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‘Wasted wind energy costs Brits nearly £1bn’

Grid constraints lead to £920 million in 'curtailment' costs for UK electricity bills in 2023, with projections indicating a rise to £3.5 billion by 2030, according to a report

Grid capacity constraints led to almost £1 billion in ‘curtailment’ costs to electricity bills in 2023 due to issues transmitting wind energy to areas of demand.

Analysis by energy storage developer Field reveals that nearly three quarters of the UK’s total curtailment cost last year came from activating gas power plants in England and Wales, as grid limitations prevented the use of cheaper wind power from Scotland.

A significant portion of this expense stemmed from the B6 boundary on the Scottish-English border.

Field estimates this boundary could cause up to £2.2 billion in curtailment costs by 2030, totalling £3.5 billion across the UK.

However, optimising battery storage could reduce this expense by around 80%, potentially eliminating the need for additional gas power plants.

Field urges prioritisation of battery technology to maximise grid use, emphasising its cost-effectiveness and role in bolstering energy security.

Amit Gudka, Chief Executive Officer of Field, said: “In an era where energy bills remain high and carbon emissions keep rising, it’s alarming that we’re wasting clean, cheap, abundant energy on a daily basis. As our analysis suggests, this problem is getting worse, not better.

“More efficient use of established technologies, such as battery storage, would dramatically reduce curtailment costs and network investment needs.

“It would also reduce the need for new carbon-intensive gas power plants to be built, as the government has proposed, as well as expensive, complex and disruptive market-based mechanisms such as zonal pricing.”

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