‘UK’s wasted wind power could have powered a million homes’

The failure to address transmission bottlenecks led to curtailment costs of £1.5 billion and emissions of 2.5 million tonnes of CO2, according to a report

Britain wasted enough wind generation last year to power one million homes, with inadequate grid upgrades posing risks of higher household bills by £200 per year by 2030, warns a report by Carbon Tracker.

The report highlights that grid investments are not keeping pace with the rapid growth of wind power, potentially tripling costs by 2026 and reaching £3.5 billion annually by 2030.

It emphasises the urgency of prioritising transmission project delivery, fast-tracking permits, and investing in strategic infrastructure to avoid grid congestion and curtailment.

According to the report, between January 2021 and April 2023, £1.5 billion was used to curtail over 6.5TWh of wind power, resulting in 2.5 million tonnes of emissions.

In 2022 alone, 4% of the wind energy generated in Britain was wasted due to wind congestion, which is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of one million British households.

As gas prices soared due to the Ukraine crisis, gas-fired power plants received nearly £600 million to compensate for the curtailed wind power, further increasing UK emissions by 1.3 million tonnes.

Analysts recommend building additional undersea cables to reduce congestion costs and optimise wind power utilisation.

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