 pm

Who will pay for these “constraint costs” and indeed, the entire renewable subsidies – let alone, the new ones in the pipeline – that we currently enjoy courtesy of UK consumers once existing contracts expire if/when Scotland becomes independent?

    SAS Volunteer · January 3, 2024 at 9:23 pm

    Citizens of Scotland will pay and it will cost us a lot of money. Contracts for difference last for fiftenn years.

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